Exceptions to Principle C
 

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Exceptions to Principle C

This page shows data which would be considered exceptions to Principle C, according to standard approaches to binding theory (see Project Description for a brief discussion of the motivation for the collection of this data).

The exceptions are sorted under the categories below, based on the effect that the choice of the offending definite descriptions might have over pronouns:

This will be followed by a few examples of configurations which may well be restricted by Principle C (see [94]), although not usually discussed in the binding literature as being as such:

 

RELATED PAGES

 

Principle C Controls has data showing that Principle C does apply in the languages discussed here (indicating that exceptions in this page are indeed exceptional).
 
Local Violations of Principle C has a few examples indicating that exceptions to Principle C seem to be restricted to non-local binding.
 
Exceptions to Principle C and Attitude Reports shows some preliminary data indicating that exceptions are worse when binding occurs accross attitude reports.
 
the great man. [29]

(4) Grandma is so blind that the old bat can’t watch TV. [29]

(5) John ran over a man (who was) trying to give the idiot directions. [29]

(6) Through an accumulation of slipups, John (inadvertently) led his students to conclude that the idiot couldn’t teach. [29] 


[Note: [94] repots that example (6) is slightly degraded for a couple of speakers) ]

(7) My brotheri invests in many projects that the idioti thinks will make him rich.  [C3: 204f]

(8) He invests in many projects that the idiot thinks will make him rich. [C3: 204f]

The examples below seems to indicate that there is no exception when the attitude expressed by the epithet is not novel in the discourse:

(9) a. John Paul II was so popular that thousands of people waited for days to see the great man. [ based on example in 94]

b. John Paul II, who was a great man, was so popular that thousands of people waited for days to see the great man.

 

French

  

(10)De Gaulle méprisait les personnes qui suivaient

    De Gaulle despised the people who followed

    aveuglément [le/ce grand homme]

    blindly him this great man.

    'De Gaulle despised the people who followed the great man.'

    [C4]

 

The following examples shows another restriction on the exceptional behavior of epithets (there is a violation of principle C when the epithet is the possessor):

 

(11) a. De Gaulle a toujours méprisé les personnes qui suivaient

        De Gaulle has always despised the people who followed

        aveuglément ce grand homme.

        blindly this great man.

        'De Gualle has always despised the people who followed the     great man.'

       b. ??De Gaulle a toujours méprisé les partisans de ce grand

            De Gaulle has always despised the followers of this great

            homme

            man.

         'De Gaulle has always despised the followers of the great         man' [C4]

Brazilian Portuguese

(12) O Joao/ Elee t ̃ao burro que o idiota vai acabar tendo um

       The John/ He is so stupid that the idiot will end up having an

        acidente um dia desses.

 accident one of these days

       ' John/he is so stupid that he will end up having an accident             one of these days'


(13)O Joao/ Ele gosta de gente que maltrata o idiota.

The John/he likes of people that mistreat the idot.

'John/ he likes people who misteat him.'


(14)O Joao/ ele contratou uma secretaria que odeia o idiota.

The John/ he hired a secretary that hates the idiot.

'John/ he hired a secretary that hates the idiot.'

 

(15)O Joao gosta de gente que maltrata o idiota.

       The John liked of people that mistreat the idiot.

'John/he likes people who mistreat the idot.'


(16)O Joao Paulo II sempre respeitava as pessoas que

       The John Paul II always respected the people that

      discordavam do grande homem.

disagreed of-the great man.

'John Paul II always respected the people who disagreed with the great man.'

 

(17)Ele/ O meu irmao investe em muitos projetos que o idiota

      He/ the my borther invests in many projects that the idiot

     acha que vai fazer ele ficar rico.

thinks that go make ele stay rich.

'He/ My brother invests in many projects that the idiot thinks that will make the idiot become rich.'

 

As in French (cf. 11), a possessor epithet incurrs a Principle C violation (though note that (18a) is not perfect):

 

(18) a. ?O Papa sempre amou as pessoas que seguiam

            The Pope always loved the people who followed

            o grande homem.

            the great man.

            'The Pope has always noved the people who followed the             great man.'


b. ??O Papa sempre amou os seguidores do grande homem.

       The Pope always loved the followers of-the great man.

'The Pope has always loved his followers.'

 

As in English (cf. 9), the exception disappears when the attitude expressed by the epithet is not novel:

 

(19)a.O Joao Paulo II era tao popular que milhares de pessoas

         The John Paul II was so popular that thousands of people

          esperaram dias pra ver o grande homen.

     waited days to see the great man.

    'John Paul II was so popular that thousands of people waited     for days to see the great man.'


b.??O Joao Paulo II , que foi um grande homen, era tao popular que

        The John Paul II who was a great man was so popular that

        milhares de pessoas

        thousands of people

        esperaram dias pra ver o grande homen.

   waited days to see the great man.

    'John Paul II, a great man, was so popular that thousands of     people waited for days to see the great man.'

 

Georgian

(20)Joni/is iseti udardeli-a rom imdebils tsudi-ramemouva.

            'John is so careless that something bad will happen to the idiot.'
 
 

TITLES / FORMAL SPEECH

English

(21)The usher promised George Bush that the president would not be disturbed by any fans.

 

Portuguese

(22)A recepcionista prometeu o Lula que o presidente nao

The receptionist promised the Lula that the president not

seria incomodado.

would.be bothered.

'The president promised Lula that the president would not be bothered.'


(23)A Rainha convida os convidados de sua alteza a

The queen invites the guests of your highness to-the

sala de jantar.

      room of dinner.

      'The Queen invites her highnesse's guests to the dinning room.'


French

Unlike the speaker attitude cases, there is no violation, even with Possessors:

 

(24)[Annoucement during an international summit]

            Le Roi de Transsylvanie invite les ministres de Son

            The King of Transylvania invites the ministers of His

            Altesse à le rejoindre en Salle Rosa Luxemburg.

            Highness to him join in Room Rosa Luxemburg.

            'The King of Transylvania invites the ministers of his highness to             join him at the Rosa Luxemburg Room.' [C4]

 

        b. Le Roi de Transsylvanie fera trancher le cou de toute

            The King of Transsylvania will.make slice the neck of any

            personne qui portera atteinte à l'honneur de Son Altesse.

            person who will undermine the honor of Her Highness.

            'The King of Transylvania will decapitate any person who                     undermines the hounor of his highness.' [C4]

 

RELATED CASES

English

The following example is not an epithet or a title, but it may have in common with those cases the fact that it might be used to highlight some usual property of John:

 

(25) a. He then did what John always did in such situations

            b. *He then did what John had done half an hour earlier. [C1]
           
 

Portuguese

The same seems to occur in Portuguese:

(26) a. Ai ele fez o que o Joao sempre faz nessas situacoes.

             b. *Ai ele fez o que o Joao tinha feito meia-hora antes.
                (Translation of (27))
 

Disambiguation and related cases

 
 

English

(27)a. A linguist specializing in Binding Theory was so devoid of any moral sense that he forced a physicist [specializing inparticles] to hire the linguist's girlfriend in his lab.

    b. A linguist specializing in Binding Theory was so perverse     that he forced a physicist [specializing in particles] to hire the         physicist's girlfriend in his lab.

c. ??A linguist specializing in Binding Theory was so devoid of any moral sense that he forced me to hire the linguist's girlfriend in his lab.

d. ??A linguist specializing in Binding Theory was so devoid of any moral sense that he forced a physicist [specalizing inparticles] to hire a friend of the linguist specializing in Binding Theory in his lab. [94]

(28)John Smith was so devoid of any moral sense that he forced Peter Smith to hire John's girlfriend in his lab. [94]

 

French

(29)Un linguiste spécialiste de la théorie du liage était tellement dénué de tout sens moral qu'il a forcé un physicien [spécialiste des particules] à embaucher la copine du linguiste / de ce linguiste dans son labo. (Translation as in 23a.) [C4]


(30) Jean Dupont était tellement dénué de tout sens moral qu'il a forcé Pierre Dupont à embaucher la copine de Jean dans son labo. (Translated as in 24) [C4]

 

The following example shows that disambiguation doesn't always lead to an exception of Principle C: 

 

(31)Il y avait là un petit homme, Dupont, et un grand homme,

There was there a small man, Dupont, and a big man.

Durand...

Durand

....#Durandi méprisait les personnes qui suivaient

Durand despised the people who followed

aveuglément ce grand homme.

        him the big man.
 
 

Avoidance of bound reading

    (32)I know what John and Bill have in common. John thinks that Bill is            terrific and Bill thinks that Bill is terrific. [33]

(33)Look fathead, if everyone loves Oscar's mother, then certainly Oscar must love Oscar's mother. [33]

(34)Everyone has finally realized that Oscar is incompetent. Even he has finally realized that Oscar is incompetent. [33]

       (35)a. I know what Bill and Mary have in common. Mary adores Bill                  and Bill adores Bill too.

             b. Everybody is expecting Begin to resign soon. Even he                          himself looks sometimes like he is expecting Begin to resign                  soon. [78]

        (36)a. Only Churchill remembers Churchill giving the speech about                   blood, sweat, toil and tears.

               b. Only Felix voted for Felix.

               c. Despite the big fuss about Felix's candidacy, when we                            counted the votes we found out that in fact only Felix                             himself voted for him. [C2: 134]

Other cases of easier identifiability of the referent

        (37)‘The company said it plans to use the sale proceeds to invest                 in business opportunities more closely identified with the                     company‘s refocused direction.’                                                         (http://www.cs.ualberta.ca/lindek/650/Slides/coref.ppt.)

        (38) ‘ABC applauded the new contract which gave the network                     more flexibility.’                                                                                 (http://www.cs.ualberta.ca/ lindek/650/Slides/coref.ppt.)

 

Overlapping reference

French

Overlapping reference seems to be ok in the example below (where 'the Clintons' includes Hilary Clinton):

(39)Les Clintons sont tous les deux persuadés que Hilary sera

The Clintons are all the two persuaded that Hilary will.be

élue en 2008.

elected in 2008. [C4]

 


(40) Les 7 nains sont tous persuadés que le plus jeune

The 7 dwarves are all persuaded that the more young

d'entre eux parviendra à épouser Blanche-Neige.

of-between them will.manage to marry White-Snow

'The 7 dwarfs are all convinced that the youngest of them will manage to marry Snow-white.' [C4]

 

However, notice that overlapping reference seems to trigger a violation to (39), if the last name 'Clinton' is repeated:


(41) #Les Clintons sont tous les deux persuadés que Hilary

        The Clintons are all the two persuaded that Hilary

        Clinton sera élue en 2008.

        Clinton will.be elected in 2008. [C4]

 

Presentational Setences

Presentational sentences form a nother group of sentences which appear to provide exceptions to Principle C (although there are treatments which revise the theory to exclude them, for example assuming that only presupposed coreference violates principle C [77][78][38][44]):


(42) A: Who is this man over there?

       B: He is Colonel Weisskopf. ([38])

 

(43) A: Is he John? (pointing to Bob)

       B: No, he is John.

Special Cases: First and Second Person

The following examples is considered to be due to Principle C like effects in [94]:


(44) *John is smart. (where John is coreferent with speaker)

(45) *Ann is smart. (where Ann is coreferent with the addressee)


If those cases are indeed to be grouped with other violations of Principle C, the following are exceptions (similar to the epithet cases above):


(46) Oh, don’t mind the old man...

(where the old man is co-referent with the speaker)

 

(47) ...and then this idiot goes and spoils it all...

(where the idiot is co-referent with the speaker)

 

        (48) Oh, does the little girl want to cry again?