A Unified Analysis of Reflexives and Reciprocals in Synchronous Tree Adjoining Grammar
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CitationAggazzotti, Cristina. 2019. A Unified Analysis of Reflexives and Reciprocals in Synchronous Tree Adjoining Grammar. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
AbstractReflexives and reciprocals share a similar syntactic distribution so are often grouped together under the term anaphor, even though they differ semantically. They are a challenging test case for any theory due to their reliance on either context or another word, which can sometimes be non-local, to supply their meaning. An approach that preserves the antecedent-anaphor dependency without requiring extra computational power, and can additionally generalize these two phenomena into one mechanism, is desirable.
This dissertation provides one such unified analysis. Using the framework of synchronous tree adjoining grammar, I present a parallel analysis for reflexives and reciprocals that captures their syntax, semantics, and morphology. The analysis builds on a previous STAG analysis of reflexives by Frank (2008) to not only provide the first STAG account of reciprocals, but also unify this account with one for reflexives. By employing semantic operators, the analysis abstracts out the notions of reflexivity and reciprocity into a formalization that captures the various possible readings of each anaphor. I also propose a novel extension of the STAG framework in which the basic unit, a lexicalized elementary tree, is decomposed into smaller units---morphological elementary trees. These word level trees obey the same rules to form lexicalized trees as phrase level STAG trees do to form sentences. English reflexives are used as a test case but future work will apply the analysis crosslinguistically to languages with morphologically richer anaphors.
Additional contributions include a clarification of the vast literature on reflexives in particular and a corpus investigation into the distribution of reflexives and any differences across the reflexives. Through a combination of corpus, computational, and theoretical work investigating the syntax, semantics, and morphology of anaphors, this dissertation provides a comprehensive and versatile model of both reflexives and reciprocals as unified phenomena.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:42106941
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