An Unexpected Case of Indexical Shift in Marathi

Shweta Akolkar
University of California, Berkeley
Wed May 15th 2024, 2:00 - 3:30pm
Margaret Jacks Hall, Greenberg Room (Room 126)

Marathi (Southern Indo-Aryan) is described as having a long-distance anaphor, āpaṇ, which in argument positions must be coreferent with a non-local subject (Wali et al. 1991, Pandharipande 1998). It has not previously been noted that there is a perspectival component to the semantics of long-distance āpaṇ: it is licensed only in attitude reports, where it refers de se to the attitude holder. More surprisingly, no clausemate of āpaṇ can be interpreted de re: names, definite descriptions, and properties must be read de dicto, and tense must be interpreted de se. Yet the āpaṇ clause remains transparent to syntactic operations, like wh-dependencies and NPI licensing, and therefore resists a quotation analysis. I account for its properties by pursuing an operator-driven context shift analysis (Anand & Nevins 2004, Anand 2006, Deal 2020, a.o.), where āpaṇ itself is a special type of shifted author-addressee indexical. The strict prohibition on de re is due to an operator in the clausal left periphery which imposes a requirement that the attitude holder assent to the reported proposition at the time and world of the attitude.