LingLunch : Philip Miller

Jeudi 12 Septembre 2019, 12:00 to 13:00
Philip Miller et Ewan Dunbar

LLF – Bât. ODG – 5e étage – Salle du conseil (533)

Philip Miller (CLILLAC-ARP)
Identity Constraints on Ellipsis: New Experimental Evidence from VP Ellipsis and Pseudogapping

In this talk I present ongoing research (with Barbara Hemforth, Till Poppels and Geoffrey Pullum) on VP Ellipsis and Pseudogapping. More specifically, I will present recent experimental results (acceptability judgment experiments) which argue in favor of analyzing these constructions as cases of discourse anaphora, requiring a recoverable antecedent in the discourse context, rather than as requiring a formally identical antecedent.

In particular I will provide new evidence that VP Ellipsis is subject to the QUD Relevance Constraint and show that not satisfying this discourse constraint can cause an equally large decrease in acceptability as caused by a syntactically mismatched antecedent. Since most classical cases of mismatched antecedents do not satisfy the QUD Relevance Constraint, it becomes unclear whether decreased acceptability is due to mismatch or to the discourse constraint.

For Pseudogapping, I will provide evidence against the idea that there is syntactically governed remnant connectivity. With mismatched remnants such as:

  • That pipe connects *to* this one more easily than it does *with* that other one.
  • acceptability is entirely determined by the semantic similarity between the thematic roles established by the two prepositions.