Government and the Connection between Relative Pronouns, Complementizers and Subjacency

  • Randall Hendrick
Part of the Studies in Natural Language and Linguistic Theory book series (SNLT, volume 14)


This chapter studies relative pronouns in UG with special attention to Welsh and Breton. Unlike other pronouns, relative pronouns have not been investigated extensively. Furthermore, the preverbal particle a in Welsh and Breton has been a source of some confusion and debate. Some scholars regard it as a complementizer while others treat it as a relative pronoun.


Relative Clause Embed Clause Argument Position Relative Pronoun Binding Theory 
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Notes to Chapter 5

  1. 4.
    My point here seems to parallel that made in Chomsky (1981, p. 80) and elsewhere.Google Scholar
  2. 10.
    But see Bresnan and Grimshaw (1978) for an alternative point of view holding that free relatives have relative pronouns as the head of the NP.Google Scholar
  3. 11.
    Safir (1986) also contains a critique of Chomsky’s treatment of relative clauses, although his analysis of relatives is substantially different from the one defended in the text.Google Scholar
  4. 12.
    See for example Cinque’s (1981) description of Italian.Google Scholar
  5. 13.
    French does not seem to be an isolated example. The description of Malay in Keenan and Comrie (1977) appears to parallel the situation in French.Google Scholar
  6. 15.
    Chomsky (1986) however appears to abandon this suggestion, and simply stipulates that S is sometimes a barrier for Wh-movement.Google Scholar
  7. 19.
    Woolford (1981) contains an interesting exploration of the Subjacency Condition in Swedish.Google Scholar
  8. 20.
    Vinet (1984) catalogues some potential problems for Kayne’s analysis, however.Google Scholar
  9. 21.
    Hemon (1975a) reports some evidence suggesting that Middle Breton may have behaved otherwise. No Breton structure comparable to the Welsh (69) can be constructed because pronouns do not co-occur with prepositions in Breton.Google Scholar
  10. 25.
    These sentences are reported in Williams (1980, p. 137).Google Scholar
  11. 27.
    Again, (75) is from Williams (1980) and is formal Welsh.Google Scholar
  12. 29.
    I follow Jones and Thomas (1977, p. 240) here.Google Scholar
  13. 32.
    These examples as well as those in (92)–(94) are adapted from Kervella (1947, p. 188).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Randall Hendrick
    • 1
  1. 1.University of North Carolina at Chapel HillUSA

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