Title: The NP-Strategy for Expressing Reciprocity: History and Semantics
Abstract: My paper focuses on the NP-strategt for expressing reciprocity. Constructions are included under this category based on two criteria: 1) They share the same range of uses (to be demonstrated); 2) The encoding is non-verbal, i.e., verbs in the relevant constructions are transitive (unlike verbal encoding of reciprocity). Thus, (1a), a reciprocal sentence, which denotes a symmetric relation between its participants has the same predicate and argument structure as (1b):
It has been repeatedly noted that cross-linguistically the same NP-expressions that encode symmetric relations (e.g., English each other) express other relations where strong reciprocity is impossible (Fiengo & Lasnik 1973, Dougherty 1974, Lichtenberk 1985, Dalrymple et al. 1998, Williams 1991, Beck 2001, Haas 2010, Evans et al. 2011). For example, the following sentence does not express a symmetric relation:
(2) They were hiding behind each other.
The situation of having different semantic functions for different sentences raises the following questions, phrased by Dougherty (1974: 18-19): “How is a specific input lined to a specific output? That is, what is the rule of semantic interpretation for each other sentences?… how specific interpretation (or range of interpretations) is assigned to an arbitrary sentence”.