How Anaphors Recover Their References

  • Published : 2001.12.01


This paper aims to provide an account for the English anaphors under the framework of the recent development of minimalism (Chomsky 1999, 2001). I propose that the anaphor has the uninterpretable [a] feature. The Agree operation erases the [a] feature by feature match. Once the [a] is deleted, the derivation converges, providing a proper interpretation of the anaphor. When there is no matching phi-features, the [a] cannot be eliminated, inducing the derivation to crash. The Agree operation can account for not only the typical local binding cases in English but the apparent long-distance binding cases in the picture-DP and expletive constructions. Consequently, the traditional concept of the binding domain and dichotomy between local and long-distance types are abandoned in favor of the analysis under the framework of minimalism. The minimalist accounts thus maximally simplifies the binding principles, using the general operation Agree only.