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Title: Reflexives and tree unification grammar
Author: Popowich, Frederick Paul
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1988
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Although there has been a great deal of research into identifying the constraints responsible for the distribution of reflexive pronouns (like himself, herself, themselves), accounts of reflexivisation are often based entirely on syntactic factors. Furthermore, it is usually assumed that a reflexive and its antecedent (i.e. the noun phrase to which a reflexive pronoun 'refers') must be from the same sentence, and the anaphoric relationship between a reflexive and its antecedent is often established based on a complete structural analysis of the sentence containing them. In this thesis, we propose a treatment of reflexives in which an anaphoric relationship between pronoun and antecedent can be established based on information contained in partial structures associated with linguistic expressions. There is no need to obtain a complete structural analysis before performing anaphora resolution, and information obtained from anaphora resolution can be used to constrain possible analyses. In presenting an account for the distribution of locally bound reflexives in English and of long distance reflexives in Icelandic, we will see that the same general treatment will be applicable to local as well as non-local reflexive anaphoric phenomena. Our first goal is to establish the constraints that are relevant for the distribution of reflexive pronouns. Then a declarative unification-based linguistic framework will be introduced in which these constraints can be stated. Within a declarative framework, constraints can be stated independent from any processing strategy. The basic grammar structures of this framework will be partial specifications of trees, and the framework will require only a single grammar rule to combine these partial specifications. Finally, we will illustrate how various phenomena associated with reflexive pronouns can be accounted for in this framework. We will provide an account for the distribution of reflexives appearing in complement causes, picture-noun constructions, possessives, unbounded dependency constructions, prepositional phrases, and constructions where reflexives can have either 'sloppy' or 'strict' readings.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available