Natural Language & Linguistic Theory

, Volume 35, Issue 2, pp 577–578 | Cite as

Erratum to: The representation of third person and its consequences for person-case effects


Erratum to: Nat Lang Linguist Theory (2007) 25:273–313 DOI10.1007/s11049-006-9017-2

This article has been published with the following errors: on page 278, three instances of ‘−singular’ should be ‘+singular’; on page 307, two instances of the symbol ∩ should be the symbol ∪. These issues are corrected below and should be regarded as the final version by the reader.

At the same time, I would not like to wholly discount the role of phonological similarity in providing a diachronic nudge for the morphologization of (15), and for phonological factors quite generally to provide a force in the grammaticalization of a formal morphological constraint such as (15). For example, consider the fact that amn’t is an impossible form in many dialects of British and North American English (Francis, 1985; Bresnan, 2001). This is arguably due to a synchronic filter banning the feature combination [+copula, +Pres, +neg, +Auth, +PSE, +singular] on a single syntactic node, which is resolved in various ways: in the dialect identified as “Nb 5” in Francis (1985) as isn’t (i.e., via deletion of [+Auth, +PSE]), while in North American English as aren’t (i.e. via deletion of [+singular]). On the other hand, the fact that amn’t is tolerated in the dialect identified as “Nb 1” in Francis (1985), and is even attested in children’s speech (as revealed by a search conducted on CHILDES1) suggests that there is no active phonological constraint against this form in English; if there were, it should be rescuable in the phonology, e.g., by epenthesis of a vowel, or by deletion of one of the two coda nasals (cf. autumnautumnal). Rather, certain dialects have arguably morphologized a ban on the feature combination [+copula, +Pres, +neg, +Auth, +PSE, +singular] and respond to this morphosyntactic filter through various morphological repairs (e.g., feature deletion). While phonological pressures may play a role in shaping the diachronic development of purely morphological filters, the claim is that the synchronic representation of the ban on *amn’t and the *le lo constraint is morphological in nature: a ban on morphological feature co-occurence.

The example (95) on page 307 should read:
  1. (95)

    Interpretive possibilities for Impersonal pronouns:

    {[+Participant, +Author] ∪ [+Participant, −Author]

    ∪[−Participant, −Author]}



  1. 1.
    The following three examples were culled from a search of every child in the database. Notably, none of their parents uttered amn’t in the database.
    1. a.

      Mummy I’m doing all it by myself amn’t I? [belfast/john07.cha:1435; age 4;4.1]

    2. b.

      I’m doing this puzzle well amn’t I? [macwhin/BOYS/boys67.cha:1464; age 3;11.18]

    3. c.

      Amn’t I clever? [macwhin/BOYS/boys67.cha:2292; age 3;11.18]


Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of LinguisticsHarvard UniversityCambridgeUK

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