Relativization that you did


Szczegielniak, Adam. 2005. Relativization that you did. Harvard. Cambridge, MA: MIT Occasional Papers in Linguistics vol. 24, MIT Occasional Papers in Linguistics 24. Copy at
Relativization that you did


This work address the puzzle why VP ellipsis where the subject plus an auxiliary/modal
/negation (non bare-VP ellipsis) is not possible in relatives derived via operator
movement, whereas VP ellipsis where only the subject remains (bare-VP ellipsis) is
possible in both relatives derived via operator movement as well as head noun movement.
I will argue that Polish and Russian ellipsis data points to the generalization that VPellipsis
is essentially deletion of a topic VP.
In the first part of the thesis, I show that Polish and Russian relative clauses divide into
two types: (i) derived by head noun movement (co/cto-relatives), and (ii) derived by
operator movement and adjunction of the relative to the head noun (który/kotoryjrelatives).
In the second part, I answer why bare-VP ellipsis is only possible in co/cto-relatives, and
non bare-VP ellipsis is possible in both types of relatives. I will argue that de-stressing
and subsequent ellipsis requires the establishment of Topic and Focus in overt syntax.
The establishment of Topic/Focus interacts with relative clause formation giving rise to
the asymmetry in the availability of both types of VP ellipsis in different kinds of relative

This is a revision of my 2004 PhD thesis at Harvard


Publisher: MIT Working Papers in Linguistics
Last updated on 04/27/2014