The Syntax of Ellipsis inJordanian Arabic Ahmad H.Khatatneha.
[email protected]@su.edu.sa+966536163670 Abstract This proposal aims to investigate the syntax ofellipsis in Jordanian Arabic (JA) concentrating on verb phrase ellipsis,sluicing, negative contrast and stripping. Not much research has been conductedto study elliptical structures in Jordanian Arabic. Therefore, this study providesa detailed description of these phenomena from a generative perspective.
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1. Introduction Ellipsis refers to is a phenomenon of overt syntaxinvolving erasure. As indicated by Smith (2001), ellipsis cannot beeffortlessly arranged since it incorporates phonology (as it is likedeaccenting), linguistic structure (by uprightness of its distribution,semantics (confirm by its evident licensing conditions), and pragmatics (onaccount of the cognitive load it forces)’. The focal question as for ellipsisis its linguistic representation.
Linguists fall into twoapproaches in relation to ellipses linguistic representation, Deletion andNon-Deletion approaches. Non-Deletion approach argues that ellipsesconstructions are empty categories (null elements) which are then filled inthrough a copy operation in the logical component as illustrated in (1a)(Lobeck 1995; Fortin 2007). On the other hand, the deletion approach proponentsargue that ellipsis is syntactically represented but deleted at the PF(Phonetic Form) interface. That is, it has linguistic structure however not aphonological representation as illustrated in (1b) (Chomsky & Lasnik, 1993;Aelbrecht, 2010). (1). George likes winning votes as much as Aldoes.
(1a).George likes winning votes as much as Al does VP V NP Adj N .(1b). George likes winning votes as much as Al does like winningvotes. This proposition expects to investigate the syntaxof various sorts of ellipsis in Jordanian Arabic.
In particular, it’s concernedwith verb phrase ellipsis, sluicing, negative contrast and stripping. In spiteof being widely studied in languages such asEnglish, Greek and Spanish, these types ofellipsis, to the best of the researcher’s knowledge, few studies have beenconducted to investigate Jordanian Arabic (Malkawi, 2015) and it examined justthe VP ellipses; In this manner, the present study provides completedescription of these ellipsis phenomena of Jordanian Arabic from a generativeperspective. 1.
2 The data The data used as a part of this research willrepresent different varieties of urban Jordanian Arabic. It will be judged bynative speakers of Jordanian Arabic. Informants will be encouraged to readdifferent elliptical constructions and provide their judgements ofgrammaticality. The following is a concise description of data on ellipsisdiscussed in this study. 1.2.1 Sluicing Sluicing is a sort of ellipsis and it may takeplace in direct and indirect interrogative clauses. The ellipsis is presentedby a wh-expression, whereby in most cases, everything with the exception ofwh-expression is omitted from the clause as clarified in the cases underneath(2): (2) Ahmad ?kl shi:, Ahmed ate 3ms something, butbs notmsh ?aref knows 1mssho.
what.Ahmed ate something, but I don’t know what. 1.2.2 VP ellipsis VP ellipsis or (VPE) is a syntactic structure inwhich a non-finiteverb phrase has been left out (elided).Verbphrase ellipsis involves the deletion of an whole verb phrase. Two instances ofverb phrase related ellipsis can be discussed; one is licensed by the modalverb y?gder/ momken ‘can’ and theother is licensed by main verbs, as outlined (2).
(3) ?alatennu Khaled t?a?a ?ibne, o Rami ___ burger.Say-3fs-PER Khaled eat-dinner.3ms-PER cheese, andRami burger.’She said that Khaled ate cheese, and Rami ateburger 1.2.3 Negative Contrast and Stripping Negative contrast and Stripping include sententialellipsis omitting the entire clause with the exception of a remnant which isnormally accompanied by a focusing adverb in the former and a negative particlein the latter.
These two forms of clausal ellipsis, i.e. stripping and negativecontrast, can be can be examined in this study. They are exemplified in (4) and(5) respectively. (4) ?na bdi? ?safer ?-br?t?an?a? aw ??tmal Mohammad kman I want travel to-Britain, and probably Mohammad too I want to travel to Britain and Mohammad will probably do that too (5) xalad ra? ?l-d?am?a? m? ?l-cinema Xalad went to-university not to-Cinema Xalad went to the university, not to the cinema 1.
3 Issues of the Study The present study, aside from describing theellipsis phenomena expressed above, attempts to discuss and represent thefollowing issues. 1.3.1 Sluicing vs Pseudosluicing Sluicing and pseudosluicing are indistinct in a fewcontexts in Jordanian Arabic, Pseudosluicing is defined as ‘an ellipticalconstruction that resembles a sluice in having only a wh-XP as remnant, but hasthe structure of a cleft, not of a regular embedded question’ (Merchant 1998:91). (6) Ahmed zarwa?adbs m? ?araf mi?n Ahmed visited someone but not know who Ahmed visited someone but I don’t know who (6a) Ahmed zar wa?ad bs m? ?araf mi?n zar Ahmad (Sluicing) Ahmed visited someone but not know who visited ahmad Ahmed visited someone but I don’t know who he had visited (6b)Ahmed zar wa?ad bs m? ?araf mi?n alli: ahmad zaroh (Pseudosluicing) Ahmed visited someone but not know who that ahmad visited Ahmed visited someone but not know who that ahmad visited Along these lines, this study goes for researchingthe sluicing phenomenon and determining whether what appear as sluicing in thelanguage are cases of sluicing or pseudosluicing.
1.3.2 Verb Phrase Ellipsis Two sorts of verb expression ellipsis will bediscussed in this proposal: modal ellipsis and verb-stranding VP ellipsis. Theprevious includes deletion of the complement of a modal verb, while the lasterases the internal arguments of the lexical verb, which is raised to T andsurvives erasure. The phenomenon of modal ellipsis has been found in languagessuch as French, Spanish, Italian and Dutch. Modal ellipsis can be analyzed as VP deletion(Johnson, 2001), an ellipsis site containing a ‘nullpro-form’ with no internal syntax (Depiante, 2001),or a type of modal ellipsis that elides a TP constituent, as in Dutch(Aelbrecht, 2010).
In this study, I intend todiscuss the syntax of modal ellipsis in Jordanian Arabic and aim to determinewhether it involves VP or TP ellipsis and whether it can be analyzed as a PFdeletion process or merely as a null proform 1.3.3 Stripping and Negative ContrastThis study will discuss also the syntax of negative contrast andstripping and their interaction with information structure.
Both have been analyzed as a process ofdeletionof a sentential portion preceded by remnant movement to the left periphery(Merchant, 2004). The study discusses these two sorts ofellipsis and attempts todecidewhether or not they can be derived by movement and deletion and how eachinteractswith information structure.————-1.4 Objectives and Significance of theStudy To the best of the researcher’s knowledge, thisdissertation represents the first comprehensive description of sluicing, ofstripping and negative contrast in Jordanian Arabic, which in itself can beconsidered as a contribution to the understanding of the syntax of thelanguage. In particular, the study presents and analyzes these sorts ofellipsis and shows how each is manifested in the language. Overall, the studyaims to: (a) Give adescription of sluicing and decide if what shows up sluicing in the languageare instances of sluicing (elliptical wh-questions) or pseudosluicing(elliptical wh-clefts). (b) Provide adescription and analysis of modal ellipsis and verb-stranding VP Ellipsis. (c) Provide adescription and analysis of stripping and negative contrast and theirinteraction with information structure.
——————————————– 2. Ellipses in Syntactic Theory Ellipsis is amongst the most debated topics insyntactic theory. In this manner, the researcher will review the theoriesproposed to clarify ellipsis phenomena, introduces ellipsis and brieflydiscusses its distinctive sorts, surveys different approaches to ellipsis,specifically structural vs. non-structural approaches. 2.
1 Defining ellipsis Lobeck (1995: 20) characterizes ellipsis as the”omission of a syntactic constituent under identity with an antecedent inthe preceding discourse”. Ellipsis can be sub-categorised into varioustypes, depending on the category targeted by omission. The following areoutlines of different ellipsis constructions. Sluicing(7) Jane met someone, but I can’t remember who.
VPEllipsis(8) Yasin bought a new house, and Ali did too. Pseudogapping(9) Robin will eat rutabagas, but she won’t eat ice cream. Gapping(10) John read a novel and Mary a magazine. Stripping(11) Jane likes watching TV and Mary too.
NPEllipsis (12) The fact that John’s e waspoorly presented made the committee adopt Mary’s analysis instead. (Lobeck1995: 42) 2.2 Non-Structural Approach vs. Structural Approach 2.2.1 Non-Structural Approach The non-structural approach contends againstpositing a structure in ellipsis at any level of representation. Otherwisestated, there is no more structure than what is articulated. There are severalarguments in favour of this non-elliptical approach.
For instance, the shortanswers in (14) are argued to include no ellipsis. (14) Who ate the cake? a. Me/him/them. b.*I/he/they.
The pronouns in (14a) surface in the accusativecase despite the fact they agree with subject pronouns. The nonappearance ofstructural nominative case, which is assigned in T, is considered by Provagoc(2006) as a sign that such a fragment answer is not a TP. In this manner, theshort answer in (14a) is analyzed as a phrasal projection smaller than a TP. The factthat the NPs ‘me/him/them’ surface in the (default) accusative case isattributed to the absence of a tense projection in the structure. The argumentis that these pronouns are selected with the default case feature; therefore,they are legitimate objects and they do not contain any uninterpretablefeature. The ungrammaticality of (14b) is on account of the pronouns ‘I/he/they’contain unchecked nominative case features.
Conversely, the fact that a subjectpronoun in an answer such as ‘I did’ surfaces in the nominative case isexpected given that nominative case assignment requires a tensed component(Provagoc 2006) —- 2.2.2 Structural Approach Structural approaches adapt a structure in the siteof ellipsis. Nonetheless, they disagree with respect to the syntacticrepresentation assigned to ellipsis. Some approaches accpept that ellipsis sitecontains null elements; others argue for a fully-fledged syntactic structure inellipsis.
Here, three proposed explanations of the ellipsis phenomenon will besurveyed, namely the preform and LF copy theories. 126.96.36.199 The Null Proform Theory This hypothesis assumes that ellipsis enclose anull category, the null proform, drawn from the lexicon. This pro-form isdeciphered by semantic means in a way like that of overt pronouns sinceellipsis shows likenesses with pronouns in terms of distribution andinterpretation (Lobeck 1995).
The typical argument for the pro-theory is theperception that ellipsis sites, just like pronouns, take into account splitantecedents in which the ellipsis is interpreted as having more than just oneantecedent). This is illustrated by the examples (15) and (16), attributed to BonnieWeber by Johnson (2001:472) : (15)Johni told Billj that theyi+j should leave together.(16) Wendy is eager to sail around the world and Bruce is eager to climbKilimanjaro, but neither of them can because money is too tight. In (15), ellipsis is comprehended as havingmultiple antecedents, much the same as regular pronouns, which are identifiedwith an antecedent, as in (16).
The elliptical VP in (16) does not have themeaning of any of the antecedent VPs; instead, it is interpreted with referenceto the two VPs as ‘to sail around the world or climb Kilimanjaro’ (Johnson2001: 473). 188.8.131.52 The LF Copy Theory The LF copy theory views ellipsis as a null proforminto which the antecedent is copied at LF in order to ensure that the nullcategory is provided with the correct interpretation (Fortin, 2007).
Subsequently, the ellipsis site in the sluicing case in (19) contains a null TPspelled out as a null category. For full interpretation to proceed, theantecedent is copied into the null category at LF, giving the rightinterpretation. (17) Johnmet someone, but I don’t know CP who IP e. References – Aelbrecht, L.
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