English pseudogapping constructions have been analyzed by a number of researchers as instances of VP ellipsis, with the right side remnant that distinguishes the construction from other instances of VP ellipsis being derived through pre-deletion movement out of the elided VP. There is disagreement, however, as to what the specific movement operations involved can be. The two operations most thoroughly investigated are Heavy NP Shift and Object Shift, along with an eclectic proposal in which both operations are available. Each of these proposals predicts a different pattern of acceptability for direct and indirect object remnants in double object pseudogapping sentences. This article attempts to clarify the acceptability status of these various potential remnants using a large-scale acceptability judgment task. The results suggest that the relationship between the empirical landscape and the theoretical predictions is not as straightforward as had been previously assumed. Though the relative acceptability ratings between the two objects in a double object construction do fit the predictions of one pseudogapping account, the ratings of transitive object remnants remain unexplained, particularly across the manipulation of heaviness. These results suggest that there are additional constraints that determine what types of object can and cannot serve as acceptable pseudogapping remnants.
Proceedings of the 34th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Aaron Kaplan, Abby Kaplan, Miranda K. McCarvel, and Edward J. Rubin
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