Natural Language & Linguistic Theory

, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 57–111 | Cite as

Resumption in Relative Clauses*

  • Theodora Alexopoulou


The paper focuses on resumption in Greek relative clauses. It is argued that resumption arises on two occasions (i) as a last resort strategy when identification of φ-features of non-arguments fails; (ii) in the absence of a syntactic feature on C trigerring Agree/Move. In the first case obligatory resumption is restricted to non-argument positions and is sensitive to islands. This is the case of Greek null operator restrictive relatives. In particular, it is argued that identification requirements are grammaticised on Greek C (pu), which is endowed with φ-features. Failure of Agree of the φ-features of pu leads to resumption in non-argument positions. In questions and operator restrictive relatives identification requirements are straightforwardly satisfied by the presence of an overt operator; resumption therefore is never obligatory in these structures. In the second case, where resumption is the consequence of absence of a syntactic relation (agree/move) between C and the relativised site, resumption is obligatory in argument and non-argument positions (modulo the highest subject restriction) and insensitive to islands. Greek non-restrictive relatives and Semitic restrictive relatives exemplify this case


Artificial Intelligence Relative Clause Identification Requirement Syntactic Feature Relativised Site 
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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of LinguisticsUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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