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Title: Associative and Pronominal Plurality
Authors: Vassilieva, Maria Borisovna
Keywords: Indo-European Languages
Slavic Languages
Issue Date: 2005
Publisher: State University of New York at Stony Brook
Abstract: This study focuses on the internal structure of inclusory expressions such as pronouns, associative plurals, plural pronoun constructions and extended associatives. Plural pronouns such as ‘we’ are inclusory in the sense that they refer to a group that includes the speaker. Similarly, associative plurals refer to a group by naming just one of its members overtly. I argue that personal pronouns and associative plurals are complex nominal phrases with identical syntax andsemantics. Namely, I suggest that they are both headed by a (silent) pluralnominal that names the group as a whole. The person feature [+speaker] in ‘we’ and the named referent of associative plurals are definite/indexical modifiers which are in a part-whole relation with the plural head. Thus, associative plurals and personal pronouns are both interpreted as ‘X’s group’ (speaker’s group, in the case of ‘we’). Plural Pronoun Constructions and extended associatives involve a plural pronoun (or an associative plural, respectively) as well as a comitative phrase. The referent of the comitative phrase is interpreted as being included into the group denoted by the plural expression. For instance, the interpretation of thestring [we with Peter] is ‘I and Peter’. Traditionally, the role of the with-phrasehas been seen as clarifying the reference of a variable in the semantics of the pronoun. Namely, if ‘we’ is interpreted as ‘I plus other(s)’, then the role of the with-phrase is to specify who those others are. My analysis of plural pronouns does not treat them as ‘X + others’, but rather as ‘X’s group’. Therefore, I analyze Plural Pronoun Constructions and extended associatives as coordinate constructions in which one of the conjuncts interacts with the conjunction & ̊ in a way that leads to its being spelled out as a plural pronoun or an associative plural. The study focuses primarily on data from several Slavic languages (Bulgarian, Czech, Polish, Russian and Slovenian).
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