|This thesis elaborates on a Minimalist, Agree-based analysis of the lexical and morphosyntactic factors that constrain sentence-internal anaphoric relations in the standard varieties of Peninsular/Castilian Spanish and European Portuguese. The focus lies on anaphoric relations that involve reflexive and non-reflexive object pronouns in clitic doubling structures and in the context of prepositional phrases.
The analysis is based on the probe-goal framework of Chomksy (2000 et seqq.). It provides a Minimalist account for the Anaphora Agreement Effect (Rizzi 1990) and a solution to the following problems; 1. Differently from clitic pronouns reflexive and non-reflexive strong pronouns are not in complementary distribution either in clitic doubling contexts or inside complement or adjunct PPs. 2. Strong pronouns (both reflexive and non-reflexive) are obligatorily doubled with a clitic in transitive structures. 3. The strong pronouns can be complemented by a so-called intensifier (Sp. mismo, EP próprio/mesmo which yields special effects with respect to the interpretation of the pronoun.
The central assumptions of the analysis are that reflexive and non-reflexive clitic doubling structures are syntactically transitive, and that phi-features on anaphoric pronouns that never introduce a semantic presupposition are syntactically expressed by means of a null feature value. The referential defectiveness of reflexive pronouns (clitic and strong) is thus expressed by means of null feature values, whereas the referential independence of non-reflexive pronouns is due to fully specified phi-feature values. Agree with null values is, by definition, vacuous and causes non-convergence at the interfaces. This assumption allows on the one hand to account for the fact that strong reflexive pronouns are barred from syntactic positions construed with agreement, and, on the other hand to account for the interpretative differences between clitic and strong pronouns in the following way. Differently from strong pronouns, reflexive and non-reflexive clitics enter into syntactic cliticisation, a process that is analysed, following Roberts (2010), as a probe-goal relation between the clitic and its verbal host. The null values of the reflexive clitics cause the respective matching features on the probe to remain unvalued. Crucially, the verbal host additionally enters into a checking relation with the external argument, creating a configuration in which, following Bjorkman & Zeijlstra (2014, 2019), the unvalued features on the probe/clitic are valued by the external argument (upward valuation). This valuation process establishes an agreement link between the external argument, the reflexive clitic, and its pronominal double. This agreement link translates into a reflexive predicate at the syntax-semantics interface and provides an explanation for the interpretative and structural properties identified by means of the following diagnostics: (i) the position of the sentence-internal antecedent, (ii) c-command, (iii) sentence-external antecedent, (iv) binding by a quantifier, (v) split-antecedent, (vi) VP ellipsis, and (vii) so-called only-contexts. The non-reflexive clitic undergoes cliticisation in the same way, but due to its fully valued phi-features no upward valuation is possible. An agreement link between the external argument and the clitic is impossible. This blocked agreement link translates into obligatorily disjoint reference at the syntax-semantics interface.
Thus, the interpretation of the clitics falls out as a consequence of Agree and is encoded syntactically in the sense of the economy hierarchy of Reuland (2011) and Reinhart (2006). But this economy hierarchy makes wrong predictions for the referential properties of strong pronouns inside prepositional phrases. The hierarchy prohibits an anaphoric dependency from being established by means of pragmatic coreference, whenever this dependency cannot be established by semantic binding. But this situation is given in Spanish and European Portuguese. Non-reflexive pronouns cannot be bound by a local DP antecedent, but they can corefer with it. This result calls for an alternative analysis that is outlined focussing on the effects of the intensifers mismo (Sp.) and próprio/mesmo (EP) on the interpretation of strong non-reflexive pronoun in Spanish and European Portuguese.