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Semantic binding of long-distance anaphor caki in Korean

From: Language
Volume 88, Number 4, December 2012
pp. 764-790 | 10.1353/lan.2012.0075



In this article, we consider the binding-theoretic status of the Korean long-distance anaphor caki. While caki has been called a long-distance anaphor, in reality its antecedent can be found locally as well as at a distance. It can also have a non-c-commanding antecedent, and an antecedent from a previous sentence. Though there are many different approaches to caki, what is apparent is the generalization that caki must be coindexed with an NP/DP if there is a possible antecedent in the syntax. We take this one step further and show that caki must be bound if there is a possible binder in the semantics, using examples where caki is bound by implicit arguments coming from reportative evidentials and generics/modals. We argue that this generalization is best captured if caki is seen as a bound variable requiring a semantic binder, and demonstrate how this bound-variable analysis can provide a unified account for local, long-distance, and discourse-bound instances of caki, as well as instances of caki with a non-c-commanding antecedent and those bound by an implicit argument. The residual cases where caki has no possible semantic binder are treated as instances of exempt anaphora, free variables, the felicity of which are subject to discourse conditions.*

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