Typology of Sluicing in Wh- and Non-Wh Questions

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In this paper, I introduce a generalization of sluicing to Y/N questions and alternative questions and formulate the following implicational universal: if, in a given language, sluicing is possible in Y/N questions, then it will be possible in Alt-questions and wh-questions; and if sluicing is possible in Alt-questions, it will be possible in wh-questions. I verify the universal against a large language sample, and propose an analysis of sluicing that accounts for this universal in terms of variation in the contents of the licensing feature. The paper is organized as follows: Section 2 introduces the phenomenon and shows that it has properties identical to those of usual sluicing. Section 3 presents the main finding, a universal that connects the three types of sluicing. Section 4discusses the syntax of Y/N- and or -sluices and shows that the ultimate reason for the observed universal lies in cross-linguistic variation in licensing of deletion. Section 5 shows that the licensing feature must be hosted by the head of the
projection responsible for embedding questions, and section 6 summarizes the proposed analysis.
Original languageEnglish GB
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 52nd Annual Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society
EditorsJessica Kantarovich, Tran Truong, Orest Xherija
PublisherChicago Linguistics Society
StatePublished - 2017


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