Lotus Goldberg

My McGill University dissertation, titled Verb-Stranding VP Ellipsis: A Cross-Linguistic Study, was completed and successfully defended in June 2005. It was directed by Lisa deMena Travis of McGill, and Jason Merchant of the University of Chicago.

The dissertation has two goals.

The first is the development of a set of diagnostics by which the VP Ellipsis ("VPE") construction can be identified--irrespective of whether the main V involved is null or overt. It is proposed that these diagnostics can be used to rule out the possibility that the data at issue are cases of other types of null anaphora, such as null arguments, Stripping, Gapping, and Null Complement Anaphora. It emerges from this section of the thesis that Modern Hebrew, Modern Irish, and Swahili have V-Stranding VPE data which form a natural class with English's Aux-Stranding VPE, while Japanese, Korean, Italian, and Spanish do not.

The second goal is to address the question of how V-Stranding VPE should be generated. The dissertation argues in favor of an analysis involving PF Deletion of a VP out of which the main V has raised, and against an LF Copying treatment. These arguments, in part, involve the Verbal Identity Requirement on VP Ellipsis--a novel generalization involving strict identity in root and derivational morphology between the antecedent- and target- clause main Vs of the construction. Within the previously known requirement that elided phrases express semantically Given information, I argue that this generalization results from the fact that the head of an elided phrase must itself express Given information-- whether or not the head surfaces as phonologically null.

Contents:

Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: Establishing a Diagnosis of V-Stranding VP Ellipsis

Chapter 3: Deriving the Verb Stranding Effect

Chapter 4: Capturing the Isomorphism Requirements of V-Stranding VPE

Chapter 5: Conclusion

You can download the thesis here: