Spring 2018, Vol. 49, No. 2, Pages 393-407
© 2018 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Particles and Deletion
Article PDF (497.83 KB)
Much current theorizing analyzes ellipsis as a PF operation silencing designated syntactic domains from which focal constituents are extracted prior to deletion.
1 In many cases, this requires exceptional evacuation movements that are not observed—and often altogether illicit—in corresponding nonelliptical forms. We introduce a novel set of data involving modal particles in German that militates strongly against obligatory movement of ellipsis remnants, suggesting that deletion instead applies to independently generated surface forms, in a manner analogous to deaccenting. The discussion will focus on clausal ellipsis only, ignoring other, crosslinguistically less common types of incompleteness such as VP-ellipsis and pseudogapping.