Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …


An Interdisciplinary Journal of the Language Sciences

Editor-in-Chief: van der Auwera, Johan

6 Issues per year

IMPACT FACTOR 2017: 0.644
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 0.878

CiteScore 2017: 0.79

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.418
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 1.386

See all formats and pricing
More options …
Volume 50, Issue 4


On the (im)possibility of partial argument coreference

Dr. Michael Cysouw, / Javier Fernández Landaluce,
Published Online: 2012-07-17 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ling-2012-0024


In 1966, Paul Postal claimed that it is impossible to find grammatical sentences in which there is partial overlap between subject and object, i.e., in sentences like I like us. This observation lead, in direct scholarly descent, to the infamous Binding Principle B (Chomsky 1981). In this article we argue against Postal's original observation, as we claim that sentences with partial argument overlap are perfectly possible in English and sundry languages, although such expressions are conversationally constrained. The real-world situations that are described in such utterances are unusual, and thus the constructions are used infrequently, leading to uncertainty on the part of the speaker whether such expressions are well-formed or not. In the process of grammaticalization of pronouns into person-marking inflection this dispreference appears to turn into real impossibility.

About the article

Forschungszentrum Deutscher Sprachatlas, Philipps Universität Marburg, Hermann-Jacobsohn-Weg 3, 35032 Marburg

Received: 2011-04-21

Revised: 2011-09-27

Published Online: 2012-07-17

Published in Print: 2012-07-19

Citation Information: , Volume 50, Issue 4, Pages 765–782, ISSN (Online) 1613-396X, ISSN (Print) 0024-3949, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ling-2012-0024.

Export Citation

©[2012] by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston.Get Permission

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in