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LINGUIST List 18.3446

Mon Nov 19 2007

Diss: Syntax: Fortin: 'Indonesian Sluicing and Verb Phrase Ellipsis...'

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        1.    Catherine Fortin, Indonesian Sluicing and Verb Phrase Ellipsis: description and explanation in a minimalist framework

Message 1: Indonesian Sluicing and Verb Phrase Ellipsis: description and explanation in a minimalist framework
Date: 16-Nov-2007
From: Catherine Fortin <fortincumich.edu>
Subject: Indonesian Sluicing and Verb Phrase Ellipsis: description and explanation in a minimalist framework
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Institution: University of Michigan
Program: Department of Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2007

Author: Catherine Rose Fortin

Dissertation Title: Indonesian Sluicing and Verb Phrase Ellipsis: description and explanation in a minimalist framework

Linguistic Field(s): Syntax

Subject Language(s): Indonesian (ind)

Dissertation Director:
Julie E. Boland
Samuel David Epstein
Richard L. Lewis
Jason Merchant
Acrisio M. Pires

Dissertation Abstract:

This dissertation investigates two elliptical phenomena, sluicing and verb
phrase ellipsis (VPE), in Indonesian. This dissertation is equally
concerned with description and formal analysis, and provides the first
in-depth description and generative analysis of both Indonesian sluicing
and VPE.

First, I show that Indonesian displays auxiliary-stranding VPE, similar to
English. I demonstrate that this ellipsis (i) targets the vP and (ii) is
distinct from other elliptical phenomena including null complement
anaphora, stripping, comparatives, and individual null constituents.

Second, I show Indonesian sluicing to be typologically unusual, failing to
obey Merchant's (2001) Preposition Stranding Generalization. This
generalization, which posits a correlation between preposition stranding in
wh-questions and preposition omission in sluicing, has been argued to
support the PF-Deletion approach (e.g. Ross 1969), under which sluices are
formed with wh-movement identically to non-elliptical wh-questions. I show
that, under PF-Deletion, Indonesian sluices involve wh-movement, arguing
(i) the sluices are not elliptical wh-clefts, but are elliptical
wh-questions and (ii) Indonesian wh-questions involve wh-movement.
Indonesian sluicing thus presents a challenge to PF-Deletion.

Third, sluiced wh-phrases crosslinguistically are known not to be subject
to island constraints. Under PF-Deletion, islands are realized as
properties of PF representations, and violations are repaired through
deletion of the island from the representation. I argue this view of
islands is untenable within Minimalism, showing it is impossible to
formulate Subjacency as a constraint on representations. Consequently, the
lack of island effects under sluicing cannot be handled by PF-Deletion. I
contend a theory of ellipsis must be compatible with the alternative view
of islands: the Minimal Link Condition, as part of the definition of Move
(Chomsky 2004), prevents all Subjacency-violating movements.

Finally, I propose a Minimalist 'LF-Copying' analysis, compatible with
Subjacency as an inviolable constraint, to account for Indonesian sluicing.
The wh-phrase is generated in [Spec, CP] and later associated with a
TP-internal variable, following 'sidewards' movement of the antecedent TP
into the sluiced clause. In Chung, Ladusaw, and McCloskey's original (1995)
proposal, this association obtains via a semantic coindexing operation,
Merger. I propose Merger be reformulated as long-distance Agree (Chomsky
2004) between C/wh-phrase and its correlate in the antecedent TP.

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