Walter Sistrunk will present "The Syntax of Zero in African America Relative Clauses" (abstract below) at the lab acquisition/LARC meeting tomorrow, Monday October 29, in Herter 301 at noon. Everyone is welcome!
Relative clauses in African American are distinct from those used in Standard English. The purpose of this study is to give a description of the observed patterns and to discover the principles at work which explain why these distinct patterns exist in both African American and Standard English. Pesetsky & Torrego’s (2003) (P&T) analysis of relative clause subject-nonsubject asymmetry accounts for zero object relatives while restricting zero subject relatives. However, an analysis that restricts zero subject relatives poses a problem for African American English (AAE), where zero object relatives and zero subject relatives occur. I argue P&T’s (2003) analysis can still account for zero subject relatives if we considered other move operations in AAE.