Relativization in Omagua: the role of pro

Tammy Stark


In this paper I analyze a pattern of apparently headless relative clauses that I attribute to pro-drop in Omagua. The language only allows pro-drop in the case of third person objects and only allows headless relative clauses in a limited distribution. I argue that these two facts are expressions of the same restriction, and that headless relative clauses in Omagua are in fact internally headed by a null third person pronoun. This analysis has the benefit of providing coherency to two otherwise irregular patterns, as well as of showing how a given language may utilize its unique resources (in this case pro) to achieve a surface construction which may be achieved differently in other languages. This paper relies crucially on a Minimalist framework, as the Agree operation allows for feature matching between constituents in a derivation in a way that Government and Binding theory does not.

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Working Papers of the Linguistics Circle

EISSN: 1920-440X
ISSN: 1200-3344

University of Victoria