Ling-Lunch 11/14 – Robert Henderson & Jessica Coon

When: Wednesday 11/15 12:35–1:35 in room 117

Who: Robert Henderson & Jessica Coon

What: Two binding puzzles in Mayan

Abstract:

This paper examines binding puzzles in two Mayan languages and proposes an analysis which unifies two otherwise different-looking constructions: the Chol applicative and the K’ichee’ agent focus (AF). In both the Chol applicative and the K’ichee’ AF, subjects are banned from binding object possessors. That is, the equivalents of English Maria bought her own tortillas or It was Juan who burned his own foot are impossible in the relevant constructions (though they are possible under a reading in which the subject and object’s possessor are not coreferential). Working within the minimal pronoun approach of Kratzer 2009, we propose that in both types of construction binding of the object’s possessor by the subject is blocked by an intervening v head. In the Chol (low) applicative, this is the head added to introduce the applied argument. In the K’ichee’ AF, this is the head needed to introduce the subject; we may think of this as a type of high applicative. In this paper we show that the similar binding restrictions in these two different languages are easily accounted for under a theory which ties the availability of binding to locality with domains defined by v heads.

 

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