The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Ling Lunch 5/7 - Aron Hirsch

Speaker: Aron Hirsch (MIT) (MIT)
Title: A case for conjunction reduction
Time: Thurs 5/7, 12:30-1:45
Place: 32-D461

Disjunction can take wider scope than appears to be the case in the surface string, as in (1a), which can be interpreted similarly to (1b). This has been linked to the availability of ellipsis processes, in particular VP-ellipsis familiar from Johnson’s (e.g. 2014) work on gapping (Schwarz 1999); (1a) can be derived from an LF similar to that for (1b) via ellipsis.

(1) a. John wants to see Mary or Sue.
b. John (either) wants to see Mary or &#60 he wants to see &#62 Sue (but I’m not sure which).

In this talk, I evaluate the strength of evidence that and, as well as or, can take scope via a mechanism other than QR. Is there, for instance, a “conjunction reduction” (Schein 2015 and references therein) mechanism whereby e.g. (2a) can be derived from (2b) via ellipsis?

(2) a. John wants to see every student and every professor.
b. John wants to see every student and &#60 he wants to see &#62 every professor.

This talk (i) develops new arguments which support the view that reduction is at least an available option, and (ii) shows that a commitment to the copy theory of movement and ex situ interpretation of object quantifiers entails a commitment to reduction as the only option for certain cases of conjoined quantifiers. I will provide some support for this prediction by considering the scope behavior of conjoined quantifiers in embedded environments.