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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Reconstruction and Resumptive Pronouns in Cairene Arabic

  • Author(s): Booth, Madeleine
  • Advisor(s): Rett, Jessica
  • et al.

Mandatory resumptive pronouns (RPs) have been argued not to have any effect on the reconstruction of a relative clause (RC) head (Sichel 2014). I tested this hypothesis on Cairene Arabic RCs, which have a mandatory RP in the direct object (DO) position. RC heads involving idiom chunks and bound anaphors have been argued to require reconstruction, while heads involving bound variables may require either reconstruction or a functional trace/RP (Hulsey and Sauerland 2006, Sharvit 1999). I found that there was no reconstruction to the DO position for anaphor binding or idiom interpretation, but that a bound variable reading was possible. I argue that while mandatory RPs in Cairene Arabic either block reconstruction or there is no reconstruction at all, the mandatory RP can be functional, and this functional denotation allows for a bound variable reading. This supports the hypothesis that mandatory RPs have an effect on the interpretation of RCs.

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