…on p 933, after arguing for a clausemate restriction on the Person Licensing Constraint (person features must agree with an active phi-probe in the same clause, but are fine on their own if there isn’t such a probe), he suggests that person arguments in certain PPs count as ‘in a separate clause’, using the example ‘…[near you]’. He mentions previous accounts which treat PPs like clauses for locality purposes, but doesn’t allude to the discussion of exactly parallel behavior for reflexive anaphors debated in detail by Reinhart and Reuland (‘John saw a snake near him/himself’). The pronoun is OK inside a PP when it wouldn’t be ok as a real clausemate of John; so is the reflexive though it would be required when John was a real clausemate. of course R&R’s (and lots of people’s) theories of anaphor distribution has everything to do with clausematehood, so this made my antennae go up; what if reflexive licensing is subject to something like the PLC (in some langauges), and hence the parallel behavior for PPs of this class?
Then one wonders why PPs of this class are special, and I am reminded again of the central puzzle of predicate and adjunct PPs, which is, why do PPs get to behave as arguments in some contexts (motion verbs, transfer verbs) and as adjuncts in others? (A puzzle pointed out to my by Barry Schein). I.e. sometimes they seem to satisfy functional application, behaving as arguments, and sometimes they seem to satisfy predicate modification, behaving as restrictors, and sometimes (consistent with being predicates that can do predicate modification with another predicate) they seem to be predicates of copular constructions. But in LOTS of languages, or at least in Hiaki, locative PPs at least always need verbs to do their work; there’s no predicate PPs; you can’t say “She’s [COPULA] in the room”; you need to say she’s standing/sitting/lying etc in the room, and so for every locational predicate. Is this because locative PPs are never predicates; they’re always arguments? and they always need a stative locative verb to select them? and in English it’s just null? If so, then non-clausemate behavior is predicted; the locative PP is always an argument of a null nonfinite verb (‘John saw a snake [[lying] near him]’, ‘She is [(standing) [in the room]]’, and hence the PLC doesn’t apply to their arguments. Hmmm