Invisible Last Resort: A note on clefts as the underlying source for sluicing
Jeroen van Craenenbroeck
August 2009

Merchant (2001:120-127) presents ten arguments against an analysis of sluicing that posits an elided cleft in the ellipsis site. This seems at odds with the growing body of literature that argues sluicing can resort to underlying clefts in order to circumvent otherwise illicit instances of preposition stranding. In this short paper I reexamine Merchant’s arguments and show (a) that some of them are orthogonal to the issue at hand, and (b) that the remaining ones are compatible with the Last Resort scenario adopted by the sluicing-as-cleft literature. As such, the discussion sheds new light on the precise form of the unpronounced syntactic structure found in sluicing.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/000922
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Submitted to Lingua
keywords: sluicing, clefts, last resort, preposition stranding, ellipsis, syntax
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