Work Papers of the Summer Institute of Linguistics, University of North Dakota Session




Many of the Zapotecan languages have a unique way of signalling coreference between the subject and the possessor of the object: the subject is null. Such a construction is upsidedown or backwards from commonly described anaphora constructions and its analysis is therefore problematic to current theories. This paper describes the construction and underlines the theoretical problem by arguing against any obvious alternative analyses. An analysis is proposed where it is the tail (rather than the head) of the chain of coreferent elements that is identified, suggesting that this is another place where parameterization is needed.

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