Linguistics in the Netherlands 2015
  • ISSN 0929-7332
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9919


In British English (BrE), a subset of pronominal objects of prepositions in have/with possessives may be optionally realised as prepositional object gaps (POGs). In this short paper, we introduce three core properties of this previously unreported phenomenon, and then outline a preliminary syntactic analysis to straightforwardly capture them. These properties are: POGs are only observed in BrE, POGs are only observed in have/with possessives, and POGs are only observed in structurally simplex complements of possessive have and with. We show that these properties are straightforwardly captured by an analysis that treats POGs as arising from A-movement of the possessor. We claim that the locus of variation between dialects that permit POGs and dialects that do not is the feature specification of a single syntactic head, which either induces or precludes A-movement. This proposal accords with current Minimalist approaches to microparametric variation, in which all variation stems from the lexicon.


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