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Resumption by buffers: German relative clauses 

Zurück zum Heft: Linguistische Berichte Heft 239
EUR 14,90

In a local derivational (phase-based) approach to syntax, instances of resumption in German (long-distance) relativization constructions with an empty operator and a complementizer wo ('where') must be analyzed in terms of movement. Against this background, these constructions raise three problems for syntactic analysis: (i) a locality (backtracking) problem (“How can the information that a resumptive pronoun occupies the base position be made accessible on the moved item at later stages of the derivation, where it is required?”); (ii) a problem for movement theory (“How can movement in these resumption constructions circumvent an island?”); and (iii) a last resort problem (“Why does movement in these resumption constructions have to cross an island?”). I will propose a specific solution to problem (i) in terms of buffers that temporarily store minimal pieces of syntactic information; this approach will then be shown to automatically cover problems (ii) and (iii) as well.