Cognitive Universals and Linguistic Conventions
The Case of Resumptive Pronouns
Generativist pragmatists and discourse grammarians both subscribe to a functional view of language, but they do not agree on the nature of pragmatic principles. Prince (1988a,b) has argued that form-function correlations are arbitrary and language specific. Discourse grammarians have argued that pragmatic, and even grammatical rules, emerge out of universal, natural and predictable extralinguistic pressures. I will argue that although the distribution of gaps and resumptive pronouns in relative clauses seems arbitrary and language specific, one cognitively-based form-function principle governs their distribution. Relative clauses where the head is highly accessible when the relativized position is processed take gaps, whereas relative clauses which maintain a relatively low degree of accessibility of the head when the relativized position is processed take resumptive pronouns. The differences between languages are then attributed to language-specific grammaticization processes, rather than to different motivations and/or discoursal patterns.
Published online: 12 November 1999
Cited by 24 other publications
Ackerman, Lauren, Michael Frazier & Masaya Yoshida
Chacón, Dustin A.
Chung, Sandra & Matthew W. Wagers
Fadlon, Julie, Adam M. Morgan, Aya Meltzer-Asscher & Victor S. Ferreira
Francis, Elaine J., Charles Lam, Carol Chun Zheng, John Hitz & Stephen Matthews
HAENDLER, Yair & Flavia ADANI
Hawkins, John A.
Keshev, Maayan & Aya Meltzer-Asscher
Meltzer-Asscher, Aya, Julie Fadlon, Kayla Goldstein & Ariel Holan
PARODI, GIOVANNI, CRISTOBAL JULIO, LAURA NADAL, ADRIANA CRUZ & GINA BURDILES
Parodi, Giovanni, Cristóbal Julio, Laura Nadal, Gina Burdiles & Adriana Cruz
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 20 april 2021. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.