Asymmetric resumption, extension, and the derivation of Hawaiian VSO

David Jenkins Medeiros


This paper analyzes a heretofore undocumented asymmetry in the distribution of resumptive pronouns in the Ni’ihau dialect of Hawaiian, with resumption occurring in object and adjunct-initial word orders, but not in subject-initial orders. While the observed pattern is not predicted by current theories of syntax which allow movement operations that do not target the root (e.g. Chomsky 2008), the asymmetry may be explained by analyses in which the Extension Condition (Chomsky 1995) is strictly maintained.

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