The definite article and anaphoric possessors in Hungarian

Title: The definite article and anaphoric possessors in Hungarian
Source document: Linguistica Brunensia. 2017, vol. 65, iss. 2, pp. 21-33
  • ISSN
    1803-7410 (print)
    2336-4440 (online)
Type: Article
License: Not specified license

Notice: These citations are automatically created and might not follow citation rules properly.

The paper describes the grammar of anaphoric possessor strategies in Hungarian, and it outlines the framework of an analysis where the presence or absence of the definite article plays a crucial role in the determination of the referential dependency that anaphoric possessors are part of. The starting point is Reuland's (2007, 2011) conjecture that predicts that dedicated reflexive possessors are only available in languages that do not employ definite articles. Definite articles define a phasal domain, which determines the local syntactic context for binding. Hungarian, being a DP language where possessive phrases are known to include definite articles, does not have a dedicated reflexive possessor. It does, however, have a range of anaphoric possessor strategies, and the definite article shows an interesting distribution across these. The paper argues that in the presence of a definite article the possessive DP acts as a phase, and the dependency between the anaphoric possessor and its antecedent is not local. The definite article is absent in another set of anaphoric possessor strategies, which results in the possessor being licensed at the edge of the possessive DP. Following Despićʼs (2015) analysis proposed for other languages, I argue that anaphoric possessors of this latter type enter a local dependency with their antecedent in the embedding clause.
This paper is supported by the ÚNKP-16-4-III New National Excellence Program of the Ministry of Human Capacities.
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