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Academic Paper

Title: Wh-movement and the syntax of sluicing
Author: Maziar Toosarvandani
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: University of California, Santa Cruz
Linguistic Field: Syntax
Abstract: Sluicing – the elliptical construction in which all of a constituent question goes missing except for the interrogative phrase – is commonly analyzed as involving movement of the interrogative phrase to Spec-CP followed by deletion of TP (Ross 1969, Merchant 2001). In this paper, I examine how well the movement-plus-deletion analysis extends to Farsi, a -in situ language that, surprisingly, has a sluicing construction nearly identical to its English counterpart. I argue that the interrogative phrase in Farsi sluicing escapes deletion not by -movement as in English but by a type of focus movement. This operation, which normally applies very generally and is optional, is restricted in sluicing contexts in two ways: (i) it is obligatory, and (ii) it only applies to interrogative phrases. I propose a formal implementation that integrates these two properties into the licensing requirement on deletion, advancing the current understanding of the syntax of sluicing.


This article appears IN Journal of Linguistics Vol. 44, Issue 3, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .

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