Relinquishing Control: What Romanian De Se Attitude Reports Teach Us About Immunity To Error Through Misidentification.

In Alessandro Capone, Manuel García-Carpintero & Alessandra Falzone (eds.), Indirect Reports and Pragmatics in the World Languages. Springer. pp. 1-20 (forthcoming)
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Abstract
Higginbotham (2003) argued that certain linguistic items of English, when used in indirect discourse, necessarily trigger first-personal interpretations. They are: the emphatic reflexive pronoun and the controlled understood subject, represented as PRO. PRO is special, in this respect, due to its imposing obligatory control effects between the main clause and its sub- ordinates (Chierchia (1989)). Folescu & Higginbotham (2012), in addition, argued that in Romanian, a language whose grammar doesn’t assign a prominent role to PRO (if it assigns it a role at all), de se triggers are correlated with the subjunctive mood of certain verbs. That pa-per, however, didn’t account for the grammatical diversity of the reports that display immunity to error through misidentification (IEM henceforth) in Romanian: some of these reports are expressed by using de se triggers; others are not. Their IEM, moreover, is not systematically lexically controlled by the verbs, via their theta-roles; it is, rather, determined by the meaning of the verbs in question. Given the data from Romanian, I will argue, the phenomenon of IEM cannot be fully explained starting either from the syntactical or the lexical structure of a language.
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