How to be Quiet


One job of the ellipsis theorist is to characterize the connection between the syntax of ellipsis and its semantics. And a central goal of that task is to explain where it is that ellipses are possible. The most thorough examination of what’s involved in meeting this goal is probably Lobeck (1995), where it is proposed that heads with certain properties license the ellipsis of their complements. Merchant (2001, section 2.2.1) amends this proposal with an explicit characterization of the semantics of these heads which captures the semantic side of ellipsis. He suggests that the heads which license ellipsis of their complements have a feature, “E,” whose meaning is..



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