Variation in the status of the P and its effects on relative clause construction

Ager Gondra


This paper presents an analysis of the structure of relative clauses with an indirect object or adjunct gap in two Mundaka Basque varieties (Mundaka Basque I and Mundaka Basque II). In Mundaka Basque I, relativization of indirect objects and adjuncts is grammatical when the relative clause is in subject or direct object position, while in Mundaka Basque II this same syntactic configuration is ungrammatical. This variation is explained by a difference in the status of P. In Mundaka Basque I the P has unvalued phi-features, whereas in Mundaka Basque II the P has no unvalued phi-features. Evidence for this comes from PP extraction out of [-Q] embedded clauses: the intermediate v gets its phi-features valued by the P of the extracted phrase in Mundaka Basque I, while it does not in Mundaka Basque II.  Additionally, this study shows that the Case matching effect is not a syntactic constraint but rather a morphological constraint.


Syntax; Basque; Relative Clauses; Agree; ϕ-features

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Journal of Language and Linguistic Studies
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