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Multidominance, ellipsis, and quantifier scope

This dissertation provides a novel perspective on the interaction between quantifier scope and ellipsis. It presents a detailed investigation of the scopal interaction between English negative indefinites, modals, and quantified phrases in ellipsis. One of the crucial observations is that a negative indefinite in object position cannot scope out of a verbal ellipsis site, while Quantifier Raising (QR) of a quantificational object can escape a verbal ellipsis site.

Tanja Maria Hugo Temmerman
28 June 2012
Published by LOT
Full text available in Leiden University Repository

This dissertation presents a unified account of this state of affairs in the context of multidominance. It is argued that both English negative indefinites and quantificational determiners decompose into two independent elements. Their formation is the result of a morphological process, Fusion Under Adjacency. The locality/adjacency required for fusion is established under remerge (multidominance), in combination with cyclic Spell-Out/linearization.

The main claim of this dissertation is that the PF-process of ellipsis can block this morphological process. It is proposed that the timing of Fusion Under Adjacency and (derivational) ellipsis plays a crucial role: Fusion Under Adjacency has to take place before the ellipsis licensor is merged. The lack of a blocking effect of ellipsis in QR is accounted for by the fact that QR always has a landing site below the ellipsis licensor. 

In addition to providing an account for the scopal behavior of quantificational elements under ellipsis, this dissertation also sheds new light on the syntax-to-PF mapping. It contributes to our understanding of how multidominant phrase markers are transferred to PF for (non-)pronunciation in a cyclic model of the grammar. 

This study is of relevance to scholars interested in the nature of ellipsis and quantifier scope, and the syntax-PF connection, as well as to a general syntactic readership.

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