Reflexives and ellipsis

Natural Language Semantics 3 (2):211-237 (1995)
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Abstract

This paper concerns the question whether reflexives can have strict readings in VP-ellipsis. It is argued that the possibility for strict interpretation is determined by a syntactic factor: subordination of the elided clause relative to the antecedent clause facilitates strict interpretation, whereas coordination disfavors it. This contrast is shown to be predictable by theories of syntactic reconstruction which assume that a surface reflexive corresponds to a bound variable at the point of ellipsis reconstruction, and where the binder has scope over a subordinated ellipsis but not over a coordinated ellipsis. One possibility is that the binder is the reflexive itself, moved at LF. A further factor, namely the possibility of speakers reinterpreting the ellipsis as a deep anaphor, accounts for why strict readings are in fact weakly acceptable in coordinated ellipsis. Previous accounts of ellipsis and reflexives are evaluated in light of the new data

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