# Introduction. Number, Person, and Bound Variables. Number, Person and Bound Variables June 7-8, Hotze Rullmann 1

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1 Number, Person, and Bound Variables Hotze Rullmann University of British Columbia Workshop Between You and Me Radboud Universiteit, Nijmegen June 7-8, 2010 The traditional view Introduction Number: [Sg] pronouns range over singular entities [Pl] pronouns range over plural entities Person: 1 st & 2 nd person pronouns are pure indexicals [1 st ] refers to the speaker [2 nd ] refers to the addressee 2 Problems for the traditional view Plural pronouns as bound variables over singular entities: All candidates think they can win the elections x(candidate(x) x thinks that x can win) Local pronouns as bound variables ranging over nonspeech act participants: Only I got a question I understood x(x got a question x understood x = speaker) Syntactic approaches to such problems: The person/number features on bound-variable pronouns are not semantically interpreted (fake indexicals, fake plurals) These features are there for purely syntactic reasons (e.g., agreement) Posit a syntactic feature manipulation mechanism Feature checking (e.g. von Stechow 2003) Feature transmission (e.g. Kratzer 1998, 2008; Heim 2005/07) Plural local pronouns as bound variables: We all think we can win the elections x(x WE x thinks that x can win) 3 4 Hotze Rullmann 1

2 Some challenges to syntactic approaches Split antecedent cases Mary told John that they should invest in the stock market. Every woman told her husband that they should invest in the stock market. Every man told each of his girlfriends that they were going to get married. Quantified cases (Rullmann 2004): Every woman I date wants us to get married. x[[woman(x) date(me,x)] x wants x and ME to get married] Whenever I share an apartment with a woman, we end up arguing about household chores. Each of my ex-wives pretended that we were a happy couple. Partee (1989): John often comes over for Sunday brunch. Whenever someone else comes over too, we (all) end up playing trios. (Otherwise we play duets.) 5 Every woman you ever dated still thinks that you (guys) were a happy couple. [Man speaking to all his ex-wives:] Each of you expected me to take care of our children. 6 Each of us Goals of this talk Each of us thinks we re smart 3 rd person singular (think-s) but binds 1 st person plural pronoun (we) Provide a semantic account of the bound-variable uses of local pronouns. Explain differences between 1 st and 2 nd person 7 8 Hotze Rullmann 2

3 1 st person: only pl can be bound variable We all think we re smart We denken allemaal dat we slim zijn # We all think I m smart # We denken allemaal dat ik slim ben 2 nd person: both pl and sg can be bound variable (in Dutch) You (guys) all think you (guys) are smart. Jullie denken allemaal dat jullie slim zijn You guys all think you re smart Not covered in this talk focus-driven cases: Only I got a question I understood (Heim) I am the only one who takes care of my children (Kratzer) context shifting (monsters) gender Jullie denken allemaal dat je slim bent you(pl) think all that you(sg) smart are You guys all think you are smart Outline number in bound variables 1 st person bound variables 2 nd person bound variables Why the difference between 1 st and 2 nd? Number in bound variables What does bound-variable they range over? Pluralities/groups Most people who think they have common interests become friends Singular individuals All the candidates think they can become Prime Minister (i.e., Rutte thinks that Rutte can become PM, Cohen thinks that Cohen can become PM, Wilders thinks that Wilders can become Prime Minister, etc.) 11 Both at the same time! None of the students think they can solve the problem. 12 Hotze Rullmann 3

4 Number in bound variables: analysis Summary of Rullmann (2003) Basic idea: They ranges over sets, including singleton sets In cases where they appears to range over individuals, it really ranges over singleton sets. D e = SING PLUR where SING = D and PLUR = Pow + (D) Singular pronouns range over members of SING. Plural pronouns range over members of PLUR. Singular quantifiers (every/no student) quantify over members of SING. Plural quantifiers (all/no/many/most students) quantify over members of PLUR. 13 In principle, this predicts number agreement between quantifier and pronouns that it binds. Set indices to account for: Split antecedents Every woman 1 told [each of her 1 boyfriends] 2 that they {1,2} should get married Singular they Everyone 2 thinks they {2} are smart This analysis of number can be extended to local pronouns: [Each of us] 2 thinks we {2} are smart 14 1 st person bound variables We behaves much like they We all think we re smart We all think we can become prime minister each of us Each us thinks we can win the elections 15 Each of us (1)Each of us -- and the Florida Supreme Court has said this -- has a right to control our own body. Terri Schiavo's husband allows her family to visit, CNN.com, Thursday, October 23, 2003 Google search: (2)But each of us, as an individual, faces our own edge. (3)THE BANK TELLER explores the desire within each of us to overcome our isolation and to see and be seen by the other in a relation of authentic connectedness. (4)Each of us has experienced a strong sense of pride as an educator when a student says that we did an excellent job of teaching and motivating him or her to learn. (5)Each of us has our own philosophy regarding how to help India. (6)Each of us must climb our separate mountain To reach at last our own extended view 16 Hotze Rullmann 4

5 Plural quantifiers: (1)Most of us as men are experts on women, until we marry one. (2)Most of us have moments when we forget where we left the car keys or forget what we went to the grocery store for. (3)Meniere's Disease is a progressive, incurable disease, but none of us can predict the progression of the disease in us. (4)Many of us can point to one individual who has changed our life. (5)If we are honest few of us like the signs of aging in our body. 17 Third person pronouns bound by each of us etc. singular (1) Each of us bears his own Hell. (Virgil) (2) Are not all of these men who are speaking Galileans? Yet each of us hears them speaking in his own tongue about the marvels God has accomplished. (Acts 2) (3) None of us will ever accomplish anything excellent or commanding except when he listens to this whisper which is heard by him alone. (Ralph Waldo Emerson) (4) None of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. (Romans 14:7-9) plural (5)From within, each of us emits a light a fragment of themselves to others. 18 Some Dutch data (1)Elk van ons zou zover moeten komen dat we dat op zijn minst kunnen toegeven. Each of us should get to the point where we can at least admit that. (2)Elk van ons heeft een natuurlijke apotheek (of drugsstore) in ons lichaam. Each of us has a natural pharmacy (or drugstore) in our body. 1 st person bound variables: analysis Recapitulating: Floated quantifier or implicit distributive operator: We each/both/all/dist think we can win the nomination Quantificational determiner + of us: Each/All/Most/None of us think(s) we can win the nomination Basic idea of the analysis: The deictic occurrence of we/us picks out a set of individuals that includes the speaker 19 The bound-variable occurrence of we ranges over (possibly singleton) subsets of that set 20 Hotze Rullmann 5

7 Binding by implicit wide-scope quantifier De mensen die op ons gestemd hebben hoopten dat we premier zouden worden. The people who voted for us hoped that we would become the PM. x (x WE the people who voted for x hoped that x would become PM) Why I can t be a bound variable ( except for focus cases) # [Each of us] 8 thinks I 8 m smart Semantics for I: I i c,g = g(i) if g(i)=speaker(c) (otherwise undefined) I does not involve R c. It can only refer to the speaker nd person bound variables With special thanks to Kees de Schepper! In Dutch, both plural jullie and singular je can be bound variables. Plural: Jullie denken allemaal dat jullie slim zijn you(pl) think all that you(pl) smart are You guys all think you guys are smart. Singular: Jullie denken allemaal dat je slim bent you(pl) think all that you(sg) smart are You guys all think you are smart. sg pl full jij/jou/jouw jullie reduced?? Semantically je functions as the reduced counterpart of plural jullie, even though morphosyntactically it is singular. je Hotze Rullmann 7

8 Evidence from non-bound-variable cases: In isolation, singular interpretation strongly preferred: Je bent te laat. You re too late But when it has jullie as an antecedent, it can be interpreted as plural: Jullie hebben het steeds uitgesteld, en nu ben je te laat. You guys kept postponing it, and now you are too late Can the full sg 2 nd pronouns (jij / jou / jouw) get a boundvariable interpretation? Note that bound-variables generally prefer to be weak need to create a contrast [Context: question in party leaders debate] Ik heb een hypothetisch scenario voor jullie: stel, JOUW partij wordt straks de grootste. Vinden jullie dan dat JIJ de premier moet worden? (Kees de Schepper) I have a hypothetical scenario for you guys: suppose YOUR party is going to win the most seats. Do you guys think that YOU should become the prime minister? Judgement not very clear Real-life example (found by Kees): als ik een soldaat zou zijn [...] dan had ik ze ALLEMAAL afgeschoten. als ik dit had gekund, denken jullie dat jij dit niet had gedaan If I were a soldier [ ] then I would have shot them all. If I had been able to do this, do you (pl.) think you (sg.) would not have done this? Why is the 2 nd person different? Historical development jij originally plural replaced the original 2 nd person singular du jullie < je lui you people developed as the new plural compare English you guys Hotze Rullmann 8

9 jullie < je lui ( you guys ) Disambiguation as plural only necessary for the first occurrence of the pronoun In English, repeating you guys still seems awkward:?you guys said you guys would be here You guys said you would be here Jullie zeiden dat jullie zouden komen Jullie zeiden dat je zou komen A difference between English and Dutch You is morphosyntactically underspecified (or ambiguous) between sg and pl Jij / je is always morphosyntactically singular Ik lach Jij lach-t Hij/Zij/Het lach-t Wij lach-en Jullie lach-en Zij lach-en I laugh You laugh He/She/It laugh-s We laugh You laugh They laugh Additional factors to explain why 2 nd person sg is more prone to a boundvariable interpretation than 1 st person sg. 2 nd person more easily shiftable within the same utterance: I want to see you, you, and you #You have to talk to me, me, and me Stephen Wechsler s observation yesterday: a singular 2 nd person pronoun can be used with multiple addressees Generic use of 2 nd person If you win the elections, you will become prime minister Ambiguous: - contextually determined set x(x YOU-GUYS if x wins the elections, x will become PM) - generic GEN(x) (if x wins the elections, x will become PM) [teacher to class:] Schrijf je naam op het papier Write your (sg.) name on the paper 35 The two readings are quite similar (even more so if we adopt Sarah Zobel s analysis of generic you) 36 Hotze Rullmann 9

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