Deletion and Logical Form

I. A. Sag, 1976

for $19.95 x

This thesis incorporates a detailed study of two deletion rules in English: Verb Phrase Deletion and Gapping.  It establishes a fundamental connection between the familiar motion of the recoverability of deletion and matters of logical form.

Chapter One is an investigation of the syntax of Verb Phrase Deletion.  Previous proposals for the constituent structure of VP and AUX are examined and rejected in favor of one that accomodates a proper formulation of that rule.

In the second chapter, it is argued that logical considerations play an important role in determining the applicability of such rules as Verb Phrase Deletion.  A theory of logical form is sketched, as well as a theory of the recoverability of deletion.  Those theories are justified on the basis of many new facts about the interaction of deletion and quantifier interpretation and certain well-known facts such as the problem of "sloppy identity".

Chapter three concerns the rule of Gapping.  A reformulation of that rule is offered in light of various inadequacies of previous proposals that are observed.  A revision of the A-over-A principle is also proposed, as well as a rather novel proposal for its interaction with the principle of the recoverability of deletion.  The logical form of Gapped sentences is also examined.

The last chapter justifies the basic approach of the first three.  A "mixed" theory of anaphora utilizing both deletion rules and interpretive rules is seen to be preferable to recent proposals which have attempted to treat all anaphoric processes interpretively.

Thesis supervisor:         Noam Chomsky

Title:                             Institute Professor of Linguistics

Table of Contents

Chapter One    The Syntax of Verb Phrase Deletion

            1.1       Syntactic overview                                                                                10

            1.2       Theories, objections, and a proposal                                                     15

            1.3       Semantic problems for the syntactic theories                                          57

            1.4       Summary of Chapter One                                                                     74

Footnotes to Chapter One                                                                                            75

Chapter Two    Verb Phrase Deletion and Logical Form

            2.0       Recoverability of deletion                                                                      85

            2.1       Logical form                                                                                         96

            2.2       The problem of "sloppy identity"                                                           122

            2.3       Residual matters                                                                                   142

            2.4       Summary of Chapter Two                                                                     178

Footnotes to Chapter Two                                                                                            179

Chapter Three  Gapping

            3.1       Syntactic overview                                                                                189

            3.2       Previous proposals and problems                                                          201

            3.3       RAOAP reconsidered                                                                          229

            3.4       A formulation of gapping                                                                       260

            3.5       Gapping and logical form                                                                      279

            3.6       Summary of Chapter Three                                                                   295

Footnotes to Chapter Three                                                                                          296

Chapter Four    A "Mixed" Theory of Anaphora

            4.0       Introduction                                                                                          301

            4.1       Interpretation vs. deletion                                                                      304

            4.2       Deep and surface anaphora                                                                   315

            4.3       The non-unity of anaphora                                                                    329

            4.4       Summary of Chapter Four                                                                    351

Footnotes to Chapter Four                                                                                           353

Inconclusion                                                                                                                 356