Anaphoric dependencies in Japanese

Author: Takaaki Hara
LOT Number: 057
ISBN: 90-76864-18-7
Pages: 128
Year: 2002
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Anaphoric Dependencies in Japanese investigates three issues regarding anaphora in Japanese: (i) what roles the simplex anaphor zibun and the complex anaphor zibum-zisin play in yielding a reflexive interpretation (i.e. the function of zibun versus zibun-zisin in the local domain), (ii) how non-local zibun (i.e. cases in which an antecedent for zibun is not its coargument) should be dealt with in the grammar, and (iii) why it is difficult to construe a third person pronoun in Japanese as a variable bound by a quantifier phrase. The analysis is presented within the framework of Reuland (2001), which is an extension of the reflexivity framework of Reinhart and Reuland (1993), coupled with accessibility theory developed by Ariel (1990). It is proposed that in contrast to Dutch simplex anaphor zich, a dependency between zibun and its antecedent will not be formed within the computational system and that this opens up the possibility of an interpretation which is sensitive to discourse factors, as suggested in accessibility theory. The behaviour of zibun, which has resisted a purely syntactic account thus far, is claimed to follow from the fact that it is a high accessibility marker. Moreover, it is argued that the availability of a bound variable interpretation for different anaphoric expressions follows from accessibility theory too, in the sense that a high accessibility marker will be used to code a bound variable reading in the default case. This explains why a third person pronoun in Japanese, which is a lower accessibility marker, is not easily bound by a quantifier phrase.

 

Anaphoric Dependencies in Japanese is of interest to researchers working on anaphora as well as scholars interested in syntax-semantics/discourse in general.

Anaphoric Dependencies in Japanese investigates three issues regarding anaphora in Japanese: (i) what roles the simplex anaphor zibun and the complex anaphor zibum-zisin play in yielding a reflexive interpretation (i.e. the function of zibun versus zibun-zisin in the local domain), (ii) how non-local zibun (i.e. cases in which an antecedent for zibun is not its coargument) should be dealt with in the grammar, and (iii) why it is difficult to construe a third person pronoun in Japanese as a variable bound by a quantifier phrase. The analysis is presented within the framework of Reuland (2001), which is an extension of the reflexivity framework of Reinhart and Reuland (1993), coupled with accessibility theory developed by Ariel (1990). It is proposed that in contrast to Dutch simplex anaphor zich, a dependency between zibun and its antecedent will not be formed within the computational system and that this opens up the possibility of an interpretation which is sensitive to discourse factors, as suggested in accessibility theory. The behaviour of zibun, which has resisted a purely syntactic account thus far, is claimed to follow from the fact that it is a high accessibility marker. Moreover, it is argued that the availability of a bound variable interpretation for different anaphoric expressions follows from accessibility theory too, in the sense that a high accessibility marker will be used to code a bound variable reading in the default case. This explains why a third person pronoun in Japanese, which is a lower accessibility marker, is not easily bound by a quantifier phrase.

 

Anaphoric Dependencies in Japanese is of interest to researchers working on anaphora as well as scholars interested in syntax-semantics/discourse in general.

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