Abstract/Details

Focusing effects and NP interpretation in VP ellipsis


1997 1997

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Abstract (summary)

This dissertation provides solutions for some problems of quantification and anaphora interpretation in VP ellipsis contexts. The introductory Chapter 1 begins with brief descriptions of the problems and some of the basic assumptions employed in this thesis. I will then discuss the 'identity problem' of VP ellipsis and argue that the relevant identity condition for VPs is determined at the level of LF but is oblivious to indices on anaphoric expressions. This conclusion leads to a question of how to constrain indexing of pronominal elements in VP ellipsis contexts so that unavailable interpretations are successfully eliminated. In Chapter 2, I argue that the distribution of indices in VP ellipsis contexts is constrained by a pragmatic principle, namely a principle of focus interpretation. It will be shown that some of the most recent development in the semantics and pragmatics of focus gives the right degree of restrictiveness on indexing.

Chapter 3 is an investigation of a curious puzzle of quantifier scope in VP ellipsis contexts. When a quantificational NP is contained in the antecedent VP, its interpretation appears to be dependent on the quantificational structure of the ellipsis site. I will argue that the unavailable interpretations of quantifiers in those contexts are ruled out because they do not satisfy the condition of focus interpretation. The solution advocated here removes the need for special syntactic constraints on scope taking in ellipsis contexts.

The core empirical issue in Chapter 4 is a set of examples in which a pronoun in VP ellipsis contexts allows a so-called 'sloppy' reading in a structural configuration that is believed to disallow variable binding. These examples threaten the standard view that a strict reading of a pronoun is brought about by the referential nature of the pronoun while a bound variable pronoun yields a sloppy reading under ellipsis. I will provide a solution for this puzzle, in which I will relate the problem to the semantics of indefinite NPs and pronouns anaphoric to them.

Indexing (details)


Subject
Linguistics
Classification
0290: Linguistics
Identifier / keyword
Language, literature and linguistics
Title
Focusing effects and NP interpretation in VP ellipsis
Author
Tomioka, Satoshi
Number of pages
243
Publication year
1997
Degree date
1997
School code
0118
Source
DAI-A 58/06, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
ISBN
9780591475333, 0591475332
Advisor
Kratzer, Angelika
University/institution
University of Massachusetts Amherst
University location
United States -- Massachusetts
Degree
Ph.D.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
9737589
ProQuest document ID
304353889
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/304353889
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