The limits of resumption in Welsh <i>wh</i>-dependencies

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This chapter considers the analysis of gap and resumptive <i>wh</i>-dependencies, especially relative clauses, in Welsh. It is argued that, despite first appearances, all <i>wh-</i>dependencies formed on unembedded direct-object positions (and some embedded ones), including the direct object of an aspectual periphrasis, involve movement and a gap rather than a resumptive pronoun. The clitic found in these structures is analysed as a reflex of the movement operation itself, with clitics appearing in positions from which <i>wh</i>-movement has taken place. The presence of a clitic is therefore not diagnostic of resumption. This conclusion is then integrated into a more general analysis of Welsh wh-dependencies, in which the gap strategy is argued to be more widely available in other contexts too. It is shown that Welsh manifests more extensive successive-cyclic effects than generally acknowledged. A formal analysis is developed in which the various successive-cyclic effects are accounted for within a movement-based approach. Successive-cyclic movement in Welsh is mediated by escape hatches in SpecCP and SpecvP, but the absence of equivalent escape hatches at the DP or PP levels results in the resumption strategy occurring in those environments. This approach is then extended to cases where resumptive pronouns appear to have gap-like syntactic properties, leading to a &#8216;mixed&#8217; analysis of resumptive relatives generally (base-generation of a resumptive pronoun with movement of a wh-operator from the specifier of the phrase triggering resumption).


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