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Syntactic abstractness in ellipsis: sluicing, wh-movement, islands 4/4
Jason Merchant (univ. Chicago)

21 septembre 2006

This course explores the empirical motivations for positing abstract, unpronounced syntax through a close examination of elliptical structures in a variety of languages. I begin by reviewing the nature of the identity condition that holds between an elided phrase and its antecedent, arguing that at least part of this condition must be stated over articulated syntactic structures, based on recently discovered differences between VP-ellipsis and sluicing. Sluicing then forms the basis for a detailed look at the nature of wh-movement and islands, where the latter are argued to be PF-phenomena. Differential island sensitivity in VP-ellipsis, sluicing, and fragment answers is examined, and a typology of the range of ’island repair’ effects is developed. Finally, the results of these investigations are applied to a series of puzzles from the domain of ellipsis in comparatives, including attributive comparatives, pseudogapping, and phrasal comparatives.
Prerequisites: a general knowledge of syntactic theory.
References: Phrasal and clausal comparatives in Greek and the abstractness of syntax. 2006. Ms., U Chicago. gk.comps.pdf

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Jason Merchant Jason Merchant (univ. Chicago)
département de linguistique

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