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  1. Ken Safir, Introducing Exxtension.
    Extension embodies an intuition that appears worth preserving, namely, the notion that at any point in a derivation, what counts as the top of the tree at that moment restricts the class of possible operations that can apply. This principle, if a version of it is correct, propels an aggressively derivational view of syntax. However, Chomsky's proposal is too restrictive to permit a wide range of syntactic analyses that appear to be worth preserving, all of which violate Extension by merging (...)
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  2. Ken Safir, Person, Context and Perspective.
    Ken Safir, Rutgers University ABSTRACT: It is argued that the indexicality of first person pronouns is arises from a restriction on the pronouns themselves, as opposed to any operator that binds them. The nature of this restriction is an asyntactic constant function that picks out individuals to the context of utterance (following Kaplan, 1989)). Constant function pronouns do not require an antecedent, neither an operator nor an argument, although this does not prevent them from participating in bound readings if an (...)
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  3. Ken Safir, Person, Perspective and Anaphora.
    Utrecht, and at the École des Hautes Études in Paris in 2002. It is a partial description of a book ms. presently in preparation that will have the same title. The ms. will also explore the interpretation of 'generic person', 'impersonal agency' and 'arbitrary person'.
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  4. Ken Safir, Anaphors, Movement and Coconstrual.
    Broadly construed, anaphors are forms that must be anteceded in a discourse, and more narrowly, as syntacticians tend to use the term, anaphors are forms that must be anteceded within a bounded, syntactically defined domain. In this short note, I focus on the difference between these two notions of anaphor and some problems with approaches to anaphora that try to collapse them by linking all anaphors to their antecedents by syntactic operations. The latter approach permits syntactic operations to exceed the (...)
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  5. Ken Safir, Coconstrual and Narrow Syntax.
    This essay explores the place of coconstrual relations, such as antecedent-anaphor relations, in a theory of grammar informed by minimalist architecture. It has been argued that the logical space created by minimalist theorizing should favor an account of coconstrual derived from the tree-building operations of narrow syntax (Agree, feature theory, Merge and its subcase, Remerge), dispensing with rules or conditions that evaluate constructed trees. On such an account, it is argued, the explanatory power of narrow syntax is enhanced and the (...)
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  6. Ken Safir, Extension and Insularity.
    In recent years, certain analytic proposals have been appealed to that are incompatible with fundamental principles of structure−building that appear attractive. One such principle is Extension (Chomsky,1995), which ensures that what counts as the top of the tree at a given point in a derivation restricts the class of possible operations that can apply at that point. Another principle I will show to be desirable is Insularity, which bans on interarboreal movement.
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  7. Ken Safir, On Person as a Model for Logophoricity.
    Ken Safir, Rutgers University Following a line of thought initiated by Kuno (1972), it has been suggested that the coconstrual of first person pronouns is a model for the coconstrual of a logophoric pronoun with its antecedent. This particular proposal has been extended to the forms of logophoricity that have been observed in some African languages (e.g., Ewe, as remarked in passing by Clements, 1975, and Amharic, as proposed by Schlenker, 2000).
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  8. Ken Safir, Professor - Statement of Research Interests.
    As a generative linguist and syntactician, I share the general outlook established since the 1950's that the goal of syntactic research into the nature of the language faculty is to understand the nature of syntax as it is determined by Universal Grammar. My particular research foci have been, and continue to be, on the contribution of syntactic form to semantic interpretation, on the one hand, and on the nature of the linguistic typology made available by the innate language faculty.
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  9. Ken Safir, Semantic Atoms of Anaphora.
    It is argued that most anaphors have semantic content and that the semantic content of a given anaphoric atom plays an active role in determining both its distribution and the interpretation of the sentences in which it is employed. It is first demonstrated that semantic distinctions between semantically relational anaphoric atoms predict differences between their distributions. It is then argued that all of the semantically relational anaphoric atoms respect Principle A, while semantically contentless anaphors often do not.
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  10. Ken Safir, Symmetry and Unity in the Theory of Anaphora.
    The primary goal of this paper is to distinguish binding from reflexivity in domains where they appear to overlap. In so doing I will argue that Principles A and B of the Binding Theory are symmetric in the domains to which they apply. This symmetry derives from a deeper unity that permits us to dispense with Principles A and B and replace them with interpretive principles that distinguish reflexivity and binding.
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  11. Ken Safir, Strict Readings.
    This essay is a contribution to the discussion, now going on for many years, concerning what sorts of identity relations should be represented in the syntax and semantics of formal grammar and what properties those relations should have. In what follows, I will use the neutral cover term coconstrual to refer identity relations of one sort or another between nominals when no particular syntactic or semantic analysis is presupposed (among which are dependent identity, covaluation and coreference). The central claim made (...)
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  12. Ken Safir, The Syntax of Anaphora - to Appear From Oxford University Press.
    One of the most important discoveries of the last thirty years is the extent to which the pattern of anaphoric interpretations is determined by the geometry of syntactic structure. As our understanding of these phenomena has steadily grown, the theory of syntax has often been driven by discoveries in this domain, and it is no accident that Chomsky's Binding Theory was a centerpiece of the principles and parameters approach of the 1980s. However, what remained accidental in Chomsky's theory, and in (...)
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  13. Ken Safir (2005). Abandoning Coreference. In José Luis Bermúdez (ed.), Thought, Reference, and Experience: Themes From the Philosophy of Gareth Evans. Clarendon Press.
    It seems that when the term "coreference" is used, whether in linguistics or in philosophy, there is often presumed to be a consensus about what it is, or at least about what it is in the context where the term is introduced. I don't think the term deserves to have much use at all, insofar as it disguises more interesting linguistic and pragmatic relations between nominal forms in natural language. My preoccupation with these relations issues in part from some of (...)
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  14. Ken Safir (1993). Perception, Selection, and Structural Economy. Natural Language Semantics 2 (1):47-70.
    In this essay I will explore the syntactic expression of the notion ‘clause’ by focusing on some syntactic and semantic properties of bare infinitive (BI) complements to perception verbs in English. I shall argue briefly that perception BI complements must be clausal, and then turn in more detail to the issue of what sort of clause the BI complement must be. It will be established that the categorical nature of the perception BI complement as IP or VP is contingent on (...)
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  15. Ken Safir (1992). Implied Non-Coreference and the Pattern of Anaphora. Linguistics and Philosophy 15 (1):1 - 52.
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