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Linguistic Inquiry

Summer 2014, Vol. 45, No. 3, Pages 381-402
(doi: 10.1162/LING_a_00160)
@ 2014 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The Syntax of Monsters
Article PDF (1.23 MB)

We present novel data showing that indexicals, first and second person pronouns in particular, occurring in a certain kind of attitude report in Uyghur are interpreted with respect to the reported context (indexical shifting). While previous authors report similar shifted interpretations of indexicals in languages such as Amharic and Zazaki, we observe a unique feature of Uyghur indexical shifting: it is sensitive to structural positions of the indexical item, and as a consequence can be partial. We account for the structural sensitivity of Uyghur indexical shifting with a context-shifting operator (or monster) that is syntactically independent from the embedding attitude predicate.