Elliptical constructions and underlying clefts

Joanna Nykiel

Abstract


In this study, I argue that, contra previous accounts, the possibility of preposition omission in elliptical constructions, in particular under sluicing, is not syntactically motivated. Polish has no possibility of preposition stranding in non-elliptical interrogatives, and nor does it have acceptable cleft interrogatives that could underlie elided phrases without prepositions. However, manipulations of the complexity of elided phrases and/or their correlates influence the acceptability of preposition omission in three elliptical constructions. These results are not predicted on a transformational account, but are consistent with accounts appealing to the salience of the correlate available in the antecedent, including processing accounts.

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