University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics


This paper investigates the phenomenon of the “subjunctive disjoint reference effect” or “obviation” in French. Object-Subject Obviation (OSO) occurs when the dative clitic object of a directive predicate cannot be coreferential with the subject of an embedded subjunctive clause. I propose to build on a previous account in which obviation results from an antilogophoricity effect arising from the co-occurrence of two logophoric centres within an embedded subjunctive clause: an expressive operator and the referent of the dative clitic. I also argue that obviation is best accounted for by competition theories and that subject-subject obviation (SSO), in the complement clauses of direc- tive predicates, in which the subject of the directive cannot be coreferential with the subject of the embedded subjunctive clause, is not a real instance of obviation.