Linguistics Colloquium: David Erschler

26/11/2019 - 14:00 - 15:30

David Erschler, Ben Gurion University

Title: Against PRO in (Ossetic) depiction: Host-depictive relationship as anaphoric binding

Abstract: I address the properties of depictives in Ossetic (two closely related Iranian languages spoken in the Caucasus). Depictives describe the state of a participant of the situation described by the main verb during that situation. For instance, drunk is a depictive in Bill studied syntax drunk. The participant whose state is described by a depictive is said to host the depictive. Two common approaches to analyze depictives reduce the relationship of a depictive with its host either to control (e.g. Chomsky 1981; Safir 1983; Stowell 1983) or to binding (e.g. Rothstein 1983 for English; Bailyn 1995, 2012 for Russian; Richardson 2007 for Russian and other East Slavic languages.).

I show that, unlike in better studied languages, in Ossetic any arguments but no adjuncts can host depictives. I observe that exactly the same class of DPs is able to bind anaphors in Ossetic. I conclude that the relationship between the host DP and the depictive is that of binding under c-command. On the other hand, as seen from prototypical cases of control, only subjects and direct objects are able to control PRO in these languages. Accordingly, Ossetic data provide evidence in favor of binding-based analyses of depictives.
Place: Building 403 room 2
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