The study of anaphoric expressions—especially reflexives and reciprocals—has played an increasingly important role in linguistic theory. Within the Extended Standard Theory, the central notions of government and binding have depended crucially on the proper understanding of anaphoric relations. A Grammar of Anaphora offers the most comprehensive and significant treatment of such phenomena currently available. Its theoretical and empirical investigation of the notions of anaphora and of binding in syntax should define the direction of research in this field for the next decade.
In Chomsky's Government-Binding (G-B) framework the relationship between an anaphoric expression and its antecedent is constrained by certain binding principles. This book argues that another kind of anaphoric relation exists, beyond those defined by Chomsky's framework. Its generalization of binding extends the theory so that it can solve various conceptual and empirical problems that it originally raised, and provides a unified explanation of seemingly unrelated phenomena in a host of constructions and languages. The book is also able to dispense with the Empty Category Principle which has been a major focus within G-B theory. It proposes instead a structural unification of the notions of pronouns, empty categories, and anaphors which leads to new insights in areas never treated in a coherent way before.
About the Author
Joseph Aoun is President of Northeastern University.
"A Grammar of Anaphora is a very fine book that takes a long step beyond recently published work. Not only is the work itself extremely important, but it is also very lucidly presented. In fact, the book could virtually offer an introduction (at a relatively advanced level) to recent work in the theory of government and binding."