Syntactic identity, Parallelism and accommodated antecedents

Gary Thoms

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Analyses of the ellipsis identity condition must account for the fact that some syntactic mismatches between an ellipsis site E and its antecedent A are possible while others are not. Previous accounts have suggested that the relevant distinction is between different kinds of heads, such that some heads in the ellipsis site may mismatch while others may not, and they have dealt with this sensitivity to a set of "special heads" with a built-for-purpose syntactic identity condition which holds over and above semantic identity to constrain ellipsis. In this article I argue against this approach and pursue an alternative which holds that identity is syntactic but "loose" in a precisely defined way. I show that the relevant generalization that accounts for syntactic identity effects in sluicing and VP-ellipsis-like constructions concerns the position of variables in the antecedent, rather than the feature content of syntactic heads. I propose an implementation of syntactic identity which allows for the accommodation of additional antecedents, with these being derived by a grammatical algorithm for generating alternatives, and I show that this implementation derives the right kinds of looseness while restricting mismatches with respect to the position of variables, thus deriving both the tolerable and intolerable mismatches between E and A without recourse to a specific condition regulating the content of special heads.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)172-198
    Number of pages27
    JournalLingua
    Volume166
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jan 25 2014

    Fingerprint

    mismatch
    recourse
    accommodation
    Parallelism
    Syntax
    semantics
    Ellipse
    Mismatch
    Identity Conditions

    Keywords

    • Ellipsis
    • Parallelism
    • Scottish Gaelic
    • Sluicing
    • Syntactic identity
    • VP-ellipsis

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Language and Linguistics
    • Linguistics and Language

    Cite this

    Syntactic identity, Parallelism and accommodated antecedents. / Thoms, Gary.

    In: Lingua, Vol. 166, 25.01.2014, p. 172-198.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Thoms, Gary. / Syntactic identity, Parallelism and accommodated antecedents. In: Lingua. 2014 ; Vol. 166. pp. 172-198.
    @article{657ccf25864e4b27803b03d60b15d5d1,
    title = "Syntactic identity, Parallelism and accommodated antecedents",
    abstract = "Analyses of the ellipsis identity condition must account for the fact that some syntactic mismatches between an ellipsis site E and its antecedent A are possible while others are not. Previous accounts have suggested that the relevant distinction is between different kinds of heads, such that some heads in the ellipsis site may mismatch while others may not, and they have dealt with this sensitivity to a set of {"}special heads{"} with a built-for-purpose syntactic identity condition which holds over and above semantic identity to constrain ellipsis. In this article I argue against this approach and pursue an alternative which holds that identity is syntactic but {"}loose{"} in a precisely defined way. I show that the relevant generalization that accounts for syntactic identity effects in sluicing and VP-ellipsis-like constructions concerns the position of variables in the antecedent, rather than the feature content of syntactic heads. I propose an implementation of syntactic identity which allows for the accommodation of additional antecedents, with these being derived by a grammatical algorithm for generating alternatives, and I show that this implementation derives the right kinds of looseness while restricting mismatches with respect to the position of variables, thus deriving both the tolerable and intolerable mismatches between E and A without recourse to a specific condition regulating the content of special heads.",
    keywords = "Ellipsis, Parallelism, Scottish Gaelic, Sluicing, Syntactic identity, VP-ellipsis",
    author = "Gary Thoms",
    year = "2014",
    month = "1",
    day = "25",
    doi = "10.1016/j.lingua.2015.04.005",
    language = "English (US)",
    volume = "166",
    pages = "172--198",
    journal = "Lingua",
    issn = "0024-3841",
    publisher = "Elsevier",

    }

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Syntactic identity, Parallelism and accommodated antecedents

    AU - Thoms, Gary

    PY - 2014/1/25

    Y1 - 2014/1/25

    N2 - Analyses of the ellipsis identity condition must account for the fact that some syntactic mismatches between an ellipsis site E and its antecedent A are possible while others are not. Previous accounts have suggested that the relevant distinction is between different kinds of heads, such that some heads in the ellipsis site may mismatch while others may not, and they have dealt with this sensitivity to a set of "special heads" with a built-for-purpose syntactic identity condition which holds over and above semantic identity to constrain ellipsis. In this article I argue against this approach and pursue an alternative which holds that identity is syntactic but "loose" in a precisely defined way. I show that the relevant generalization that accounts for syntactic identity effects in sluicing and VP-ellipsis-like constructions concerns the position of variables in the antecedent, rather than the feature content of syntactic heads. I propose an implementation of syntactic identity which allows for the accommodation of additional antecedents, with these being derived by a grammatical algorithm for generating alternatives, and I show that this implementation derives the right kinds of looseness while restricting mismatches with respect to the position of variables, thus deriving both the tolerable and intolerable mismatches between E and A without recourse to a specific condition regulating the content of special heads.

    AB - Analyses of the ellipsis identity condition must account for the fact that some syntactic mismatches between an ellipsis site E and its antecedent A are possible while others are not. Previous accounts have suggested that the relevant distinction is between different kinds of heads, such that some heads in the ellipsis site may mismatch while others may not, and they have dealt with this sensitivity to a set of "special heads" with a built-for-purpose syntactic identity condition which holds over and above semantic identity to constrain ellipsis. In this article I argue against this approach and pursue an alternative which holds that identity is syntactic but "loose" in a precisely defined way. I show that the relevant generalization that accounts for syntactic identity effects in sluicing and VP-ellipsis-like constructions concerns the position of variables in the antecedent, rather than the feature content of syntactic heads. I propose an implementation of syntactic identity which allows for the accommodation of additional antecedents, with these being derived by a grammatical algorithm for generating alternatives, and I show that this implementation derives the right kinds of looseness while restricting mismatches with respect to the position of variables, thus deriving both the tolerable and intolerable mismatches between E and A without recourse to a specific condition regulating the content of special heads.

    KW - Ellipsis

    KW - Parallelism

    KW - Scottish Gaelic

    KW - Sluicing

    KW - Syntactic identity

    KW - VP-ellipsis

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84946409618&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84946409618&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    U2 - 10.1016/j.lingua.2015.04.005

    DO - 10.1016/j.lingua.2015.04.005

    M3 - Article

    VL - 166

    SP - 172

    EP - 198

    JO - Lingua

    JF - Lingua

    SN - 0024-3841

    ER -