Suspended Affixation as Morpheme Ellipsis: Evidence from Ossetic Alternative Questions

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5 Scopus citations


This paper provides novel evidence that ellipsis can target bound morphemes. The evidence comes from suspended affixation of case markers in alternative questions in Digor and Iron Ossetic. The current literature on alternative questions (e.g. Does Mary like coffee or tea?) proposes that in many languages they are derived by disjunction of and ellipsis in constituents as large as a vP or even as a CP. Language-specific evidence in favor of such structure of alternative questions is available for Ossetic as well. Accordingly, the ostensible disjuncts coffee or tea do not actually form a constituent and case must be separately assigned to each of the DPs. Therefore, a case suffix shared under suspended affixation cannot attach to the orP as a whole. A deletion-based analysis can successfully derive the properties of suspended affixation in Ossetic alternative questions. I advance a specific proposal that incorporates ellipsis into the Distributed Morphology derivation.

Original languageEnglish GB
Article number12
Number of pages41
JournalGlossa: A Journal of General Linguistics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • syntax
  • morphology
  • ellipsis
  • suspended affixation
  • Ossetic
  • Language.
  • Linguistic theory.
  • Comparative grammar

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Linguistics and Language
  • Language and Linguistics


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