The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Syntax Square 5/5 - Despina Oikonomou & Snejana Iovtcheva

Speaker: Despina Oikonomou (MIT) & Snejana Iovtcheva (MIT)
Title: Island insensitive fragment answers to Bulgarian li-questions
Time: Tuesday 5/5, 1pm-2pm
Place: 32-D461

We discuss fragment answers to Bulgarian yes/no question that are formed with the particle Li. Different than English, Bulgarian yes/no questions have an overt focus particle that can attach to a wide variety of constituents and allows the speakers to form a grammatical fragment answer even out of a syntactic island. This is significant because island insensitiveness has long been observed in sluicing (Ross 1969, Merchant 2001, Merchant 2004, Griffiths & Liptak 2014 (G&L)) but not in fragment answers. In this sense, the Bulgarian data shed new light on the question of ‘island insensitivity under ellipsis’ as they suggest that islands can be ameliorated under any type of TP-ellipsis, thus allowing for a uniform treatment of sluicing and answer fragments.