Anaphora, Ellipsis, and Logical Form

Linguistics D05
Spring 1998, MW 9.30-11.00
Northwestern University

Instructor: Chris Kennedy
Office: 2016 Sheridan Rd., Rm. 12 (Linguistics Deptartment)
Phone: 491-8054
Office hours: M 3-5 or by appointment

Course Overview

This course is designed to introduce participants to issues and problems in the area of the syntax of anaphoric relations, and to construct a broad picture of the fundamental role that these questions have played in shaping and defining various aspects of linguistic theory over the past thirty years, and how they continue to do so. In particular, we will focus on how the interaction of various types of anaphoric relations, ranging from the distribution of pronouns and other anaphoric nominals to the interpretation of verb phrase ellipsis, provide insight into the nature of the syntax-semantics interface, as mediated by a syntactic level of Logical Form.

Specific topics to be covered include (in roughly the order of discussion):


This class will be conducted like a research seminar. As such, the expectation is that all of the readings will be done prior to the classes for which they are assigned, and that the majority of the discussion will be determined by participants' interests and questions. No homeworks will be assigned; however, I will occasionally assign "thought questions" for subsequent discussion, and I will ask for several brief (1 page) summaries of articles. In addition, students will take turns presenting the main theoretical and empirical points of the assigned readings. The requirements and their proportional contributions to the overall evaluation are summarized below: The research paper will consist of the following components, with due dates as indicated:


Italicized readings are optional (but recommended).


3.30 anaphora, ellipsis and "the architecture of the language faculty"

Configurational constraints on anaphoric relations

4.1 Linear order, heirarchical structure, and the "command" relation [Langacker 1969]
4.6 Disjoint reference and the "kommand" relation [Lasnik 1976]
4.8 "C-command" at last! [Reinhart 1981]

Binding Theory and syntactic indexing (part 1)

4.13 The Knowledge of Language binding theory [Chomsky 1986]
4.15 Coindexing = coreference [Fiengo & May 1994 ch. 1]

Binding Theory and syntactic indexing (part 2)

4.20 Coindexing = binding; coreference = pragmatics [Reinhart 1983; Reinhart 1997, Heim 1992]
4.22 The "Reflexivity" binding theory [Reinhart & Reuland]
4.27 Reflexivity cont'd [R&R; Grodzinsky and Reinhart 1993]

A typology of anaphora

4.29 Deep and surface anaphora [Hankamer & Sag 1976; Sag and Hankamer 1984]

Verb phrase ellipsis

5.4 What gets elided, and when? [Johnson 1997; Sag 1976, Webber 1978, Kennedy 1997b]
5.6 Argument-contained ellipsis [tbd]

Ellipsis and Logical Form

5.11 Logical Form and logical form [May 1991; McCawley 1968]
5.13 Antecedent-contained deletion and LF [Kennedy 1997a; Hornstein 1994]
5.18 Sluicing [Chung, Ladusaw, and McCloskey 1995]

Reconstruction effects, Binding Theory, Logical Form

5.20 Anti-reconstruction effects [Lebeaux 1991; Heycock 1995]
5.25 Reconstruction effects [Fox 1997 or Safir 1998]


5.27 the architecture of the language faculty revisited

Workshop on anaphora, ellipsis, and Logical Form

6.1 student presentations
6.3 student presentations

Reading List

Readings will be available for copying in the Linguistics dept.

Chomsky, N. 1981. Lectures on Government and Binding. The Hague: Mouton. (optional).

Chomksy, N. 1986. Knowledge of Language. New York: Praeger. Chapter 3. pp. 160-204.

Chung, S., W. Ladusaw, and J. McCloskey. 1995. Sluicing and Logical Form. Natural Language Semantics 3:239-282.

Fiengo, R. and R. May. 1994. Indices and Identity. Cambridge: MIT Press. Chapter 1.

Fox, D. 1997. Reconstruction, binding theory, and the interpretation of chains. Ms., MIT. (To appear in Linguistic Inquiry.)

Heycock, C. 1995. Asymmetries in reconstruction. Linguistic Inquiry 26.4:547-570.

Hankamer, J. and I. Sag. 1976. Deep and surface anaphora. Linguistic Inquiry 7.3:391-428.

Heim, I. 1992. Anaphora and semantic interpretation: A reinterpretation of Reinhart's approach. Ms., MIT.

Hornstein, N. 1994. An argument for minimalism: The case of antecedent-contained deletion. Linguistic Inquiry 25.3:455-480.

Johnson, K. 1997. What VP-ellipsis can do, and what it can't, but not why. Ms., University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Kennedy, C. 1997a. Antecedent-contained deletion and the syntax of quantification. Linguistic Inquiry 28.4:662-688.

Kennedy, C. 1997b. VP-deletion and "nonparasitic" gaps. Linguistic Inquiry 28.4:697-707.

Langacker, R. 1969. On prononminalization and the chain of control.

Lasnik, H. 1976. Remarks on coreference. Linguistic Analysis 2.1:1-22.

Lebeaux, D. 1991. Relative clauses, licensing, and the nature of the derivation. Syntax and Semantics 25: Perspectives on Phrase Structure. Academic Press: New York. 209-239.

May, R. 1991. Syntax, semantics, and Logical Form. In Kasher, A. (ed.), The Chomskyan Turn. Oxford: Blackwell.

McCawley, J. 1968. Where do noun phrases come from? In Jacobs, R. and P. Rosenbaum (eds.). 1970. Readings in English Transformational Grammar. Washington: Georgetown University Press.

Reinhart, T. 1981. Definite NP anaphora and c-command domains. Linguistic Inquiry 12.4:605-635.

Reinhart, T. 1983. Coreference and bound anaphora: A restatement of the anaphora questions. Linguistics and Philosophy 6:47-88.

Reinhart, T. 1997. Strategies for anaphora resolution. UiL OTS working paper uil-ots-97-006/TL-CL.

Reinhart, T. and E. Reuland. 1993. Reflexivity. Linguistic Inquiry 24.4:657-720.

Safir, K. 1998. Reconstruction and bound anaphora: Copy theory without deletion at LF. Ms., Rutgers University.

Sag, I. 1976. A logical theory of VP-deletion. Proceedings of the Nth Annual Meeting of the Chicago Linguistics Society. University of Chicago.

Sag, I. and J. Hankamer. 1984. Toward a theory of anaphoric processing. Linguistics and Philosophy 7:325-345.

Webber, B. 1978. A Formal Approach to Discourse Anaphora. Ph.D. thesis, Harvard University.

Last updated 30 March, 1998.