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Author ORCID Identifier


Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program


Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Kyle Johnson

Second Advisor

Rajesh Bhatt

Third Advisor

James Cathey

Subject Categories

Linguistics | Morphology | Semantics and Pragmatics | Syntax | Typological Linguistics and Linguistic Diversity


This dissertation investigates the morpho-syntactic makeup of personful expressions
in natural language; special focus is given to referential uses of personal pronouns. The central thesis guiding the inquiry is that utterance contexts, which serve to fix the semantic values of person indexicals, are specifically a kind of centered situation. This treatment of contexts puts restrictions on what kinds of person features are definable, and the resulting inventory of such features (in conjunction with independently-motivated pragmatic constraints on the use of referential expressions) provides a novel explanation for the typology of person systems.


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.