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Lecture | Com(parative) Syn(tax) Series

Online | Unmatched and unparalleled: Voice mismatches in ellipsis — Analysis and theoretical implications

  • Marcel den Dikken (Research Institute for Linguistics, Hungarian Academy of Sciences)
Thursday 14 May 2020
Com(parative) Syn(tax) Series
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Ellipsis constructions are often quite tolerant of mismatches between the ellipsis clause and its antecedent with respect to voice (active/passive, dative/applicative) and alternations similar to those involving voice (copular inversion, locative inversion, the locative alternation). This paper establishes the generalisation that while surface mismatches between the predication structures in the two clauses are legitimate, what is excluded is a mismatch between the antecedent and an ellipsis clause in which a predicational structure that is underlyingly the reverse of the predication structure in the antecedent is silenced in its entirety. Given an independently motivated outlook on the active/passive voice alternation, this ban on deep mismatches between predication structures rules out active/passive voice mismatch except when what is subjected to ellipsis is just the predicate. The Parallelism Requirement on Ellipsis of Predication Structures makes accurate predictions, and serves syntax well as a diagnostic tool in diagnosing ellipsis and the distribution of passivisation.

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