Accessible Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton May 9, 2014

Are there subject anaphors?

Diana Forker
From the journal Linguistic Typology


A generally accepted universal property of anaphors in reflexive and reciprocal constructions is that they cannot occur in the subject position of a main clause with a non-subject binder in the same clause. In this article a number of languages are examined that have reflexive elements resembling subjects. But it is argued that some of them can be shown not to be anaphoric pronouns or never to occur in the subject position of active main clauses. Even those languages such as Sanzhi Dargwa (Nakh-Daghestanian) in which anaphoric pronouns can fulfill more prominent semantic functions than their binders are claimed not to have subject anaphors simply because they do not have subjects. The article also offers a semantic explanation for why anaphors can and sometimes even must occur as agents and experiencers in reflexive (and reciprocal) constructions in Sanzhi Dargwa and in other related languages.

Received: 2013-5-7
Revised: 2013-12-3
Published Online: 2014-5-9
Published in Print: 2014-5-1

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