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Is there structure at the ellipsis site? evidence from Saudi Arabic sluicing

Alshaalan, Yara Abdulaziz; (2021) Is there structure at the ellipsis site? evidence from Saudi Arabic sluicing. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis reports on the results of eight acceptability judgment experiments on Saudi Arabic elliptical questions (sluicing). These results are presented in two sections. The first section reports on the results of four experiments on sluicing with prepositional phrases in Saudi Arabic. I show that, in standard cases of merger-type sluicing and contrastive sluicing, where the antecedent is a PP, there is no penalty for leaving out the preposition in the wh-remnant. I refer to such examples as OPUS. The findings reveal that the status of the examples depends on the status of the most acceptable synonymous source within the ellipsis site; in particular, when neither a cleft structure nor a resumptive structure is grammatically available at the ellipsis site, the acceptability of OPUS decays. I interpret this as evidence that there is syntactic structure at the ellipsis site and that the wh-remnant in these elliptical questions can – and sometimes must – relate to a resumptive pronoun at the ellipsis site. The second section reports on the results of four experiments on sluicing with degree phrases in Saudi Arabic. I show that, in standard cases of merger-type sluicing, there is a penalty for the lack of a syntactically isomorphic structure within the ellipsis site. The findings reveal that the status of examples depends on the availability of a syntactically isomorphic structure at the ellipsis site; in particular, when only a semantically identical structure is acceptable in Saudi Arabic, the acceptability of sluicing decays. Overall, the results of the eight experiments suggest that sluicing in Saudi Arabic presents evidence that there is a silent structure at the ellipsis site, which is syntactically isomorphic to the antecedent. In cases in which no syntactically isomorphic pre-sluice is grammatical in Saudi Arabic, the acceptability of sluicing decays.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Is there structure at the ellipsis site? evidence from Saudi Arabic sluicing
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2021. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10122812
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