The Typology of Head Movement and Ellipsis: a reply to Lipták & Saab
Craig Sailor
May 2017

Lipták and Saab (2014) argue that the availability of both XP-ellipsis and X-movement out of XP within a particular language implicates the availability of the X-stranding XP-ellipsis pattern in that language, as seen in the verbal domains of Hebrew and Irish for example. They further argue that this implication can be used to diagnose the absence of X-movement in a language (i.e. if it has XP-ellipsis but lacks the X-stranding pattern). In this reply, I show that this diagnostic is flawed: a language can have the relevant ingredients and yet lack the X-stranding pattern that the authors predict to be present, as in Mainland Scandinavian, which has verb-second but lacks verb-stranding VP-ellipsis. I argue that such exceptions are principled: the X-stranding pattern arises only if the operations responsible for these phenomena are timed such that the trigger for X-movement out of XP is merged earlier than, or at the same time as, the trigger for XP-ellipsis. I revise Lipták and Saab's (2014) implicational statement accordingly.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/002148
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: To appear in NLLT
keywords: x-stranding xp-ellipsis; verb phrase ellipsis; verb-stranding; verb movement; verb second, syntax
previous versions: v1 [July 2014]
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