Morphosyntax of Movement Dependencies in Haitian Creole


  • We are very grateful to Franz K. Cozier, Michel Degraff, Ken Hiraiwa, Michael Kenstowicz, David Pesetsky, Norvin Richards, Joel Theodat, and two anonymous reviewers for Syntax for their invaluable comments and discussion. Parts of this paper have been presented at NELS 35 at University of Connecticut (October 2004), Kanda University of International Studies (November 2004), University of Osijek (December 2006), and University of Massachusetts, Amherst (December 2006). We want to thank the audiences for their helpful questions and comments. The research reported here was funded in part by the Research Fellowships of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science for Young Scientists under Grant No. 9919 to the first author. All errors and inadequacies are our own.


Abstract.  In Haitian Creole the lexical item ki shows up when a subject (but not an object) undergoes operator movement in wh-questions, clefts, and relative clauses. We argue that ki is a phonological reflex of agreement between the complementizer and a wh-phrase. More specifically, the complementizer is spelled out as ki if all its features are checked off by a single goal. We demonstrate that this is accomplished only when the operator is a subject.