On the Acquisition of Pronominal Reference in Child—Greek

  • Spyridoula Varlokosta
  • Panayiota Karafoti
  • Varvara Karzi


The interpretation of ordinary pronouns, such as him in English, is syntactically constrained by Principle B of the Binding Theory (Chomsky, 1981, Chomsky, 1986). Essentially, what Principle B states is that if an NP c-commands a pronoun within the same clause, they cannot be coindexed, hence they cannot be anaphorically linked (Crain & Thornton, 1998). According to this constraint, him in (1) cannot refer to John:
  1. (1)

    John likes him

  1. a

    John; likes him; (John likes Bill)

  2. b

    *John; likes him; (John likes John)

Principle B also imposes restriction on the interpretation of pronouns that co-occur with quantificational (non-referential) NPs, as in (2):
  1. (2)

    No president hates him

  1. a

    No president, hates him, (No presidential hates Bill Clinton)

  2. b

    *No president, hates him, (No president hates himself)



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Spyridoula Varlokosta
    • 1
  • Panayiota Karafoti
    • 1
  • Varvara Karzi
    • 1
  1. 1.University of AthensAthensThe Hellenic Republic

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