Adjectival sluices in Hungarian: An argument for isomorphic sources
Eszter Ronai, Laura Stigliano
February 2020

Hungarian adjectival sluices show agreement characteristics of predicative adjectives, even though the correlate of the adjective is in attributive position. This has been taken as evidence for the existence of non-isomorphic (i.e. copular/cleft) sources for the ellipsis site. Case-matching effects, however, show that such an analysis would necessitate positing copular sources for only a subset of Hungarian sluices—a conceptually unappealing state of affairs. Instead we provide a more parsimonious analysis, which captures the data without needing to posit exceptional sources. In particular, we argue for the existence of two different configurations: 1) one involving isomorphic wh-sources followed by ellipsis, and 2) one that does not involve ellipsis at all, but is rather a case of pseudosluicing. Pseudosluicing is the combination of a null subject and a null copula—elements that are independently available in the language, and whose restricted distribution explains constraints we observe on the distribution of pseudosluicing. Thus, on our analysis, only isomorphic wh-questions are possible sources for Hungarian sluicing structures, consistent with the most restrictive theories of elliptical identity.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/004940
(please use that when you cite this article)
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keywords: sluicing, ellipsis, hungarian, syntax
previous versions: v1 [December 2019]
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