December 18, 1999

3:00pm, December 18, 1999
Room L-620, 6th floor, Central Library, Sophia University.
Takeo Kurafuji (University of the Ryukyus)
A Dynamic Semantic Approach to the Null/Overt Contrast in Japanese Pronouns
In this talk, I will examine Japanese donkey pronouns and claim that overt pronouns are interpreted only as variables that need to be dynamically bound, whereas null pronouns are ambiguous between variables and E-type pronouns, based on the fact that null pronouns are perfect while overt pronouns are less acceptable in narrative sequence sentences with universally quantified antecedents (e.g. John tried driving every car in the used car shop. They/*It ran better than expected.), in paycheck sentences (e.g. Every man but John gave his paycheck to his wife. John gave it to his mistress.) and in bathroom sentences (e.g. It is the case whether this building does not have a bathroom or that it is in a funny place). This observation supports the view that dynamic binding and the E-type strategy are both available in natural language. I will also discuss alternatives to the semantics of null pronouns such as a kind anaphora appraoch and a property anaphora appoach, arguing that the E-type approach is favored over them. Finally I will argue that the anti-E-type property of overt pronouns drives from the fact that they belong to the demonstratives paradigm (_So_-series demonstratives).

Last modified: Fri Nov 19 22:47:54 JST 1999