How Resumptive Pronouns Ameliorate Island Violations

Ivy Sichel
UC Santa Cruz
Fri May 20th 2022, 1:30 - 3:00pm
Greenberg Room

Abstract: While some resumptive pronouns, in some languages, ameliorate island violations, not all do. This kind of variation highlights a set of questions about the nature of amelioration provided by resumptive pronouns in the cases in which it is observed. Early work (Chomsky 1977, Borer 1984) has argued that the repair is only indirect: resumptive pronouns are associated with a distinct, non-movement, derivation, in which an island violation is simply not incurred. The current paper revisits this conjecture in the context of later work which has repeatedly demonstrated the compatibility of resumption with movement derivations. This raises the possibility that resumption in islands, if similarly associated with a movement derivation, has an ameliorating effect due to some other, local surface mechanism related to the position in which the resumptive pronoun surfaces. New evidence for the non-movement approach is presented, based on a novel ambiguity among high resumptive pronouns in Hebrew.