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Title: Gapping and VP ellipsis in a unification-based grammar
Author: Gardent, Claire
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1992
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The object of this thesis is to investigate the linguistic phenomena of gapping and VP ellipsis. These phenomena have been approached from a variety of perspectives in the literature: syntactic, semantic, pragmatic and computational. The aim of this thesis is to examine gapping and VP ellipsis from all these perspectives, and to attempt to develop an analysis which integrates syntactic, semantic and pragmatic information in a framework that is at least in principle computationally tractable. At the syntactic level, a usual assumption about eliptical constructs is that they are characterised by an incomplete syntax. This raises a first question: how is the incomplete syntax licensed by the grammar? Another fact to be accounted for is that VP ellipsis, and more markedly gapping, are subject to strong syntactic constraints. This in turn raises a second question: how is the elliptical clause licensed? I show how the unification-based categorial framework provided by Unification Categorial Grammar (UCG) can be extended to answer these two questions. At the semantic level, the following questions arise. First, how is the missing semantics of the ellipsis to be licensed? - this is the resolution problem. Second, how is the interpretation of the ellipsis to be determined? - this is the interpretation problem. Third, are there any semantic constraints on the distribution of VP and verbal ellipsis, and if so, how can they be accounted for? Here, the answers I provide are set within the framework of Dynamic Intensional Logic (DIL). First, I give a detailed answer to the resolution and to the interpretation problem. Second, I compare DIL with Discourse Representation Theory (DRT) and show that DRT is better equipped to account for Sag's alphabetic variance constraint on VP ellipsis. I then show how DIL can be extended to mimic DRT with respect to this particular problem.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available