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Syntax Interface Lectures Utrecht


22 May 2017
Trans 8, 0.19

Aníko Lipták (Leiden University)

Identifying identity conditions in and outside ellipsis: a case study of Hungarian

Anikó Lipták, Leiden University


The aim of this talk is to revisit the so-called lexical identity condition (aka verbal identity requirement) characterizing V-stranding ellipsis (Goldberg 2005, et seq) in Hungarian. I will show that despite the fact that the lexical identity condition has been taken as evidence for the special status of head movement as a PF phenomenon (Temmerman and Schoorlemmer 2012), Hungarian V-stranding provides no evidence for drawing this conclusion.


I discuss two types of Hungarian V-stranding ellipsis, which occur in responses to questions raising polar alternatives, reviewing the structural properties of these elliptical constructions and the identity relation between the antecedent and the stranded item. I will show that the lexical identity condition in Hungarian does not characterize syntactic heads, and thus does not reveal anything special about verb movement or the extraction of heads out of ellipsis sites. There will be two main arguments to this effect:


(i) V-stranding ellipsis stranding an entire verb does not exhibit the lexical identity condition in contexts in which the affirmative/negative discourse move is clearly marked, despite head movement out of the ellipsis site being involved in the derivation


(ii) V-stranding ellipsis stranding (phrasal) preverbs does exhibit what looks like the lexical identity condition, and the ban on lexical mismatches in this domain is due to the preverb being interpreted in the same position as the verb


The talk will also show that Hungarian shows evidence for two distinct types of identity effects, one pragmatic and one syntactico-semantic in nature.




Goldberg, Lotus. 2005. Verb-Stranding VP-Ellipsis: A Cross-Linguistic Study. PhD diss., McGill University.

Schoorlemmer, Erik and Tanja Temmermann. 2012. Head movement as a PF- phenomenon. Evidence from identity under ellipsis. In Jaehoon Choi (ed), Proceedings of the 29th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics. 232-240.