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The crosslinguistic syntax of sluicing: evidence from hungarian relatives

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This paper deals with an elliptical construction in Hungarian that to our knowledge has not received any attention in the theoretical literature so far. It involves the deletion of a relative clause with the exclusion of the relative pronoun and one more remaining constituent. We show that this construction should be analyzed as an instance of sluicing. The theoretical approach we provide for these sentences is an adapted version of Merchant's (2001) implementation of sluicing in terms of an [e]-feature that is responsible for the deletion process. Our extension of this proposal involves the modification of the syntactic subcontent of this [e]-feature. We show that languages where question words are found in the operator domain of the left periphery use a version of the [e]-feature that attaches to heads whose specifier is occupied by an operator. This predicts that sluicing not only occurs with wh-remnants but more widely with operator remnants as well. With this proposal we lay the foundation for a crosslinguistic taxonomy of sluicing constructions, and open new avenues towards explaining root/embedded asymmetries in some as yet ill-understood elliptical phenomena in English.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Catholic University of Brussels Facultés universitaires Saint-Louis Vrijheidslaan 17 1081 Brussels Belgium, Email: [email protected] 2: LUCL, Leiden University 2300 RA Leiden P.O. Box 9515 The Netherlands, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: December 1, 2006

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