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LINGUIST List 18.314

Tue Jan 30 2007

Diss: Syntax/Semantics: Szczegielniak: 'Relativization and Ellipsis'

Editor for this issue: Hannah Morales <hannahlinguistlist.org>

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        1.    Adam Szczegielniak, Relativization and Ellipsis

Message 1: Relativization and Ellipsis
Date: 26-Jan-2007
From: Adam Szczegielniak <adam.spost.harvard.edu>
Subject: Relativization and Ellipsis

Institution: Harvard University
Program: Department of Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2004

Author: Adam Szczegielniak

Dissertation Title: Relativization and Ellipsis

Dissertation URL: http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~szczeg/papers/dissertation_web.pdf

Linguistic Field(s): Semantics

Dissertation Director:
Cedric Boeckx
Noam Chomsky
David Pesetsky

Dissertation Abstract:

This work addresses the puzzle why VP ellipsis where the subject plus an
auxiliary/modal /negation (non bare-VP ellipsis) is not possible in
relatives derived via operator movement, whereas VP ellipsis where only the
subject remains (bare-VP ellipsis) is possible in both relatives derived
via operator movement as well as head noun movement.

In the first part, I show that Polish and Russian relative clauses divide
into two types: (i) derived by head noun movement (co/čto-relatives), and
(ii) derived by operator movement and adjunction of the relative to the
head noun (który/kotoryj-relatives).

In the second part, I answer why bare-VP ellipsis is only possible in
co/čto-relatives, and non bare-VP ellipsis is possible in both types of
relatives. Adopting a model where VP ellipsis is carried out on
'afterthought' constructions (Chomsky 2001) and is preceded by de-stressing
(Chomsky and Lasnik 1993), I argue that bare-VP ellipsis requires overt VP
topicalization prior to de-stressing. The interaction of overt operator
movement and VP topicalization leads to violations on Remnant Movement
(Müller 1998): the topicalized VP containing the trace/copy of the operator
raises over the operator, which has moved to a lower Topic of the Left
Periphery (Rizzi 1997), thus, making bare-VP ellipsis impossible in
który/kotoryj-relatives. Non bare-VP ellipsis is shown to be licensed by
focusing the subject in Spec-Σ (Laka 1994). There is no VP raising, thus
conditions on remnant movement are not violated and VP ellipsis is possible
in both types of relatives.

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