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Linguistic Inquiry

Summer 2011, Vol. 42, No. 3, Pages 470-490
(doi: 10.1162/LING_a_00054)
© 2011 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Voice Mismatch and Syntactic Identity
Article PDF (118.92 KB)

On the basis of an asymmetry between VP-deletion and pseudogapping, Merchant (2008a) concludes that ellipsis is conditioned by syntax. This article demonstrates that both pseudogapping and VP-deletion potentially allow voice mismatch. The unacceptable cases of voice mismatch in these constructions are attributed to a discourse factor (Kehler 2000, 2002). Nevertheless, since sluicing does not allow voice mismatch (Merchant 2001, 2007) even in the same context that allows voice mismatch in VP-ellipsis, Merchant's (2007, 2008a) conclusion is still valid. A syntactic condition on ellipsis is proposed, based on a semantic condition from Takahashi and Fox 2005. Kehler's discourse explanation is phrased in a revised format.