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LINGUIST List 17.1926

Fri Jun 30 2006

Diss: Syntax: Goldberg: Verb-Stranding VP Ellipsis: A cross-ling...

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        1.    Lotus Goldberg, Verb-Stranding VP Ellipsis: A cross-linguistic study

Message 1: Verb-Stranding VP Ellipsis: A cross-linguistic study
Date: 29-Jun-2006
From: Lotus Goldberg <lmgoldbrandeis.edu>
Subject: Verb-Stranding VP Ellipsis: A cross-linguistic study

Institution: McGill University
Program: Department of Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2005

Author: Lotus Goldberg

Dissertation Title: Verb-Stranding VP Ellipsis: A cross-linguistic study

Dissertation URL: http://www.lotusgoldberg.net/dissertation.html

Linguistic Field(s): Syntax

Dissertation Director:
Jason Merchant
Lisa deMena Travis

Dissertation Abstract:

This thesis presents a study of a construction which I refer to as
Verb-Stranding VP Ellipsis. The construction is studied here,
specifically, in two distinct senses.

First, diagnostics are proposed by which the VP Ellipsis ("VPE")
construction can be identified—irrespective of whether the main verb
involved is null or overt. It is proposed that these diagnostics can be
used to rule out the possibility that the data at issue are cases of other
types of null anaphora, such as null arguments, Stripping, Gapping, and
Null Complement Anaphora. It emerges from this section of the thesis that
Modern Hebrew, Modern Irish, and Swahili have V-Stranding VPE data which
form a natural class with English's Aux-Stranding VPE, while Japanese,
Korean, Italian, and Spanish do not.

The second focus is the question of how V-Stranding VPE should be
generated. I argue in favor of an analysis involving PF Deletion of a VP
out of which the main verb has raised, and against an LF Copying treatment.
These arguments, in part, involve the Verbal Identity Requirement on VP
Ellipsis, a novel generalization involving strict identity in root and
derivational morphology between the antecedent- and target-clause main Vs
of the construction. Within the previously known requirement that elided
phrases express semantically Given information, I argue that this
generalization results from the fact that the head of an elided phrase must
itself express Given information—whether or not the head surfaces as
phonologically null.

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