Monday, December 21, 2020

Gaps, Ghosts and Gapless Relatives (Collins and Radford 2015)

This paper looks at the syntax of so-called gapless relative clauses in spoken English. §1 contrasts gap relatives (like that italicized in ‘something which I said’, in which there is a gap internally within the relative clause associated with the relativized constituent) with gapless relatives (like that italicized in ‘They were clowning around, which I didn’t really care until I found out they had lost my file’, in which there is no apparent gap within the relative clause). In §2, we note that a number of recent analyses take which to function as a subordinating conjunction in gapless relatives, but we argue against this view and provide evidence that the wh-word in such clauses is indeed a relative pronoun. In §3, we argue that the relative pronoun in gapless relatives serves as the object of a ‘silent’ preposition. In  §4, we present an  analysis under which a preposition can be silent when it undergoes a type of  deletion operation called  Ghosting. §5  discusses  gapless relatives which have a Topic-Comment interpretation, and argues for an extended Ghosting analysis under which a TP containing a predicate of SAYING associated with the  ghosted  preposition is also ghosted. Our overall conclusion is that supposedly ‘gapless’ relatives are  more properly analyze as containing a gap created by relativization of the object of a ghosted preposition.

Gaps, Ghosts and Gapless Relatives

Collins, Chris and Andrew Radford. 2015. Gaps, Ghosts and Gapless Relatives in Spoken English. Studia Linguistica 69.2, 191-235.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.