Perspective is syntactic: evidence from anaphora

Sandhya Sundaresan
2018 Glossa  
This paper argues that grammatical perspective, expressed along the spatio-temporal and mental dimensions, has a syntactic component. Evidence for this is provided from non-local anaphora in the Dravidian language Tamil which is perspective-driven: i.e. the antecedent of a successfully bound anaphor in Tamil must denote a mental or spatio-temporal perspective-holder toward some predication containing this anaphor. I will argue that, in Tamil, the agreement marking that obtains on the clausemate
more » ... s on the clausemate verb of the anaphor, when this anaphor occurs in nominative case, seems to be anomalously triggered, not by the anaphor or by its antecedent, but by a silent perspectival pronoun local to the verb. Assuming that agreement is a morphosyntactic process, such a thesis, if correct, then entails that perspective must be syntactically (i.e. structurally and featurally) instantiated. Based on such evidence, I propose that perspectival anaphora is a composite consisting of variable-binding + discourse-pronominal reference at two distinct stages of grammar. Empirical evidence for such a model comes from the (seemingly) schizophrenic pronominal and bound-variable nature of such dependencies, diagnoseable by the usual syntactic and semantic tests.
doi:10.5334/gjgl.81 fatcat:5aresufy3fhf5m3ductgfjq7cm