First-year graduate student Beryl Bui presented her work on Vietnamese anaphora at the 32nd Southeast Asian Linguistics Society conference (SEALS 32).
Her work, “Shifted anaphors in Vietnamese,” was her Master’s Thesis at the University of Rochester. Find her abstract below:
Title: Shifted anaphors in Vietnamese
Abstract: This paper investigates the phenomenon of shifted anaphors in Vietnamese. Vietnamese has the same usage of anaphors as English in which the anaphor agrees with the antecedent in φ-features (person, gender, and number). Besides the agreeing anaphors, there is also a dedicated anaphor mình. It is used with antecedents of all phi-features. This dedicated anaphor is homophonous with the first-person pronoun. My proposal is that the anaphor may enter agreement with either the antecedent or with the operator in the specifier position of the perspectival phrase (PerspOp), giving us either the agreeing anaphor or the dedicated anaphor mình. PerspOp is first-person, which accounts for the homophony between mình and the first-person pronoun. [φ: 1SG] ↔ mình. I also propose index sharing via agreement between the anaphor and PerspOp which causes the change in perspective: sentences with mình are from the subject’s perspective, while sentences with agreeing anaphors are from the speaker’s perspective. The possible forms of subject clitics in Vietnamese sentences provide further evidence for the account of mình: the subject clitic can be either the agreeing one or mình. Again, we will see that the subject clitic can be valued either by the subject or by the first-person operator.