Proceedings of IATL 18

The paper considers phenomena of pronoun displacement in a variety of languages and argues that pronoun movement is triggered by properties of an attracting functional head, and not only by properties of the pronoun, as was previously understood. After introducing the Minimalist conception of movement and the challenge raised by pronoun movement for an approach in terms of attraction, section 2 presents an argument for the syntactic status of pronoun movement, recently challenged in Holmberg (1999). Section 3 argues, based on Celtic and Semitic varieties, that all pronouns are involved in a checking relation with a functional head, paving the way to movement as Attraction. A conclusive argument is developed in section 4, which highlights the significance of the syntax of the attracting head. It is shown, first, that weak pronouns may fail to be attracted, contrary to Greed-based expectations. Second, the contexts in which weak pronouns fail to raise are surprisingly similar to those in which strong pronouns may fail to double, and both are shown to follow from pronoun movement as attraction by Fo [person] and the syntax of the attractor.

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