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Book Information

   
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Title: Sentence amalgamation
Series Title: LOT dissertation series
Description:

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.

In an innovative approach, the author argues 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,
crosslinguistic 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. This study is relevant for scholars interested in root phenomena,
sluicing, speaker-orientation, and parentheticals, as well as a general
syntactic and semantic readership.

Publication Year: 2011
Publisher: Netherlands Graduate School of Linguistics / Landelijke (LOT)
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Semantics
Syntax
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Versions:
Format: Paperback
ISBN-13: 9789460930683