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The Ellipsis of "Ellipsis". A Reanalysis of "Elided" Noun Phrase Structures in German

By E. Werner


This thesis deals with the explanation of so-called “NP-ellipsis” (NPE) in German – a linguistic phenomenon that can be regarded as the omission of the noun in (full) DPs; the remnant (usually a determiner or an adjective) has to show strong morphological agreement by way of an agreement suffix in order to license the elided noun. There are two strategies that seek to explain NPE, as reported in the literature: elision (which can be dependent on the presence of strong inflectional morphology/agreement (on the D- or adjectival remnant), Focus, or the presence of a so-called “classifier phrase”) and pronominalization (used when there is no inflectional morphology on the adjectival remnant). The aim of the thesis is to show that these NPE strategies work well for some languages, but not for German (they thus seem to be too language-specific by nature). Therefore, it is proposed that NPE in German should be captured in another way, i.e., by analyzing NPE constructions as DPs and APs without an NP-complement projection (which, in previous accounts, is incorrectly filled by a null noun (“eN”) or an agreement suffix that acts as a replacement for the “elided” noun). It will also be shown that the new proposal extends to Dutch, English and Frisian as well: an outcome that would point in the direction of a truly cross-linguistic account of the phenomenon in question

Topics: NP-ellipsis, elision, inflection, morphology, agreement, Focus, classifiers, pronominalization
Year: 2011
OAI identifier: oai:dspace.library.uu.nl:1874/219686
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