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Lechner, Winfried

Ellipsis in Comparatives

Series:Studies in Generative Grammar [SGG] 72


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    Publication Date:
    August 2008
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    Aims and Scope

    Generative analyses of comparatives traditionally include two construction specific ellipsis operations, Comparative Deletion and Comparative Ellipsis. Drawing from a wide array of new data, the present monograph develops a novel, directly semantically interpretable analysis of comparatives which does not require reference to designated deletion processes. On the one hand, Comparative Deletion is reinterpreted in terms of overt movement of the degree predicate. The resulting head-raising analysis contributes to an understanding of various puzzles for comparatives related to binding, locality and the influence of word-order variation on the interpretation and size of the ellipsis site. On the other hand, it is argued that Comparative Ellipsis can entirely be subsumed under standardly sanctioned ellipsis operations such as Gapping, Right Node Raising and Across-the-Board-movement. In addition, the study presents arguments for an ellipsis analysis of phrasal comparatives (such as Millhouse saw more movies than Bart). Empirical support for this conception derives, among others, from the complex interdependencies between ellipsis and serialization in English and German, and the binding properties of remnants inside the comparative complement. The study is directed towards readers interested in formal syntax and the syntax/semantics interface.

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    Winfried Lechner is researcher at the Department of Linguistics, University of Tuebingen, Germany.

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