Natural Language & Linguistic Theory

, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 347–374 | Cite as

Anaphoric, pronominal and referential INFL

  • Isabelle Haïk

In Kikuyu, Hausa, Moore and Palauan, INFL alternates between a ‘realis’ form and an ‘irrealis’ form. It is argued that this alternation is explicable in terms of the binding theory. In Kikuyu, Hausa and Moore, INFL bears the features [±anaphor] and [±pronominal], which are utilized by this theory in accounting for the complementary distribution of its two forms. Variation among these three languages is attributed to the ability or inability of intermediate traces of wh-operators to act as binders. In Palauan, however, INFL is an r-expression. A paththeoretic account of INFL in this language is provided in which the realis form is treated as a proper name and the irrealis form as a variable.

I wish to thank Laurie Tuller, Réjean Canac-Marquis, Esther Torrego, Mireille Tremblay and four thorough anonymous reviewers for NLLT for their useful comments. Thanks also to Frederick Newmeyer for his very helpful contribution to the revision of this article, both in form and in content, and to Carol Georgopoulos for kindly providing me with crucial facts about Palauan.


Artificial Intelligence Complementary Distribution Realis Form Binding Theory Helpful Contribution 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Isabelle Haïk
    • 1
  1. 1.UQAM, dép. de linguistiqueMontréalCanada

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