Building and interpreting nonthematic A-positions
A-resumption in English and Breton
Movement and resumption both Merge a DP in a nonthematic position and interpret it through a free variable. This predicts their symmetric distribution and the existence of resumption on the ‘core’ A-position of [Spec, TP], or A-resumption. It is argued that the prediction is correct, and mechanics are developed to build both movement and resumption by Merge, Agree, and the interpretation of nonthematic positions. A-resumption on [Spec, TP] falls into two types. When T participates in φ-Agree, the DP Merged in [Spec, TP] must be interpretively linked to the variable identified by φ-Agree. Locality tends to limit the goal to a domain where it must be a copy/gap for Case reasons, so the composition of Agree and Merge results in movement. However, when a finite TP boundary is penetrable to φ-Agree, there surfaces an A-resumption pattern constrained by the locality of φ-Agree, including the copy-raising of English The cat
i seems like it
’s got Spiro’s tongue. When T does not φ-Agree with a DP goal, the location of the variable interpreting [Spec, TP] is unconstrained. This is the situation in Breton, which allows A- resumption structures of the type The boati was shot at it
i. The patterns of A- resumption restricted and unrestricted by φ-Agree match parallel patterns found in A′-resumption in recent work.