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The Logic of Pronominal Resumption (Oxford Studies in Theoretical Linguistics)

The Logic of Pronominal Resumption (Oxford Studies in Theoretical Linguistics)

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  • ISBN-13: 9780199206438
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Release Date: Apr 30, 2012
  • Edition: 1
  • Pages: 484 pages
  • Dimensions: 1.1 x 6.1 x 9.2 inches


This is a cross-linguistic investigation of resumptive pronouns and related phenomena. Pronominal resumption is the realization of the base of a syntactic dependency as a bound pronoun. Resumption occurs in unbounded dependencies, such as relative clauses and questions, and in the variety of raising known as copy raising. Processing factors may also give rise to resumption, even in environments where it does not normally occur in a given language.

Ash Asudeh proposes a new theory of resumption based on the use of a resource logic for semantic composition and the typologically robust observation that resumptive pronouns are ordinary pronouns in their morphological and lexical properties. The framework for semantic composition is Glue Semantics and the syntactic framework is Lexical-Functional Grammar. The author introduces these frameworks and the concept of resource logics accessibly and compares results and explanations with those offered by a number of contrasting theoretical frameworks.

The theory achieves a novel unification of hitherto heterogeneous resumption phenomena. It unifies two kinds of resumptive pronouns that are found in unbounded dependencies - one kind behaves syntactically like a gap, whereas the other kind does not. It also unifies resumptive pronouns in unbounded dependencies with the obligatory pronouns in copy raising. The theory also provides the basis for a new understanding of processing-based resumption, both in production and in parsing and interpretation.

This book makes a substantial contribution to the understanding of the syntax-semantics interface, the nature of unbounded dependencies, and linguistic variation. It is clearly written and includes examples from a wide range of languages, such as English, Hebrew, Irish, Swedish, and Vata. It will interest researchers in syntax and semantics and its results are also relevant to computational linguistics, psycholinguistics, and the logical analysis of language.

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