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LINGUIST List 22.5107

Mon Dec 19 2011

Diss: General Ling/Semantics/Syntax: Kluck: 'Sentence Amalgamation ...'

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        1.     Marlies Kluck , Sentence Amalgamation


Message 1: Sentence Amalgamation
Date: 16-Dec-2011
From: Marlies Kluck <m.e.kluckrug.nl>
Subject: Sentence Amalgamation
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Institution: University of Groningen
Program: Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2011

Author: Marlies Kluck

Dissertation Title: Sentence Amalgamation

Dissertation URL: http://www.let.rug.nl/kluck/Kluck2011_dissertatie.pdf

Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics
                            Semantics
                            Syntax

Subject Language(s): Dutch (nld)
                            English (eng)
                            German (deu)

Dissertation Director:
Mark de Vries
Henk van Riemsdijk
Jack Hoeksema
Jan Koster
Jason Merchant

Dissertation Abstract:

This thesis sheds new light on an old puzzle in linguistics: the intriguing
phenomenon of sentence amalgamation, where two clauses are intertwined and
seem to revolve around a pivot constituent, the 'content kernel'. The
clauses involved, the matrix and the 'interrupting' clause, are root
clauses, which are syntactically opaque to each other. The content kernel
itself, however, is mysterious in this regard: it appears to be accessible
for the matrix as well as the interrupting clause, and the position of the
interrupting clause in the matrix seems to depend on the category of the
content kernel. I argue that the content kernel is in fact the remnant of
sluicing, and A'-moves out of an ellipsis site in the interrupting clause.
The apparent transparency of the content kernel then follows directly from
reconstruction. This idea also accounts for a number of other well-attested
properties of sluicing that resonate in amalgams: case matching,
cross-linguistic variation related to preposition stranding and
island-insensitivity. A detailed study of the interpretation of amalgams
reveals that interrupting clauses can only express speaker-oriented
content, which concerns precisely the missing matrix constituent. This is
evidence for an analysis in terms of anchored parenthesis. Putting this
together with the sluicing approach, the correspondence between the content
kernel and its position in the matrix is ultimately derived via a general
licensing condition for sluicing.




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