CUNY Syntax Supper: Adam Szczegielniak (Rutgers University)
APR 16, 2013 | 6:30 PM TO 8:30 PM
The Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue
April 16, 2013: 6:30 PM-8:30 PM
Overt movement triggered by Givenness and Alternatives - evidence from ellipsis
Based on data from ellipsis, I argue in this talk that overt movement can license Givenness as well as the assignment of alternatives. I explore Antecedent Contained deletion constructions as in (1,2) (discussed in Szczegielniak 2004 for Polish, and Craenenbroeck and Lipták 2006 for Hungarian as in 3). I adopt a novel approach to Givenness (Schwarzschild 1999) proposed in Kučerova (2012) where Givenness in Slavic languages like Czech, Russian, or Polish is encoded via overt movement. The talk will examine whether contrasts in Ellipsis in (1 vs. 2) can be captured via a condition on ellipsis that utilizes Givenness (Merchant 2001) in its enhanced version as adopted in Kučerova (2012). It will be argued that it does.
As much as time will permit, I explore whether licensing ellipsis via overt marking of given elements modulo Focus is sufficient to account for varieties of ellipsis. I show we independently need to encode Focus and the marking of alternatives (Rooth 1992) in overt syntax, and that such marking can be via movement, or via an overt licensor. The latter might be required in order to explain the Hungarian facts in (3) where an overt focus marker is present, and the fact that the contrast in (1,2) disappears when we overtly focus the relative clause subject via the presence of a particle as in (4,5). Whereas the approach where licensing of alternatives is via over movement sheds light on the properties of wh-constructions in sluicing, for example their sensitivity to superiority in languages where, in regular wh-movement, superiority can be violated, as shown in (6) (Stjepanović 2003). In cases of VP ellipsis, we can also observe alternatives driven movement in that remnants appear inherently focused (Baltin 2003, Tanaka 2011) as shown in (7).