Syntactic isomorphism and non-isomorphism under ellipsis
Luis Vicente
November 2008

Rooth (1992) and Fiengo & May (1994) argued that, on top of a semantic parallelism requirement, elliptical structures are also subject to a syntactic isomorphism requirement between the elided constituent and its antecedent. This conclusion cannot be maintained in the face of the phenomenon of pseudo-sluicing (Merchant 1998 et seq.), where an elliptical copular clause is not isomorphic to its non-copular antecedent. This article shows that, in Spanish, non-isomorphism is a marked case, whereas isomorphism is the default (elsewhere) case --specifically, a non-isomorphic elliptical clause is licensed only if it leads to a stronger (more informative) statement vis-à-vis the antecedent clause. It is also argued that this generalization cannot be derived from independently needed restrictions on either ellipsis or copular clauses, and must therefore be encoded as an independent constraint. Finally, it is shown that while some languages behave in the same way as Spanish (French, Italian, Bulgarian), others don't (Brazilian Portuguese), revealing the need for further research in this domain.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/000776
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Submitted to Lingua
keywords: ellipsis, spanish, preposition stranding, copular clauses, parallelism, syntax
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