(Re)labeling and constituency paradoxes: Remnant movement in Akan


Under specific circumstances, the focus fronting operation in Akan seems to be ca- pable of moving a non-constituent sequence. This movement shows all the hallmarks of a classic constituency paradox (Phillips 2003): Hierarchical tests such as binding consistently diagnose right-branching constituency, while movement apparently operates on a left-branching constituent. In addition, the movement leaves behind a resumptive pronoun which behaves morphologically like a subject, even though the moved item includes both subject and dative like DPs as well as some verbal material. I will argue that these unusual properties are best understood via a remnant movement analysis in which a non-maximal projection moves and then reprojects, in line with recent work by Cechetto & Donati (2015). Contra Cechetto & Donati, however, in Akan the reprojecting element seems to be v′, suggesting that it is not only single words that may move and reproject but in fact larger non-maximal phrases as well. This reprojecting structure also has the effect of bringing the verb root into a local configuration with T0, as required by Kandybowicz (2015), providing independent support for this analysis.

Manuscription, University of Massachusetts, Amherst