The Syntax of Silence: Sluicing, Islands, and the Theory of Ellipsis
A primary goal of contemporary theoretical linguistics is to develop a theory of the correspondence between sound (or gesture) and meaning. This sound-meaning correspondence breaks down completely in the case of ellipsis, and yet various forms of ellipsis are pervasive in natural language:words and phrases which should be in the linguistic signal go missing. How this should be possible is the focus of Jason Merchant's investigation. He focuses on the form of ellipsis known as sluicing, a common feature of interrogative clauses, such as in 'Sally's out hunting - guess what!'; and'Someone called, but I can't tell you who'. It is the most frequently found cross-linguistic form of ellipsis. Dr Merchant studies the phenomenon across twenty-four languages, and attempts to explain it in linguistic and behavioural terms.
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adposition anaphora Anke Anna antecedent IP argument assume Balkan language base-generated bought c-command Chapter cleft clitics COMP-trace complementi2er conjunct constraints contrast correlate deaccented DegP deleted IP derived discussion Dutch E-type effects elements elided Elke ellipsis elliptical embedded English entails examples existential closure extraction F-marking fact feature Fiengo Focus condition form-identity Frisian generali2ation German given grammatical Greek Hindi hire someone I.know idiot indefinite interpretation islands isomorphism kapjon kind ksero left-branch license Lobeck Marx brother Metchant movement null IP overt P-stranding parallel Peter phrase pied-piping pjon possible predicate preposition preposition stranding proposed prosodic question R-expressions relative clauses relevant remember requires resumptive pronoun Ross Sauerland scopal semantic sluiced wh-phrase someone who speaks speaks a Balkan SpecCP Spela structural isomorphism SUBJ subjunctive Swiss German syntactic syntax talk theory trace ungrammaticality variable Vehicle change verb VP-ellipsis wh-movement who.ACC who.NOM