Movement Approach to Ellipsis
Yoshiki Fujiwara
March 2022
 

This dissertation investigates the nature of ellipsis phenomena, focusing on Japanese. There have been many proposals regarding how elements get to be unpronounced. This dissertation argues that ellipsis phenomena in Japanese are uniformly generated by a single operation, PF-deletion. In particular, I propose a movement approach to ellipsis in Japanese, where elements to be elided move to the matrix SpecCP in overt syntax and then undergo PF-deletion. The ellipsis phenomena under investigation involve argument ellipsis, V-stranding VP-ellipsis, sluicing, and particle stranding ellipsis. I first establish the movement approach to ellipsis with argument ellipsis based on parallelisms between argument ellipsis and overt movement. Specifically, I show that argument ellipsis cannot occur within islands, exhibits signs of successive cyclic movement regarding binding and scope, and induces movement-blocking effects. The movement approach to ellipsis is also shown to favor the PF-deletion over the LF-copy approach to ellipsis, which I further support by showing that extraction is possible out of argument ellipsis sites and that argument ellipsis is sensitive to morpho-syntactic case constraints. I also extend the movement approach to ellipsis to V-stranding VP-ellipsis, sluicing, and particle stranding ellipsis, which have been analyzed differently from one another in the literature. In particular, I show that the movement approach to V-stranding VP-ellipsis captures the (im)possibility of null adjunct readings. Additionally, supporting the cleft approach to sluicing, I argue that sluicing is derived by ellipsis of the presuppositional clause of clefts that first undergoes movement. Furthermore, I show that the movement approach to ellipsis provides a natural account of the strange sentence-initial property of particle stranding ellipsis as well as other properties it shares with argument ellipsis. The four ellipsis phenomena (argument ellipsis, V-stranding VP-ellipsis, sluicing, and particle stranding ellipsis) are thus all unified under the movement approach to ellipsis in the sense that they all involve ellipsis that is licensed in the matrix SpecCP. I also suggest a unification between radical pro-drop and ellipsis phenomena discussed in this dissertation, extending the movement approach to ellipsis to radical pro-drop in Japanese, which trivially resolves the long-debated issue of how radical pro-drop is licensed.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/006670
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: University of Connecticut
keywords: argument ellipsis, v-stranding vp-ellipsis, sluicing, particle stranding ellipsis, radical pro-drop, clefts, scrambling, topicalization, the proper binding condition, ecm, v-movement, the coordinate structure constraint, the case filter, the double-o constraint, case-drop, passives, positive polarity items, syntax
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