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Embedded finite complements, indexical shift, and binding in Tsez


This report documents grammatical patterns associated with Tsez finite clauses that combine with the quotative enclitic =ƛin. Based on the distributional properties of such finite clauses and their co-occurrence with different matrix verbs, I suggest that the marker =ƛin is structurally ambiguous between a genuine quotative marker, marking direct speech, and a complementizer, heading finite clauses. In the former function, =ƛin can be compared to English like, go or all. The quotative =ƛin does not impose restrictions on the word order of the embedded clause and is compatible with a large set of verbs, including but not limited to verbs of speaking, cognition, and propositional attitude predicates. As a complementizer heading finite clauses, the marker =ƛin appears on clauses that are strictly predicate-final and attaches directly to that predicate. When selected by propositional attitude verbs, the finite complement clause becomes the context in which the interpretation of pronouns can undergo indexical shift. The Tsez pattern of indexical shift is in many ways similar to patterns of indexical shift reported for other languages. However, the description of this pattern also adds a novel generalization to the growing body of knowledge about indexical shifts: in Tsez, the shifted interpretation is made obligatory if the embedded clause includes a long-distance reflexive. This usage is particularly striking given that the binder in the matrix clause and the bindee do not match in person.

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