Chapter published in:Approaches to Hungarian: Volume 16: Papers from the 2017 Budapest Conference
Edited by Veronika Hegedűs and Irene Vogel
[Approaches to Hungarian 16] 2020
► pp. 116–136
With or without the definite article
On the syntax of anaphoric possessor strategies in Hungarian
That noun phrases may constitute a binding domain is a key component among the parallelisms between the syntax of noun phrases and clauses. Reuland (2007, 2011) and Despić (2011, 2015) have shown recently that the definite article plays a crucial role in delimiting this domain, since dedicated possessive reflexive anaphors are only possible in languages that lack a prenominal definite article. Hungarian has several anaphoric possessor strategies, which vary in whether they require, allow, or prohibit the use of the definite article in the possessive noun phrase. This paper gives an overview of the grammar of these strategies, and presents a discussion of the results of a questionnaire survey that was conducted to better understand the delicate distribution of the definite article in these constructions. The importance of these Hungarian data lies in showing that Reuland’s conjecture describes an important factor not only in cross-linguistic, but also in language internal variation in definite article use in possessive DP’s.
Keywords: anaphor, definite article, Hungarian, logophor, noun phrase, phase, possessive, pronoun, reflexive, reciprocal
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Published online: 08 April 2020
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