The next talk in our 2020-2021 McGill Linguistics Colloquium Series will be given by Peter Jenks (UC Berkeley) on Friday, October 16th at 3:30pm. The title of the talk is “Are indices syntactically represented?”. The abstract is below.

If you have not yet registered for the colloquium series, please do so here (you only need to register once for the 2020-2021 year).

Abstract: The status of indices in syntactic representations is unclear. While indices are frequently used for expository purposes, they have no syntactic status in the copy theory of movement (Corver & Nunes 2007) or Agree-based analyses binding phenomena (Reuland 2011, Vanden Wyngaerd 2011). In this talk I argue that the presence versus absence of indices explain language-internal splits in definiteness and pronouns in different languages, while the ability of names to violate condition C in Thai receives a natural explanation if we treat names in Thai but not English as contextually restricted indices. The resulting view is one where indices are a component of linguistic representations, but not all referential expressions contain them. This view is consistent with Tayna Reinhart’s approach to Conditions B and C (Grodzinsky & Reinhart 1993), and entails that indices should play a more important role in syntactic theory than they currently do.