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 Theoretical background 1.1 Possible analyses for ellipsis Option 1: Deletion.  Merchant 2001, Johnson 1996, 2001 for English VP Ellipsis (VPE) Option.

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Presentation on theme: " Theoretical background 1.1 Possible analyses for ellipsis Option 1: Deletion.  Merchant 2001, Johnson 1996, 2001 for English VP Ellipsis (VPE) Option."— Presentation transcript:

1  Theoretical background 1.1 Possible analyses for ellipsis Option 1: Deletion.  Merchant 2001, Johnson 1996, 2001 for English VP Ellipsis (VPE) Option 2: Null proform.  Lobeck 1995 for English VPE, Depiante 2000 for NCA 1.2 Argument for deciding between these options: extraction Extraction out of the ellipsis site = deletion of syntactic structure Extraction out of the ellipsis site = * proform; no structure to host a trace.  The problem: Dutch modal complement ellipsis (MCE) (1) Ik wil je wel helpen, maar ik kan niet. I want you PRT help but I can not ‘I want to help you, but I can’t.’ [Dutch] 2.1 Dutch modals and their complements (2) a. Alex moet werken. Alex has.to work b. [ CP [ TP Alex [ VP moet [ TP t’ Alex [ VoiceP [ vP t Alex [ VP werken]]]]]]] 2.2 Extraction paradox in Dutch MCE  Objects cannot extract out of the ellipsis site: (3) *Ik weet niet wie Kaat moet uitnodigen, maar ik weet wel wie ze niet moet. I know not who Kate must invite but I know PRT who she not must ‘I don’t know who Kate should invite, but I do know who she shouldn’t.’[wh-object] (4) a. Ik wil je wel helpen, maar ik kan (*je) niet. I want you PRT help but I can you not b. Ik wil je wel helpen, maar ik kan niet helpen. I want you PRT help but I can you not you help ‘I want to help you, but I can’t (help you).’ [object scrambling] (5) Katrien kan brood kopen en Bert kan melk *(kopen). Katrien can bread buy and Bert can milk buy ‘Katrien can buy bread and Bert can buy milk.’ [pseudogapping]  Subjects can extract out of the ellipsis site: (6) a. Mina kan komen, maar Kevin kan niet. Mina can come but Kevin can not ‘Mina can come, but Kevin can’t.’ [derived subject of unaccusative] b. Die broek moet niet gewassen worden vandaag, maar die rok moet wel. that pants must not washed become today but that skirt must PRT ‘These pants don’t have to be washed today, but that skirt has to be.’ [passive] (7) Niet iedereen moet een gedicht voordragen, maar ik weet niet wie er dan not everyone must a poem recite but I know not who there then niet moet. not must ‘Not everyone has to recite a poem, but I don’t know who doesn’t have to’ [wh-subject] The analysis part 1: ellipsis is deletion (8) E-feature: INFL [uF]  The licensing head is of category F. SEL [X]  E selects an X°. [E] projects an EP which is transparent for selection and is marked for non- pronunciation at PF. [uF] has to be checked against a licensing head of category F in order to activate [E] and send off EP to Spell-out. UCLA, Los Angeles May 16-18, 2008 (9) LP L° = the head licensing ellipsis EP = the ellipsis site L’ L° … [CAT [[F]] The ellipsis site is sent off to Spell-Out EP when the [uF] is checked against L (i.e. when L° is merged) E’ E XP Agree [INFL[uF]]] …  The analysis part 2: Modal complement ellipsis (10) E MCE : INFL [uV[deon]]]  licening head = deontic modal V° SEL [Voice] (11) VP V’ V° TP [CAT[V[deon]]] Subj T’ T° EP E VoiceP [INFL[uV[deon]]]] Agree … t Subj... Obj …  The analysis part 3: other elliptical constructions 5.1 English VP ellipsis (VPE) (12) a. I don’t know who Kate should invite, but I know who she shouldn’t.[wh-object] b. He wasn’t arrested, but he should be. [passive subject] (13) E VPE : INFL [uT] TP SEL [v] T’ Voice° = phase head (Baltin 2007) T° VoiceP [Spec, VoiceP] = phase edge [CAT [T]] = escape hatch for Subj/Obj/… Voice’ all types of extraction Voice° EP Agree E vP [E [INFL[uT]]] …t Subj/Obj/… … 5.2 Sluicing (Merchant 2001) (14) Someone has stolen my bike, but I don’t know who. (15) E sluicing : INFL [uC[wh,Q]] CP 1 SEL [C 2 ] wh C 1 ’ C 2 ° = phase head C 1 CP 2 [Spec,CP 2 ] = phase edge [CAT[C[wh,Q]]] = escape hatch for t wh C 2 ’ all types of extraction C 2 EP Agree E TP [E[INFL[uC[wh,Q]]]] … t wh … References Baltin, M. (2007). Deletion versus Pro-forms: a false dichotomy?. MS New York University. Depiante, M. (2000). The syntax of deep and surface anaphora: a study of null complement anaphora and stripping/bare argument ellipsis. PhD Dissertation. University of Connecticut, Storrs. Johnson, K. (1996). “When verb phrases go missing”. In: Glot International 2:5, pp Johnson, K. (2001). “What VP-ellipsis can do, and what it can’t, but not why”. In: M. Baltin & C. Collins (eds.), The handbook of contemporary syntactic theory. Blackwell, pp Lobeck, A. (1995). Ellipsis. Functional heads, licensing and identification. OUP. Merchant, J. (2001). The syntax of silence. Sluicing, islands and the theory of ellipsis. Oxford: Oxford studies in theoretical linguistics. Merchant, J. (2004). “Fragments and Ellipsis”. In: Linguistics and Philosophy 27, pp WCCFL XXVII – 27th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics Licensing ellipsis as Agree Lobke Aelbrecht CRISSP/University College Brussels Main claims  Dutch modal complement ellipsis involves deletion.  Further claim: all ellipses involve deletion. The extraction differences between the different kinds of ellipsis are the result of the interaction between the licensing head and the size of the ellipsis site.  Ellipsis is triggered by checking of an ellipsis feature against the licensing head via Agree.  When the feature is checked, the ellipsis site, marked for non-pronunciation, is sent off to Spell-Out and is therefore no longer available for any syntactic operations.  Ellipsis licensing is subject to syntactic locality, not to adjacency.  The positions between the licensor and the elided constituent play a crucial role in determining the extraction possibilities out of the ellipsis site. Claim: Dutch (deontic) modals are raising V° heads selecting a non-finite TP complement. Consequence: If an XP can move to a position between the ellipsis site and the licensing head, it can escape deletion.  Subjects move to [Spec,TP] prior to the merger of the licensing head.  Subjects are not deleted  Objects don’t have such an escape hatch.  Objects stay inside the ellipsis site and are deleted. In English both subjects and objects survive VPE because both have the phase head as an escape hatch. In sluicing both subjects and objects survive because both have the phase head as an escape hatch.


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