Ivy Sichel, "Demonstrative Pronouns and Competition"

Colloquium | October 15 | 3:10-5 p.m. | 370 Dwinelle Hall

 Ivy Sichel, UC Santa Cruz

 Department of Linguistics

Personal pronouns appear to compete with a variety of other elements and to lose: to anaphors, at least on some accounts (Hellan 1988, Burzio 1991, 1998, Williams 1997, Hornstein 2000, Safir 2004), to pro (Montalbetti 1984, Larson and Lujan 1989) to simple anaphors such as sig, and to gaps in Wh-chains. What do these competitions have in common, if anything, and what does their potential commonality suggest about preferences among pronominal alternatives? How are these preferences structured and what can be concluded about the nature of pronouns in general from the fact that their distribution and interpretation are often determined, at least in part, in relation to an alternative? The talk will approach these questions by examining a new alternation, between personal pronouns and demonstrative pronouns (a demonstrative which can exhaust the entire DP, henceforth d-pronoun). In this alternation, unlike the ones above, the personal pronoun is the preferred choice, and we explore the consequences of our findings for a broader understanding of pronominal meaning and pronominal scales of preference.

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