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Linguistic Inquiry

Spring 2013, Vol. 44, No. 2, Pages 239-270
(doi: 10.1162/LING_a_00126)
© 2013 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Binding and the Structure of NP in Serbo-Croatian
Article PDF (697.54 KB)

On the basis of binding facts, I argue that Serbo-Croatian (SC) does not project DP and that DP is not a universal property of language. I show that a number of binding contrasts between English and SC follow straightforwardly from independently motivated differences in their nominal structure, most notably from the assumption that DP is present only in English. I also discuss in detail the potential significance of this puzzling set of facts for the binding theory in general. Specifically, I propose that SC employs Condition C as defined in Lasnik 1989 and, in addition to the core binding conditions, a competitive mechanism adopted from Safir 2004, which regulates the distribution of reflexives, pronouns, and R-expressions. I also argue that the binding domains for pronouns and reflexives in SC need to be formulated differently.