Syntax/Semantics Reading Group, 1/22 – Masashi Harada

The next syntax-semantics reading group meeting will take place Wednesday January 22 at 15:30 in room 117. Masashi will be presenting work entitled: Fragment Answers as Specificational Copular Sentences Disguised by Ellipsis
Abstract:

In many cases, questions such as who wrote this? can be answered not only by a sentence such as Jane wrote it but also by a non-sentential phrase or fragment such as Jane. So-called ellipsis analysis of fragments argues that fragments are indeed full sentences disguised by ellipsis (e.g., Jane wrote it) (e.g., Morgan 1973). On the other hand, another line of analysis proposes a mechanism which enables fragments to make the same assertion as their sentential counterparts without relying on ellipsis (e.g., Stainton 2006). One type of arguments in favor of the latter analysis is the fact that some fragments behave differently from their sentential counterparts in their acceptability. In this talk, however, I will argue that one type of such data can indeed be explained by the ellipsis approach. Specifically, I propose that some fragments are underlyingly copular sentences with a schematic form It/That is DP. I demonstrate that the proposed analysis follows for free from independently motivated analyses of pronouns, copular sentences, and ellipsis (e.g., Merchant 2004, Schlenker 2003).

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