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Coreference and syntactic binding
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Possessive pronouns may be syntactically bound, but they cannot corefer with inanimate antecedents in different sentences. If inalienable possession is involved, the possessive pronoun must under certain conditions remain absent.

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The possessive pronoun for the 3SG.NT is homophonous with the 3SG.MSC. However, in case the antecedent is inanimate, the possessive pronoun is ungrammatical in certain cases. Instead, a postnominal Adposition Phrase (PP) is used, consisting of the R-pronounderit and the preposition fanof: derfanof it (thereof). The question arises when the possessive pronoun is used and when the PP is used. It seems that the possessive pronoun is freely available in case it is locally bound, that is, the possessive pronoun must occur in the same clause as its antecedent. For example, in case the possessor is contained in a direct object, and the antecedent is the subject in the same clause, then the possessor can be realised as a possessive pronoun, not as a PP:

Example 1

a. De blauwe laach hat syn kleur to tankjen oan it vivianyt
the blue layer has its colour to thank to the vivianite
The blue layer owes its colour to the vivianite
b. *De blauwe laach hat de kleur derfan to tankjen oan it vivianyt
the blue layer has the colour R.of to thank to the vivianite
The blue layer owes its colour to the vivianite

If the antecedent and the possessor occur in different sentences, syntactic binding is not possible, and the relation between antecedent and possessor can only be one of coreference. In such a case, the possessor must be realised as a PP, not as a possessive pronoun:

Example 2

a. Dêr is de blauwe laach. De kleur derfan wurdt teweibrocht troch it vivianyt
there is the blue layer the colour R.of is caused by the vivianite
There is the blue layer. Its colour is caused by the vivianite
b. *Dêr is de blauwe laach. Syn kleur wurdt teweibrocht troch it vivianyt
there is the blue layer his colour is caused by the vivianite
There is the blue layer. Its colour is caused by the vivianite

Quantified antecedents like alleseverything can syntactically bind their antecedent, but they cannot corefer with them, in contrast to referential Noun Phrases (NPs) such as proper names (example: JimmyJimmy and so on). Hence the use of the possessive pronoun is the only option:

Example 3

a. Alles hat syn plak en tiid
everything has his place and time
For everything there is a place and a time
b. *Alles hat it plak en tiid derfan
everything has the place and time R.of (of it)
For everything there is a place and a time

In case the antecedent is in a non-material relation of inalienable possession to the possessor, the possessor is regularly left unexpressed under coreference. An example is given below:

Example 4

Dêr is de blauwe laach. De kleur wurdt teweibrocht troch it vivianyt
there is the blue layer the colour is caused by the vivianite
There is the blue layer. Its colour is caused by the vivianite

In case the antecedent is in a material relation of inalienable possession, then the possessor is left unexpressed even if there is local binding, that is, antecedent and possessor occur within the same clause:

Example 5

a. Hy hat pine yn 'e rêch
he have pain in the back
His back hurts
b. ?Hy hat pine yn syn rêch
he have pain in the back
His back hurts

Leaving out the possessor sounds bad in the following example, which involves non-material possession:

Example 6

*De blauwe laach hat de kleur to tankjen oan it vivianyt
the blue layer has the colour to thank to the vivianite
The blue layer owes its colour to the vivianite

It may also be the case that frequency considerations or idiom considerations play a role in determining the choice between possessive pronoun and definite article.

References:
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