Introduction to Generative Grammar Course 9: Binding theory Outline1
How do personal, possessive, reflexive pronouns and reciprocals acquire reference? (Johni and Peterj are top students) Johni thinks that hei,j is intelligent. Johni thinks him*i,j intelligent. The studentsk believed each otherk to be the best. This is not only a semantic issue, but also a syntactic issue … solved by Binding theory. Binding theory describes the binary relation between the binder (an antecedent) and the bindee ( a personal, possessive, reflexive pronoun or reciprocal). Binding theory is a syntactic rule that applies to semantic information, specifically, it identifies which expressions constitute acceptable antecedents for the bound elements in the sentence. A binding relation creates a chain of co-referentiality : Chain (binder, bindee) The referential chain (antecedent, pronoun) is signaled by co-indexation (graphically marking co-referentiality) : (antecedenti, pronouni) Co-indexation: If two expressions co-refer they are assigned the same index in subscript.
You find in this outline the content of the slides that I project during the course, which contain the main topics and also structures and diagrams which may be difficult and time consuming for you to copy during my lecture. They are made available to you before class to save time and to make note-taking easier, but not unnecessary! The outline as such (without your notes covering the detailed explanations that I give during the course) cannot constitute a sufficient source of information when preparing for the exam. If you miss the class, it is strongly recommended that this outline be used as a guide to the bibliography indicated at the end of this document. 1
A is bound to B if A is a pronominal or an anaphor and A and B are co-indexed (are co-referential). Binding chains (Johni, hei)...