Resumption ameliorates islands differently: Acceptability data from Modern Standard Arabic

Abstract

Two acceptability experiments are presented which assess whether resumptive pronouns freely alternate with gaps and/or ameliorate island violation effects in wh-questions in Modern Standard Arabic. Both experiments test Complex Noun Phrase Constraint violations, adjunct island violations, and whether island violations. The results indicate that resumption is largely only acceptable with structurally complex DP fillers (which-NP) and is generally preferred to gapped structures in long-distance dependencies. Resumption is also shown to ameliorate the grammatical component of some island violations (adjunct and whether islands), but in different quantitative amounts across different islands. The overall picture which emerges is one in which resumption is quantitatively, but perhaps not qualitatively, helpful in repairing grammatical constraint violations in Modern Standard Arabic.

Publication
Perspectives on Arabic Linguistics XXX