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Linguistic Inquiry

Winter 2016, Vol. 47, No. 1, Pages 35-87
(doi: 10.1162/LING_a_00204)
© 2016 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Anaphor Binding: What French Inanimate Anaphors Show
Article PDF (1.18 MB)
Abstract

Owing to different ideas about what counts as an anaphor subject to Condition A, two influential but superficially incompatible versions of Condition A of binding theory have coexisted: Chomsky’s (1986) version, and versions of predicate-based binding theories defended by Pollard and Sag (1992) and Reinhart and Reuland (1993) and modified in various ways since ( Pollard 2005, Reuland 2011). Using inanimate anaphors to independently control for sensitivity to Condition A without the confound of logophoricity, we show that Condition A must be checked at the syntax-interpretation interface and that Chomsky’s (1986) version (an anaphor must be bound within the smallest complete functional complex containing it and a possible binder) is nearly correct, with one amendment: a tensed TP boundary is opaque to the search for an antecedent. Given these results, we argue that Condition A should be reduced to phase theory and we outline how this can be done.