The Syntax of Simplex Reflexives

Johan Rooryck and Guido Vanden Wyngaerd

in Dissolving Binding Theory

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780199691326
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731785 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Theoretical Linguistics

The Syntax of Simplex Reflexives

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This chapter discusses the syntax of simplex reflexives. It argues that simplex reflexives should be analysed on a par with possessive pronouns occurring in contexts of inalienable possession. Concretely, simplex reflexives are merged as the Possessum in a possessive constituent that also hosts its antecedent, the Possessor. Following Den Dikken (2006), the Possessum is merged in a position that is hierarchically higher than the Possessor. In this configuration, the reflexive Possessum is a probe c-commanding its goal, the Possessor-antecedent. The reflexive Possessum values its φ-features in an Agree relation with the Possessor, thus deriving Binding. Finally, it is shown that the constituent containing the Possessor and the Possessum is the internal argument of an unaccusative verb.

Keywords: simplex reflexive; possessive pronoun; inalienable possession; Probe; Goal; Agree; φ-features; unaccusative

Chapter.  20913 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Linguistics

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