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Title: Modality and Ellipsis
Subtitle: Diachronic and Synchronic Evidence
Written By: Remus Gergel
Series Title: Trends in Linguistics. Studies and Monographs [TiLSM] 202

Aspects of modality and ellipsis have become prominent in theoretical
linguistics over the last years. What has remained under-investigated is
the fact that modals tend to make excellent ellipsis licensers and,
conversely, that many of the naturally occurring cases of ellipsis are
licensed by modals.

The book concentrates on the syntax of the modal auxiliaries with special
focus on English and investigates the grammatical relationship with the
process of ellipsis that interacts most relevantly with the modals in
grammaticalized fashion by including a special emphasis on verb-phrase
ellipsis. After a critical discussion of pertinent approaches in the two
domains, the book focuses on establishing the connection between the two
areas by essentially drawing on the history of English and on observable
effects in modern grammars, which it puts into perspective with
semantically grounded features on the modals involved.

Two major generalizations are proposed in the monograph. The first
generalization concerns the treatment of the interaction between modals and
ellipsis as determined by the features located in the licensing modal
heads. To this end, the syntactic effects of the main semantic factors are
explored in detail in English and partial effects obtaining in other
languages are discussed. The second generalization concerns the syntactic
component involved in ellipsis licensing. It is suggested that ellipsis
types with the distributional features of verb-phrase ellipsis are licensed
by interpretable features of the licensing head. The two generalizations
are intertwined with one another and derive a series of further legitimate
ellipsis licensers beyond the modals. The role of formal features that are
interpretable is distinguished from agreement features, which are claimed
not to be in charge of ellipsis licensing.

Publication Year: 2009
Publisher: De Gruyter Mouton
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BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics
Linguistic Theories
Subject Language(s): English
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Format: Electronic
ISBN-13: 9783110213362
Pages: 259
Prices: Europe EURO 110.00
Format: Hardback
ISBN-13: 9783110205091
Pages: 259
Prices: Europe EURO 98.00

Format: Electronic
ISBN-13: 9783110213362
Pages: 259
Prices: U.S. $ 137.00
Format: Hardback
ISBN-13: 9783110205091
Pages: 259
Prices: U.S. $ 137.00