Verb Phrase Ellipsis with Nominal Antecedents - Université Paris Cité Access content directly
Preprints, Working Papers, ... Year : 2014

Verb Phrase Ellipsis with Nominal Antecedents


This paper brings new theoretical and experimental evidence to bear on the classical question of whether Verb Phrase Ellipsis requires a syntactically identical antecedent. We focus on the less studied case of nominal antecedents and argue that they are always grammatical but that the discourse conditions on VPE, namely that it requires a salient alternative in the discourse model, are such that they can only be met by nominal antecedents in those special cases where a noun can express such an alternative. Specifically we focus on the case of ‘polar nouns’ which we show can function as a previously unnoticed type of concealed question, making a polar alternative salient. We provide experimental evidence, based on online acceptability judgments, showing (i) that VPE is judged more acceptable than do it when there is a salient polar alternative in the context, whether it is expressed by a verb or a noun; (ii) that nominal antecedents are judged slightly less acceptable than verbal antecedents in such cases, a difference that can be partly explained by the fact that (iii) nouns are judged less acceptable than verbs when they are forced to express a polar alternative, independently of the ellipsis, suggesting that coercion is involved. In conclusion, we suggest that VPE simply requires accessing an antecedent satisfying the discourse constraints within the discourse model but that the heuristic strategies of the parser make use of all available evidence, including syntactic structure in short term memory, making syntactically identical antecedents easier to find and hence more acceptable.



Fichier principal
Vignette du fichier
Miller.Hemforth.2014.Verb Phrasee Ellipisis with Nominal Antecedents.pdf (565.85 Ko) Télécharger le fichier
Origin : Files produced by the author(s)

Dates and versions

hal-01234401 , version 1 (08-11-2022)


  • HAL Id : hal-01234401 , version 1


Philip Harold Miller, Barbara Hemforth. Verb Phrase Ellipsis with Nominal Antecedents. 2014. ⟨hal-01234401⟩
266 View
105 Download


Gmail Facebook X LinkedIn More