Title: Sentence amalgamation
Series Title: LOT dissertation series
Publisher: Netherlands Graduate School of Linguistics / Landelijke - LOT
Author: Marlies Kluck
Paperback: ISBN: 9789460930683 Pages: Price: Europe EURO
This thesis sheds new light on an old puzzle in linguistics: the intriguing phenomenon of sentence amalgamation, where two clauses are intertwined and seem to revolve around a pivot constituent, the 'content kernel'. The clauses involved, the matrix and the 'interrupting' clause, are root clauses, which are syntactically opaque to each other. The content kernel itself, however, is mysterious in this regard: it appears to be accessible for the matrix as well as the interrupting clause, and the position of the interrupting clause in the matrix seems to depend on the category of the content kernel.
In an innovative approach, the author argues that the content kernel is in fact the remnant of sluicing, and A'-moves out of an ellipsis site in the interrupting clause. The apparent transparency of the content kernel then follows directly from reconstruction. This idea also accounts for a number of other well- attested properties of sluicing that resonate in amalgams: case matching, crosslinguistic variation related to preposition stranding and island- insensitivity. A detailed study of the interpretation of amalgams reveals that interrupting clauses can only express speaker-oriented content, which concerns precisely the missing matrix constituent. This is evidence for an analysis in terms of anchored parenthesis. Putting this together with the sluicing approach, the correspondence between the content kernel and its position in the matrix is ultimately derived via a general licensing condition for sluicing. This study is relevant for scholars interested in root phenomena, sluicing, speaker-orientation, and parentheticals, as well as a general syntactic and semantic readership.