Arguments in favor of a nontransformational approach to ellipsis

Culture and languages

Joanna Nykiel presents her research about nontransformational approach to ellipsis. Lecture arranged by the research area Linguistic structures. All interested are welcome!

19 May 2022
13:15 - 14:30
Room J431, Humanisten, Renströmsgatan 6, and Zoom

Good to know
Seminar language: English

We focus on meeting on site, but also offer the opportunity to follow the seminar via Zoom.

The zoom link will be sent to the research area's mailing list one week before the presentation. If you are not on the mailing list, contact Evie Coussé to get the link.
Department of Languages and Literatures

Research on ellipsis has been prominent in theoretical linguistics for several decades. One question that has attracted considerable attention is how apparently incomplete syntax serves to convey semantically complete messages. Consider, for instance, that questions are typically answered using ellipsis, i.e., with phrases in place of sentences (e.g., A: Have you talked to Mary Beth? B: For about five seconds). Such a phrase with sentential semantics can be analyzed either as a stand-alone phrase or as a fragment left behind by a sentential structure that remains unpronounced. Both options have been pursued in theoretical syntax (e.g., Ginzburg and Sag 2000, Merchant 2001, 2004, Culicover and Jackendoff 2005), and both are supported by a range of empirical facts. In this talk, I will situate my research in this landscape, focusing on evidence in favor of nontransformational analyses, i.e., those that treat elliptical utterances as stand-alone phrases.