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The Syntax of Silence: Sluicing, Islands, and the Theory of Ellipsis - Oxford Studies in Theoretical Linguistics 1 (Hardback)
  • The Syntax of Silence: Sluicing, Islands, and the Theory of Ellipsis - Oxford Studies in Theoretical Linguistics 1 (Hardback)
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The Syntax of Silence: Sluicing, Islands, and the Theory of Ellipsis - Oxford Studies in Theoretical Linguistics 1 (Hardback)

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£117.50
Hardback 280 Pages / Published: 16/08/2001
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A primary goal of contemporary theoretical linguistics is to develop a theory of the correspondence between sound (or gesture) and meaning. This sound-meaning correspondence breaks down completely in the case of ellipsis, and yet various forms of ellipsis are pervasive in natural language: words and phrases which should be in the linguistic signal go missing. How this should be possible is the focus of Jason Merchant's investigation. He focuses on the form of ellipsis known as sluicing, a common feature of interrogative clauses, such as in 'Sally's out hunting - guess what!'; and 'Someone called, but I can't tell you who'. It is the most frequently found cross-linguistic form of ellipsis. Dr Merchant studies the phenomenon across twenty-four languages, and attempts to explain it in linguistic and behavioural terms.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199243730
Number of pages: 280
Weight: 556 g
Dimensions: 242 x 162 x 20 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
This is the most comprehensive study of Sluicing to date, and clears up one of its central mysteries: how do sluices evade standard island effects. Merchant brings together extensive comparative work with a careful examination of the syntax-semantics interface, and unveils a completely new typology of island effects. This brilliant work will be the touchstone for research on ellipsis and islands for years to come. * Kyle Johnson, University of Massachusetts at Amherst *
This book is a clearly written, very interesting exploration of sluicing. The author presents a number of well argued, novel ideas, and sheds new light on our understanding of a phenomenon linguists have been studying for quite a while. The author has done an excellent job in also providing a thorough overview of previous approaches, and in explaining how his analysis builds on and/or diverges from them. This is definitely a very important contribution to the field. * Anne Lobeck, English Department, Western Washington University *

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