Syntactic Focus Movement and Ellipsis: A Minimalist Approach

J.-S. Kim, 1997

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The goal of this thesis is to explore focusing effects in the phenomenon of ellipsis within a minimalist framework (Chomsky 1993, 1995).

         In chapter 2, I explore Pseudogapping constructions in English vs. Korean/Japanese. Lasnik (1995, 1997) argues that English Pseudogapping is VP ellipsis, with the remnants having moved to Spec of Agr in overt syntax, in a split VP structure (Koizumi 1995). In the first part, I examine Lasniks theory. In the second part, I observe that there is a similar construction to English Pseudogapping in Korean/Japanese. I argue that pseudogapped remnants in Korean/Japanese move out of the ellipsis site via syntactic focus movement. Given the standard minimalist assumption that all movements are driven by feature checking, focus movement will also have to be driven by a feature [+focus]. I define [+focus] as a formal feature which represents accented new information. I assume that Foc(us)P is placed above TP in Korean/Japanese, and argue that the focused constituent undergoes syntactic focus movement. In short, I argue that Korean/Japanese Pseudogapping is syntactic focus movement followed by VP ellipsis.

         In chapter 3, I investigate Sluicing in Japanese/Korean vs. English. I argue that Japanese/Korean Sluicing is syntactic focus movement followed by TP ellipsis or VP ellipsis. The second part is devoted to Sluicing in English. Based on the observation that Sluicing is allowed only in interrogative WH-clauses, I argue that English Sluicing is syntactic focus movement plus WH-movement followed by TP ellipsis.

         In chapter 4, I explore Gapping constructions In Korean/Japanese vs. English. I argue that Gapping in Korean/Japanese is syntactic focus movement followed by TP ellipsis. In the second part, I argue that Gapping in English is syntactic focus movement following by TP ellipsis. In sum, I argue that Gapping in these languages is an instance of incomplete TP ellipsis, with the remnants having moved out the ellipsis site via syntactic focus movement.

Table of Contents

Introduction                                                                                             1

1.1 Minimalist Assumptions                                                                           1

1.2 Outline of the Thesis                                                                                4

Notes to Chapter 1                                                                                      8

Extracting Pseudogapped Remnants                                                                  9

2.1 Introduction                                                                                         9

2.2 Pseudogapping in English is Incomplete VP Ellipsis                                             11

 2.3 Pseudogapping in Korean/Japanese                                                                      20

         2.3.1 Main-Verb-Only Constructions in Korean/Japanese                                          21

         2.3.2 Korean Verbal Morphology: PF Merger                                                27

         2.3.3 On AgrP in Korean                                                                                 30

         Evidence for AgrsP in Korean                                                31

         What Lasnik & Saitos (1991) observations say about AgroP in Korean 33

         2.3.4 Pseudogapping in Focus Constructions                                               37

         Single Pseudogapped Remnant                                                      37

         Multiple Pseudogapped Remnant                                          56

         2.3.5 Ellipsis more than VP                                                                    65

         NegP Deletion                                                                65

         Stripping                                                                       66

         Pseudostripping                                                                       69

         The Upper Bound of Elliptic Categories                                    73

2.4 Conclusion                                                                                           75

Notes to Chapter II                                                                                      77

What does [+focus] do in Sluicing?                                                                     81

3.1 Introduction                                                                                         81

3.2 Sluicing in Japanese                                                                                         85

         3.2.1 Previous Analyses of Japanese Sluicing                                               85

         Sluicing with Overt WH-movement                                         86

         Sluicing without (WH)-movement                                          96

         3.2.2 Proposals                                                                                          105

         Sluicing with Focus Movement                                              105

         Two Types of Sluicing and Da be-support in Japanese                   113

         Multiple Sluicing and Overt Saving Effects                                 116

3.3 Sluicing in English                                                                                   126

         3.3.1 Previous Analyses                                                                                 127

         Lobecks (1990) Agreement Analysis                                       127

         Nishiyama, Whitman, & Yis (1996) Copula Analysis                      128

         3.3.2 Data often ignored in the treatment of Sluicing                                      129

         3.3.3 Driving Sluiced Remnant(s)                                                             130

         Why is Sluicing allowed only in Interrogative WH-clauses?              131

         Spill-over Sluicing                                                             134

                  Previous Analyses                                                 134

                  Proposals                                                          138

         On the Position of Strong Categorial D-features                                    143

         Island Effects: A Speculation                                                145

         3.3.4 A Note on Matrix Sluicing                                                                148

         Matrix Sluicing in English                                                              148

         Matrix Sluicing in Japanese                                                  149

3.4 Conclusion                                                                                           151

Notes to Chapter III                                                                                     154

The Role of Contrastive Focus in Gapping                                                             159

4.1 Introduction                                                                                         159

4.2 Gapping in Korean/Japanese                                                                               163

         4.2.1 Saitos (1987) Right Node Raising Analysis                                                     163

         4.2.2 Abe & Hoshis (1993, 1995) LF Copying Analysis                                      166

         4.2.3 Proposals: Leftward Focus Movement plus PF Deletion of TP                       172

         Multiple Gapped Remnants                                                 172

         Postposition Drop and Case-marker Drop                                 182

4.3 Gapping in English                                                                                  184

         4.3.1 The Apparent Non-constituency in Gapping                                          184

         4.3.2 Larsons (1990) (Leftward Movement followed by) VP/V Deletion Analysis                186

         4.3.3 Proposals: Rightward Focus Movement plus PF Deletion of TP                      193

         4.3.4 A Note on Johnsons (1994) Across-the-Board Movement Analysis of Gapping    204

4.4 Conclusion                                                                                           213

Notes to Chapter IV                                                                                     214

Bibliography                                                                                             217