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Movement and Ellipsis in Contrastive Left-Dislocation
Dennis Ott
281-291 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


This paper argues that the Germanic construction traditionally labeled Contrastive Left-dislocation reduces to an interplay of movement and ellipsis in an underlyingly biclausal structure. The main challenge for theoretical approaches to CLD is the ambivalent status of the dislocated XP, which seems to simultaneously exist within and outside the sentential domain of the host clause. It is shown that this seemingly paradoxical situation can be resolved by analyzing dislocated XPs as juxtaposed remnants of underlyingly parallel elliptical clauses. The backward-ellipsis operation reducing the linearly first clause is identical to that found in sluicing, fragment answers, split questions, etc., hence independently motivated. It is furthermore suggested that the analysis extends to Romance-type Clitic Left-dislocation, depriving cartographic approaches of a central argument for the peripheral template based on the linear ordering of left-dislocated and fronted XPs. The resulting analysis relies exclusively on independently motivated grammatical operations (A-bar movement in syntax and clausal ellipsis/deaccenting at PF), thereby achieving a significant reduction of constructional residue.

Published in

Proceedings of the 30th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Nathan Arnett and Ryan Bennett
Table of contents
Printed edition: $375.00