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Binding Complexity and the Status of Pronouns in English and Asl

Abner, Natasha, and Thomas Graf

Abstract We have argued in previous work based on data from English that Principle B is suspended in all those contexts that would allow for an unbounded number of pronouns to occur within a single binding domain. American Sign Language seems to contradict this generalization. We show that these are not true counterexamples as they involve discourse binding rather than syntactic binding. This suggests a profound difference in the mechanisms that mediate binding in English and ASL.

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  author    = {Abner, Natasha and Graf, Thomas},
  title     = {Binding Complexity and the Status of Pronouns in English
          and ASL},
  year      = {2012},
  note      = {Poster presented at Formal and Experimental Advances in
          Sign Language (FEAST), June 1--2, University of Warsaw,
          Warsaw, Poland}