Journal of East Asian Linguistics

, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 157–206 | Cite as

Reflexive binding: awareness and empathy from a syntactic point of view

  • Taisuke Nishigauchi


In this paper we develop an analysis of reflexive binding involving the reflexive zibun in Japanese. We argue that the reflexive zibun is bound in a minimal domain defined by the POV (point of view) feature, which entails that zibun requires local binding. In what appears to be a case of long distance binding, zibun is in fact locally bound by pro that occupies Spec of the POV projection, which is open to control by a Sentient focus or an Empathy Focus depending the nature of the POV head. This accounts for the different behaviors of the reflexive zibun with respect to the Awareness condition and Empathy. The analysis also has empirical consequences for subject orientation and the Blocking Effect with reflexive binding.


Reflexive binding Logophoricity Empathy POV projections Blocking effect 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Program in Linguistic SciencesKobe Shoin Women’s University Graduate SchoolKobeJapan

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