Coherence and the resolution of ellipsis

Linguistics and Philosophy 23 (6):533-575 (2000)
Abstract
Despite the attention that various forms of ellipsis have received inthe literature, the conditions under which a representation of anutterance may serve as a suitable referent for interpreting subsequentelliptical forms remain poorly understood. This fundamental questionremains as a point of contention, particularly because there are datato support various conflicting approaches that attempt to characterizethese conditions within a single module of language processing. Weshow a previously unnoticed pattern in VP-ellipsis data with respectto the type of coherence relation extant between the antecedentand elided clauses. This pattern is explained by an account of howellipsis resolution processes interact with the inference processesunderlying the establishment of these relations. The analysis alsoexplains a similar yet distinct pattern in gapping constructions whichare not accounted for by purely syntactic approaches. Finally, wediscuss event reference and compare the resulting account to thedichotomy of types of anaphora posited by HanSag.
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