The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Syntax Square 4/21 - Athulya Aravind (MIT)

Speaker: Athulya Aravind (MIT)
Title: Locality in Malayalam anaphor binding
Time: Tuesday, April 21st, 1pm – 2pm

Abstract: Dravidian long-distance anaphors (LDAs) pose a locality puzzle. Though they generally show strong anti-locality in binding — they cannot be bound by a local antecedent — in select environments, this requirement seems to be relaxed, licensing what looks like local binding. Drawing primarily on data from Malayalam, I will show that this apparent exceptionality is only apparent. The relevant environments involve a periphrastic progressive construction, comprising of a light verb and a PP embedding a nominalized complement. This bifurcation of the clause means that there is no selective “anti-anti-locality” in Dravidian LDA: LDA in these languages is uniformly anti-local.