Messick colloquium Friday April 1st, 2022 at 3:30pm

Troy Messick (Rutgers University) will present, “Case-copying reflexives and reciprocals” as part of the Linguistics Colloquium Series on April 1st, 2022 at 3:30pm. The presentation will be held in-person and via Zoom. An abstract of the presentation follows. All are welcome!


In this talk, I provide an analysis of case-copying reflexives and reciprocals found in many of the world’s languages. As the name suggests, part of a case-copying reflexive or reciprocal “copies” its case from its antecedent. Take for example the Telugu reflexive in (1) and the Icelandic reciprocal in (2). In (1), the reflexive is made by doubling the element tanu and the second of the tanus appears in dative case, which is the same case as its antecedent. In (2) hvor (each) appears in nominative case, again the same as its antecedent. In the talk, I will provide minimal pairs that show that the antecedent’s case predicts the case features of these elements.

I argue that case-coping should be analyzed as an instance of morphosyntactic agreement in case features between these anaphors and their antecedents, hence providing evidence that at least some feature matching between an antecedent and a local anaphor is achieved via syntactic agreement. I also provide evidence from constituency and islands that these anaphors are not linked to their antecedents via overt or covert movement, and show how this analysis accounts for case agreement when the anaphor is embedded within a PP. The work reported here is being done with collaboration with Sreekar Raghotham (Rutgers University) and Gísli Harðarson (University of Iceland).