Locality and identity in ellipsis

Date of Completion

January 2005


Language, Linguistics




This thesis investigates ellipsis phenomena. One of the goals of this thesis is to formulate proper identity conditions. One of such conditions that this thesis focuses on is often referred to as Parallelism in the literature. Under the standard assumption, Parallelism as a syntactic condition must be satisfied in order to license ellipsis. Parallelism requires that there be a parallel dependency between the antecedent and the elliptical clause (Fiengo and May 1994). It is standardly assumed that Parallelism needs to be satisfied outside the elliptical constituents. In contrast to this assumption, I argue that Parallelism needs to be satisfied only within the elided constituents. I also argue that Parallelism needs to be combined with certain semantic conditions. Examining various scope interactions in elliptical constructions in Korean, I maintain that focus effects play a crucial role in licensing ellipsis. ^ Another goal of this thesis is to use ellipsis to investigate the locality of movement and explores properties of chains. It is shown that while locality-violating movement is allowed in some elliptical contexts, certain types of movement that intermingle locality-observing movement and locality-violating movement are not allowed. I argue that these types of movement are ruled out by a version of Chain Uniformity (Chomsky 1991, Chomsky and Lasnik 1993). This thesis also shows that Chain Uniformity, combined with Parallelism, provides an account of the contrasts among various elliptical constructions in English and Korean with respect to island-(in)sensitivity (cf. Ross 1969, Merchant 2001). ^ Finally, this thesis examines Superiority. First, it is shown that examples like What do you think who bought? constitutes a problem for any analysis that assumes movement to the intermediate Spec of C before the matrix interrogative C enters the structure (whether or not feature checking with the intermediate head C is involved). The same problem arises in multiple wh-fronting languages such as Bulgarian and Serbo-Croatian. It is also shown that contra the standard assumption (Stjepanović 1999a, Merchant 2001), Superiority violations can be repaired by a later operation. On the basis of Chain Uniformity, I propose a novel analysis of Superiority. Under this analysis, Superiority has both derivational and representational aspect, which enables us to account for the possibility of repairing Superiority violations. ^