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Syntax Interface Lectures Utrecht


6 February 2017
Trans 8, 0.19

Gertrud de Vries

The Like-Subject Condition and focus in ellipsis

Gertrud de Vries

This lecture deals with the Like-Subject Condition (Levin 1980) and its adapted variant (Haïk 1987), which applies (only) in wh-movement ellipses, as will be shown. The LSC interacts with asymmetric ellipsis (introduced in G. de Vries 2006, and to be explained in this talk) and focus in elliptic sentences. Dutch and English examples will be given.

It will be shown that the focus pattern in elliptic (and non-elliptic) sentences helps to distinguish the opposition symmetry/asymmetry. Although the LSC (applying only in asymmetric ellipses) can be overruled by a focus rule of obviation, it does not undermine it.

In my talk, I will explain inter alia the focus pattern occurring in sentences as in (1). It will also be shown that a correct approach to ellipsis requires a representation of elliptic sentences with their missing elements as well as their focus pattern.

(1)     a        Harryj offered Maryi the flowers shei had WANted himj to offer t heri  t

    b        * Harryj offered Maryi the flowers shei had WANted Bill to offer t heri  t

     c       John offered Maryi the flowers shei had wanted HARRy to offer t heri  t