Starting from the (well-known) observation that short answers and gapping share lots of crucial properties, this paper develops a uniform approach to short answers and gapping in terms of "questions under discussion" (QUD). It is argued (1) that in gapping constructions an implicit wh-question is reconstructed on the basis of the information structure of the initial conjunct, and (2) that this QUD licenses ellipsis in non-initial conjuncts in the same way explicit wh-questions do in the case of short answers. This idea is made precise with the help of Rooth's (1992) constraint on congruent questions and answers, which is furthermore shown to be in fact an empirically adequate condition for ellipsis in short answers and gapping.
Proceedings of the 2004 Texas Linguistics Society Conference: Issues at the Semantics-Pragmatics Interface
edited by Pascal Denis, Eric McCready, Alexis Palmer, and Brian Reese Table of contents
ISBN 978-1-57473-417-1 library binding
v + 159 pages
publication date: 2006
published by Cascadilla Proceedings Project, Somerville, MA, USA