We are very happy to announce the next talk of this semester’s Syntax Colloquium, which will take place on Monday, November 25, 4 – 6 pm in IG 4.301.
Doreen Georgi (Potsdam) will talk about „On two types of resumption in Igbo and the nature of islands“.
We provide novel data from Igbo (Benue-Kwa, Nigeria) which show that the languages has
two types of resumptive pronouns (RPs) in A-dependencies: RPs that occur at the bottom of
dependencies that involve (a) base-generation (topicalization) and (b) movement (wh/focus
fronting). While it has been argued before that different kinds of RPs can co-exist in a language
(a.o. Borer 1984, Aoun et al. 2001, Bianchi 2004, Sichel 2014), the evidence is usually based on
subtle reconstruction effects in relative clauses. Igbo exhibits movement RPs in wh/fronting
and provides additional evidence e.g. from morpho-phonological cyclicity effects. The use of
RPs in movement dependencies is restricted to just a few contexts. We argue that these RPs
surface in order to fulfill PF-requirements (realization of oblique case and of conjuncts).
Interestingly, even though Igbo exhibits grammatical resumption, it does not have island repair
by resumption. We can thus check which XPs are true islands in the language. We will show
that the set is rather small, containing only adjuncts, complex NPs, and clausal subjects (but
not, e.g. PPs, &Ps, NP-arguments). These findings raise questions about the cross-linguistic
variability in islandhood, which we will discuss in the talk.
You are cordially invited!