Towards a unified theory of resumption

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This paper presents a unified theory of resumptive pronouns, based on the Resource Management Theory of Resumption. It identifies a common basis for puzzlingly different resumptive pronouns in languages such as Irish, in which resumptive pronouns do not behave syntactically like gaps (<i>syntactically active resumptives</i>), versus languages such as Vata, in which resumptive pronouns do behave syntactically like gaps (<i>syntactically inactive resumptives</i>). The Resource Management Theory of Resumption is based on the Resource Sensitivity Hypothesis, which holds that natural language is resource-sensitive &#8211; as captured through the use of a resource logic for semantic composition &#8211; and the empirical observation that resumptive pronouns are morpho-lexically ordinary pronouns &#8211; languages do not employ special paradigms or special items in resumptive-only uses. The unification of the two kinds of resumption is captured in semantic composition, but Vata-type resumptives also involve an additional syntactic mechanism, which is captured through an operation on feature-value pairs in a constraint-based, non-transformational theory of syntax.


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