The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

MIT Linguistics Colloquium 4/3 - Jeroen van Craenenbroeck

Speaker: Jeroen van Craenenbroeck (KU Brussels)
Title: Ellipsis and accommodation: the (morphological) case of sluicing
Time: Friday, April 3, 2009, 3:30pm
Place: 32-141

In this talk I examine instances of sluicing whereby the ellipsis site is not structurally isomorphic to its antecedent. The data are presented in three incremental steps: (1) copular clauses can be used in sluicing to circumvent preposition stranding violations in non- preposition stranding languages; (2) such copular rescue is blocked in languages with morphological case marking; (3) this blocking is overruled when (a) the underlying copular clause is case-sensitive, or (b) the sluiced wh-phrase is syncretic between the case assigned by the preposition and the case found in a copular clause. As none of the existing constraints on accommodation of ellipsis antecedents (Fox 1999, 2000; Sauerland 2004; Hardt 2004, 2005) can account for this data pattern, I propose a new constraint, which states that an ellipsis remnant has to be in the licensing potential (cf. Chung, Ladusaw and McCloskey 1995) of both the actual and the accommodated antecedent. This proposal will be shown to receive support from pragmatically controlled sluicing and the interaction between spading and morphological case in dialect Dutch.