The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Experimentalist Meeting 3/6 - Agnes Bi (MIT)

Speaker: Agnes Bi (MIT)
Title: Resumptive pronouns and how to interpret them
Time: Friday, March 6th, 2pm – 3pm
Location: 32-D831

Abstract: There are at least two broader classes of resumptive pronouns cross-linguistically: (I) grammatically licensed resumptives that are subject to various syntactic locality constraints, and (II) processor resumptives that are utilized as a last-resort strategy responding to extra-grammatical factors such as distance and complexity. It is generally assumed English has only the latter type. I start with the observation that in select constructions, English does seem to have resumptives which show the syntactic behavior on par with grammaticality licensed resumptives across languages: specifically, the such-that relative. In this work in progress, I explore a hypothesis that resumptive pronouns are in fact generated in the grammar of English and become degraded due to separate mechanisms. I’d like to discuss the experiment design and (hopefully) some preliminary results.