Choosing Short: An Explanation of the Similarities and Dissimilarities in the Distribution Patterns of Binding and Covaluation

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Covaluation is the generalization of coreference introduced by Tanya Reinhart. Covaluation distributes in patterns that are very similar yet not entirely identical to those of binding. On a widespread view, covaluation and binding distribute similarly because binding is defined in terms of covaluation. Yet on Reinhart's view, binding and covaluation are not related that way: binding pertains to syntax, covaluation does not. Naturally, the widespread view can easily explain the similarities between binding and covaluation, whereas Reinhart can easily explain the dissimilarities. Reciprocally, the widespread view finds it harder to explain the dissimilarities, whereas Reinhart finds it harder to explain the similarities. Reinhart and others have proposed more than one explanation of the similarities, but as I argue, these explanations do not work. Hence although I adopt Reinhart's view, I propose a new explanation of the similarities and dissimilarities between binding and covaluation: While Reinhart has invoked semantic structure only to explain dissimilarities, I do so to explain both similarities and dissimilarities at once. Finally, I examine in light of this approach the topics of language acquisition, only-constructions, the identity predicate, the Partee/Bach/Higginbotham problem, the Dahl puzzle and its recent versions by Roelofsen.
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Archival date: 2015-10-19
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