Model answers for Ch 5

Linguistics 522

Instructor: Jean Mark Gawron

Question 4

  1. Michaeli loves himi
      Principle B violation. The pronoun him is bound in its binding domain by Michael, which both C-commands it and is coindexed with it.
  2. Hei loves Michaeli
      Principle C violation. The R-expression Michael is bound by him, which both C-commands it and is coindexed with it.
  3. Michael'sifather j loves himselfi
      Principle A violation. The anaphor himself is unbound. Although Michael is coindexed with himself, Michael does not C-command himself.
  4. Michael'sifather j loves himj
      Principle B violation. The pronoun him is bound in its binding domain by Michael's father, which both C-commands it and is coindexed with it.
  5. Susani thinks that John should marry herselfi
      Principle A violation. Although the anaphor herself is bound by Susan, it is not bound within its binding domain, i.e., within the same clause.
  6. John thinks that Susan i should kiss heri
      Principle B violation. The pronoun her is bound in its binding domain by Susan, which both C-commands it and is coindexed with it.
Challenge
Problem 4
 
  1. John wai Mary ga k zibunk/*i hihansita to itta

    In this example zibun is behaving like an anaphor on both readings. On the k reading it is bound in its binding domain by Mary. This is consistent with Principle A. If it were a pronoun this would be a Principle B violation. On the ungrammatical i reading it is bound by John, which is not in its binding domain. If we assume it is an anaphor the ungrammaticality is explained because we have a Principle A violation. If it were a pronoun this would be consistent with Principle B and the ungrammaticality would be unexplained.

  2. John wai zibun gai Mary o k korosita to omotteiru

    In this example zibun is behaving like a pronoun on the given reading. On this reading, it is bound by John, which is not in its binding domain. If we assume it is an anaphor this would therefore be a Principle A violation. If on the other hand it is a pronoun this would be consistent with Principle B.

  3. * John wai zibun gak Mary ok korosita to omotteiru

    This example is definitely a Principle C violation. It may also be either a Principle A or Principle B violation, depending on our assumptions about zibun and Japanese sentence structure.

    If we assume zibun is an anaphor, and we assume that Japanese has a VP, as follows:

    then the internal clause is a Principle A violation because the anaphor is unbound.

    However if we assume no VP, then then the anaphor is bound and there is no Principle A violation:

    On the other hand, if we assume that zibun is a pronoun, then if Japanese has a VP there is no Principle B violation, and if Japanese has no VP there is a principle B violation.

    Whether we assume that zibun is a pronoun or an anaphor, and whether we assume a VP or not, this example must be a Principle C violation. According to the assumptions given, the R-expression Mary is C-commanded by something that binds it.

Challenge
Problem 6
 

Proposal: The definition of binding should be changed so that A binds B if and only if:

  1. A is coindexed with B
  2. A precedes B

We consider the following data with respect to this proposed revision of the Binding Theory:

    (i) Although hei loves marshmallows, Arti is not a big fan of Smores.
    (ii) Hisiyearbook gives Tomi the creeps.
Both of these examples would immediately be classified as violations of Principle C on the proposed revision of the Binding Theory. The R-expressions Art and Tom are bound in both examples on the new definition of binding, since both are preceded by coindexed NPs.

If the Binding Theory applies at D-structure, as proposed in problem 3, then there is a possible loophole for example (i), since it MIGHT involve movement. In that case, its D-structure source (the tree before movement applies) is plausibly:

    Arti is not a big fan of Smores, although hei loves marshmallows.
And in this source Art is free. It is NOT bound by he, since he does not precede it. But there is no such loophole available for example (ii).

On the other hand, neither of these examples is problematic for our old definition of binding, which used C-command instead of precedence. In both cases the R-expression is unbound, because it is not C-commanded by the pronoun it coindexed with. Thus, on the C-command theory, there is no Principle C violation. Since this correctly predicts the given grammaticality judgments, the C-Command theory is the better theory with respect to this data.