Article published in:Movement Theory of Control
Edited by Norbert Hornstein and Maria Polinsky
[Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today 154] 2010
► pp. 67–88
Obligatory control and local reflexives
Copies as vehicles for de se readings
Why do locally bound reflexives (LBR) and obligatorily controlled PRO (OC-PRO) only have de se interpretations in the scope of verbs like ‘expect’ and ‘believe’, while other pronouns can but need not support such interpretations? We argue that occurrences of LBR and OC-PRO result from copying, which is distinct from co-indexing, and that copying is construed as a special case of co-indexing. Often, this distinction is truth-conditionally irrelevant. Even when a psychological verb lies between coindexed expressions, the resulting sentence can be “made true” in many ways, including de se ways. But if the matrix and embedded subjects are copies, this imposes a further constraint that only de se interpretations meet, given available distinctions in thought. On this view, which posits no special pronouns that conspire with an antecedent to create distinctively first-personal meanings, de se interpretations are accommodated with spare theoretical apparatus in syntax and semantics.
Published online: 29 April 2010