Sluicing(:) Between Structure and Inference

(with Sandy Chung and Bill Ladusaw)

In Rogrigo GutiĆ©rrez-Bravo, Line Mikkelsen and Eric Potsdam, eds., Representing Language: Essays in Honor of Judith Aissen, California Digital Library eScholarship Repository. Linguistic Research Center, University of California, Santa Cruz.(2011), 31–50. Available here.

Investigations of sluicing since Chung, Ladusaw, and McCloskey 1995 have profitably explored two approaches to this ellipsis process that differ significantly from ours. In one, the ellipsis site is created by deletion of a fully articulated TP in which Wh-movement has applied. In the other, the ellipsis site contains no internal structure at all, and its reference is resolved via pragmatic inference. Here we reconsider some of the theoretical issues, focusing on sprouting, the subtype of sluicing in which the remnant of ellipsis has no overt correlate in the antecedent clause. We discuss evidence, some of it new, which suggests that sprouting involves the re-use of existing material, much as we originally proposed.