Schlenker, Philippe. 2005. "Minimize Restrictors! (Notes on Definite Descriptions, Condition C and Epithets)". Appeared in Bary, Huitink and Maier (eds),  Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 2004, 385-416

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Abstract: Following a general line explored by Bolinger, Reinhart, Levinson and Schein, we seek to derive Condition C of the Binding Theory from a Gricean maxim of minimization (Minimize Restrictors!),  which specifies that a definite description the A B is deviant if A could be dropped without affecting (i) the denotation of the description, and (ii) its various pragmatic effects. Thus the small (American) President is deviant if it is assumed that there is a single (American) President, as small contributes neither to (i) nor to (ii). By contrast, the stupid (American) President is entirely natural: although stupid does not affect (i), it contributes pragmatic information about the speaker's (negative) attitude towards the denotation of the description. If pronouns are treated as short descriptions and if the semantics is set up in a slightly non-standard fashion, Part (i) of Minimize Restrictors! can derive the standard cases of Condition C. Furthermore, Part (ii)  accounts for some exceptions to Condition C. First, an element may contribute expressive information about the speaker's attitude towards the denotation of the description, as is the case of epithets (e.g. the idiot expresses the speaker's negative attitude towards the person in question). Second, an element may serve a disambiguating function, as is the case in long sentences in which a definite description is acceptable in violation of Condition C; this is the case of the linguist in: [A linguist working on Binding Theory]i  was so devoid of any moral sense that hei forced [a physicist working on particles]k  to hire [the linguist's]i girlfriend in hisk lab.