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Linguistic Inquiry

Spring 2007, Vol. 38, No. 2, Pages 321-342
(doi: 10.1162/ling.2007.38.2.321)
© 2007 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
On the Nature of Long-Distance Anaphors
Article PDF (134.01 KB)
Abstract

I consider two interpretive properties of long-distance anaphors: (a) they have only a pure-reflexive reading, in the sense that they fail to refer to portrayals of their antecedent, and (b) whenever possible, they must be interpreted as de se, or to put it better, as first-personal. Long-distance anaphors seem to be interpretively parallel to local reflexive construals such as those seen with inherent reflexivity and constructions of inalienable possession. Moreover, in some languages, such as Chinese and Italian, long-distance anaphors can also be locally bound, and in such cases, they pattern with self anaphors rather than with inherent reflexives. To account for this pattern, I propose that long-distance anaphors, together with the local construals mentioned above, are the spell-out of an unsaturated position, saturated in the course of the derivation via θ-identification with the antecedent.