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Adventures in English Syntax

By Robert Freidin

Adventures in English Syntax "this book will enrich your understanding of English in ways that will make you a more effective user of the language."


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Modality Across Syntactic Categories

Edited by Ana Arregui, Maria Luisa Rivero, and Andres Salanova

Modality Across Syntactic Categories "Chapters in the book demonstrate that modality involves many more syntactic categories and levels of syntactic structure than traditionally assumed."



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Dissertation Information


Title: The Syntax of Ellipsis in English and Polish: A comparative view Add Dissertation
Author: Urszula Juzwa Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Linguistics Program
Completed in: 2007
Linguistic Subfield(s): Syntax;
Subject Language(s): English
Polish
Director(s): Jacek WitkoĊ›

Abstract: The present work has been built on an examination of an intriguing
phenomenon in syntax: ellipsis. Based on English and Polish data, the
present analysis is an attempt to classify elliptical sentences in both
languages as well as present their syntactic structure, characteristic
features and cross-linguistic differences in the application of ellipsis.

The point that I have been pursuing is that such typology can be carried
out from the perspective of the linguistic material which is targeted by
ellipsis rather than the mode of its application. I have endeavoured
throughout to show that certain traditional types of ellipsis such as
Comparative Ellipsis, Antecedent Contained Deletion or Argument Contained
Ellipsis do not create a separate category of an elliptical phenomenon but
they rather fall under the scope of some other, more general types. Thus, I
distinguish nine basic types of ellipsis: NP Ellipsis (Coordinate and
Subordinate), DP Ellipsis (Coordinate and Subordinate), VP Ellipsis
(Coordinate and Subordinate (which includes traditionally called cases of
CE, ACD, ACE)), Sluicing (Coordinate and Subordinate), Stripping
(Coordinate and Subordinate (also found in what is traditionally called CE,
as well as in ACD constructions)), Gapping (Coordinate and Subordinate
(traditionally as CE)), Pseudogapping (Coordinate and Subordinate
(traditionally treated as Subdeletion)), Comparative Deletion and
Subdeletion. I divide them in two main groups: Coordinate Ellipsis and
Subordinate Ellipsis and discuss them in three separate chapters.

In every single case I hope to have provided a detailed analysis of the
scope and syntax of particular types of ellipsis as well as the differences
in their application in English and Polish. I believe that the division of
ellipsis into Coordinate Ellipsis and Subordinate Ellipsis facilitates its
categorisation and clearly shows the target of elision.

This study also aims at defining ellipsis. In chapter one I have shown that
certain empty structures were not considered ellipsis phenomena in some
generative literature and I try to prove why the conditions on them are
superficial and inaccurate. I hope to have proven that Gapping can occur in
a subordinate relation to its antecedent in English and Polish and thus
deserve the status of ellipsis.

Degree constructions which have proved to create particularly problematic
environment for the typology of ellipsis are analysed thoroughly in chapter
four. Degree heads and degree predicates in English and Polish receive here
an in-depth analysis.

Ellipsis is omission of the material which is otherwise needed lexically,
semantically and syntactically. Such a phenomenon raises certain important
issues such as parallelism, identity, PF-deletion, LF-copying, scope,
Quantifier Raising, infinite regress, ambiguity. I try to discuss the
problems which various accounts of ellipsis have faced so far, arguing for
its parallel status in a sentence and a PF-deletion account.

The present analysis, carried out for syntactic ellipsis in English and
Polish, hopes to provide an insight into a very interesting phenomenon
found in natural languages. It aims at discussing its internal structure,
derivation and interpretation as well as providing a comparison between
English and Polish instances of ellipsis.