Modal Ellipsis in French, Spanish and Italian: evidence for a TP-deletion analysis.

Abstract : This paper deals with constructions such as 'Paul est allé à la montagne mais Luc n'a pas pu' ('Paul went to the mountain but Paul couldn't'). We show that, like English VP-ellipsis, they verify all the diagnostics suggesting the presence of inaudible syntactic structure rather than that of a null pronoun : unlike related structures that involve a full pronoun (cf. Il le pouvait, lit. 'He could it', Il pouvait le faire, lit. 'He could do it'), they indeed allow long-distance dependancies betwee a WH-item and a position within the elided site, as in interrogatives, free relatives or ACD constructions - provided, in the latter case, that the subjects co-refer. However, the kind of remnants they allow, and the possibility of voice mismatches (Merchant 2008) argue for elision of a broader structure than in English VPE. We then show that similar structures in Spanish and Italian, contrary to previous claims (Depiante 2006, Cechetto & Percus 2007), also involve PF-deletion : the display the same extraction properties, along with the same constraints (contrastive focusing for interrogatives, subject coreference for ACD constructions).
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Anne Dagnac. Modal Ellipsis in French, Spanish and Italian: evidence for a TP-deletion analysis.. Karlos Arregi, Zsuzsanna Fagyal, Silvina A. Montrul and Annie Tremblay. Romance Linguistics 2008 : Interactions in Romance, 313, John Benjamins, pp.157-170, 2010, Current Issues in Linguistic Theory, 9789027248312. ⟨hal-00881807⟩

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