Relational nouns, pronouns, and resumption

Linguistics and Philosophy 28 (4):375 - 446 (2005)
Abstract
This paper presents a variable-free analysis of relational nouns in Glue Semantics, within a Lexical Functional Grammar (LFG) architecture. Relational nouns and resumptive pronouns are bound using the usual binding mechanisms of LFG. Special attention is paid to the bound readings of relational nouns, how these interact with genitives and obliques, and their behaviour with respect to scope, crossover and reconstruction. I consider a puzzle that arises regarding relational nouns and resumptive pronouns, given that relational nouns can have bound readings and resumptive pronouns are just a specific instance of bound pronouns. The puzzle is why is it impossible for bound implicit arguments of relational nouns to be resumptive? The puzzle is highlighted by a well-known variety of variable-free semantics, where pronouns and relational noun phrases are identical both in category and (base) type. I show that the puzzle also arises for an established variable-based theory. I present an analysis of resumptive pronouns that crucially treats resumptives in terms of the resource logic linear logic that underlies Glue Semantics: a resumptive pronoun is a perfectly ordinary pronoun that constitutes a surplus resource; this surplus resource requires the presence of a resumptive-licensing resource consumer, a manager resource. Manager resources properly distinguish between resumptive pronouns and bound relational nouns based on differences between them at the level of semantic structure. The resumptive puzzle is thus solved. The paper closes by considering the solution in light of the hypothesis of direct compositionality. It is argued that a directly compositional version of the theory is possible, although perhaps not desirable. The implications for direct compositionality are considered
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