Deletion versus pro-forms: An overly simple dichotomy?

Mark Baltin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    This paper examines an anaphoric construction, British English do, and locates it within the dichotomy in the ellipsis literature between deleted phrases and null pro-forms, concluding that the choice is a false one, in that pro-forms involve deletion as well; the question, then, is how to account for the differential permeability to dependencies that require external licensing of the various deleted constituents. British English do has some characteristics of a fully deleted phrase, and some of a pro-form. The paper proposes that deletion is involved in this construction, but of a smaller constituent than can host wh-movement or long quantifier-raising. Therefore, deletion must occur within the syntax, in order to bleed syntactic processes. It is further shown that, within a phase-based syntax, Voice must be a phase rather than v, but that both functional heads must exist, and offers a new explanation for the incompatibility of passive and British English do, as well as an account of why some languages, like English, lack impersonal passives, while others, such as Dutch, allow them.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)381-423
    Number of pages43
    JournalNatural Language and Linguistic Theory
    Volume30
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    StatePublished - May 2012

    Fingerprint

    syntax
    permeability
    incompatibility
    English language
    lack
    Proform
    Syntax
    Dichotomy
    British English
    Constituent
    literature
    Permeability
    Quantifier Raising
    Language
    Impersonal Passives
    Anaphoric
    Wh-movement
    Ellipse
    Licensing

    Keywords

    • Anaphora
    • Deletion
    • Ellipsis
    • Phases
    • Pro-forms

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Linguistics and Language
    • Language and Linguistics

    Cite this

    Deletion versus pro-forms : An overly simple dichotomy? / Baltin, Mark.

    In: Natural Language and Linguistic Theory, Vol. 30, No. 2, 05.2012, p. 381-423.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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