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 ), although not usually discussed in the binding literature as being as such:
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.
These are cases where the use of a definite description makes explicit a particular property or speaker's attitude, which would not be highlighted by a pronoun. The example below seems to indicate no exception when the attitude expressed by the epithet is not novel:(3) John Paul II always respected the people who disagreed with
the great man. 
[Note:  repots that example (6) is slightly degraded for a couple of speakers) ]
(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.
(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.'
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
'De Gaulle has always despised the followers of the great man' [C4]
(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.
(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.'
(20)Joni/is iseti udardeli-a rom imdebils tsudi-ramemouva.'John is so careless that something bad will happen to the idiot.'
(21)The usher promised George Bush that the president would not be disturbed by any fans.
(22)A recepcionista prometeu o Lula que o presidente nao
The receptionist promised the Lula that the president not
'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.'
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]
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 situationsb. *He then did what John had done half an hour earlier. [C1]
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))
These are cases where the use of a definite description seems to aid the identification of the correct referent (avoiding ambiguity or confusion bourght by the use of a pronoun).
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. 
(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]
him the big man.
(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.)
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 ):
(48) Oh, does the little girl want to cry again?
If it turned out that cases like (47) should be unified with other cases of Principle C effects, then the following examples appear to be exception of the kind seen above (cf. epithets and disambiguation):
(51) Bob and John entered together. John sat down on the wrong spot. [C94]
Last updated July 08, 2007.