The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Syntax Square 10/31 - Rafael Abramovitz (MIT)

Speaker: Rafael Abramovitz (MIT)
Title: Verb-stranding vP Ellipsis in Russian: Evidence from unpronounced subjects
Date and time: Tuesday October 31, 1-2pm
Location: 32-D461

In this presentation of work in progress, I contribute to the debate on the status of verb-stranding verb phrase ellipsis (VVPE) in Russian with novel evidence from the interpretation of unpronounced subjects. I argue that a heretofore unnoticed construction involving a silent subject in clauses embedded under an attitude verb is the result of VVPE, supporting Gribanova (2013, 2017)’s conclusion that Russian has this type of ellipsis, contra Erteschik-Shir et. al. (2013) and Bailyn (2014). Based on a surprising ban on quantificational elements in the subject of the ellipsis sites, I propose a modification to Takahashi and Fox (2005)’s definition of parallelism domains to allow them to contain certain instances of unbound traces. The ban on quantificational subjects, as well as vehicle change from R-expressions to pronouns (Fiengo and May 1994), follows naturally from this modification.