Binding Theory

Binding theory states the principles which describe how one noun or pronoun may determine the reference of another in the same context. For example, in the sentence
  • "James thinks Scrappy likes him"
the pronoun "him" cannot refer to Scrappy. Another example: In
  • "He likes Steven."
  • "He remembers that Kanzi likes Steven."
The noun phrase given by the pronoun "He" is fully referential; that is, it cannot be bound any local or non-local phrases (such as the phrase "Steven" in both sentences).

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