Date of Completion


Embargo Period



syntax, morphology, semantics, agreement, pronouns, attitude reports, complementizers

Major Advisor

Željko Bošković

Associate Advisor

Jonathan Bobaljik

Associate Advisor

Magdalena Kaufmann

Associate Advisor

Susanne Wurmbrand

Field of Study



Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access


This dissertation investigates cross-linguistic variation in the domain of de se speech and attitude reports and argues for a number of novel generalizations. Chapter 2 introduces data from Telugu and Nuer to establish a new way to express de se attitudes. In both these languages, an embedded third person pronoun controls first person verbal agreement morphology. I propose a model where embedded pronouns can be simultaneously first and third person as advanced by Schlenker (2003) along with the view of syntax-morphology mapping where the morphology can express only a subset of the features present in the syntax. I generalize this system to account for all the previously noted variation in this domain including indexical shift, logophors, logophors that control first person agreement and languages like English that use a third person pronoun and agreement morphology. A previously unobserved typological gap in this domain is also noted. Chapter 3 shows that when a pronominal element is read de se, the most deficient possible element (in Cardeletti & Starke’s 1999 sense) must be used. This is shown to follow from a general constraint Minimize DP!. The chapter also establishes a typology regarding the type of elements that undergo indexical shift. Chapter 4 investigates the role of complementation in the licensing logophors and indexical shift. It is shown that the distribution of both is tied to acomplementizer etymologically related to the verb say. I propose an analysis in which only these complementizers introduce embedded contexts that license logophors and indexical shift, which has consequences for the locus of cross-linguistic variation in the domain under investigation