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Detail of contribution

Auteur: Isabelle CHARNAVEL

A Unified Analysis of Iddi Terms (terms expressing identity and difference) based on French data (même 'same', différent 'different', autre 'other'...)

Abstract/Résumé: The goal of this paper is to provide a unified analysis for all constructions involving iddi terms based on French data. Beyond theoretical economy, the main motivation for this enterprise is empirical: in many different languages, a single word is used for 'same' under all its uses. The key of the analysis is to relate iddi terms to both comparatives (elided or not) and relational nouns (with implicit or explicit arguments). The different readings and constructions involving iddi terms are as follows (illustrated in English). (i) constructions with linker (same as; other than…) 1) Claire watched the same movie as Paul. (ii) constructions without linker (a) sentence-external readings: the element of comparison is sentence-external, whether anaphoric (cf. 2) or deictic. 2) Lucie went and watched 'Frida' yesterday. As for me, I watched a different movie. (b) sentence-internal readings: the element of comparison (e.g. Paul and Claire) is sentence-internal. 3) Paul and Claire watched a different movie. I first assume that iddi terms are relational: they take two arguments and establish a comparison between them. Then to account for all cases, I exploit two observations: first, relational nouns in general can take implicit arguments that are interpreted in several ways (like pronouns, reflexives or reciprocals); second, comparative constructions involve different kinds of ellipses. Thus I hypothesize that iddi terms can take relational DPs or comparative CPs as complements and both can involve silent elements. The construction with linker can be analyzed as a comparative construction. As predicted by the reduced clause analysis of comparative clauses, the whole clause except the relevant argument can be elided as in (1). In the construction without linker under the external reading (cf. 2), the iddi term selects for a silent pronominal DP just as relational terms do (e.g. the parents), and the value of the reference of the pronoun is given by the context. The implicit argument can also be interpreted as a reflexive or reciprocal just like relational nouns (e.g. neighbors). The sentence-internal reading (cf. 3) is a combination of the two previous cases: it involves both a silent element x interpreted as a reciprocal and an elided comparative clause. Furthermore, the fact that iddi terms are sensitive to syntactic factors - in particular islands - argues for a syntactic type of analysis. Thus when the licensor and the iddi term are in two different clauses and one of them occurs inside an island, the internal reading is not available: 4) #The same person is angry because every player lost. 5) # No player is angry because the same person lost.