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Linguistic Inquiry

Spring 2020, Vol. 51, No. 2, Pages 341-365
(doi: 10.1162/ling_a_00346)
© 2020 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
On the Nonexistence of Verb-Stranding VP-Ellipsis
Article PDF (369.23 KB)
Abstract
An increasingly popular analysis of object gap sentences in many languages derives them in two steps: (a) V-raising out of VP, and (b) VP-ellipsis of the remnant, stranding the verb (V-stranding VP-ellipsis, VSVPE). For Hebrew, Hindi, Russian, and Portuguese, I show this analysis to be inadequate. First, it undergenerates elliptical objects in various environments, and second, it overgenerates nonexisting adjunct-including readings. For all the problematic data, simple argument ellipsis provides a unified explanation. The absence of VSVPE in languages that do allow V-raising and Aux-stranding VP-ellipsis raises an intriguing problem for theories addressing the interaction of head movement and ellipsis.