Deriving the de re blocking effect
Deniz Satik
November 2020

This is a rough first draft, posted to solicit comments. This paper presents and attempts to account for novel empirical data from English in which the de re blocking effect–that an obligatory de se anaphor cannot be c-commanded by its de re counterpart–is attested. Although Anand (2006) is able to derive blocking within the same clause, it is shown, on the basis of experimental evidence, that there are cases in which blocking takes place across clause boundaries, both with the predicate dream and with PRO. Moreover, blocking takes place with PRO not due to locality, as has been claimed by both existing accounts, but rather due to the novel observation that de re pronouns cannot self-ascribe a property. To account for blocking in all of these cases, I propose to redefine the de re blocking effect in terms of θ-roles, based on evidence from the blocking being inverted in passives. The account presented here also provides novel evidence for the existence of PRO and control complements being properties.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/005550
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: To be submitted
keywords: de re, de se, de re blocking effect, dream, pro, control, theta-roles, semantics
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