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date: 25 April 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Despite the considerable attention paid to elliptical phenomena in the literature, the conditions under which a representation of an utterance may serve as a suitable antecedent for interpreting a subsequent ellipsis remain highly contentious and poorly understood. Focusing primarily on VP-ellipsis, this chapter surveys evidence that informs this debate, focusing on issues bearing on the discourse context in its role of making meanings available for ellipsis recovery. It argues that the evidence more strongly favors discourse-based explanations over syntactic ones, although problems for discourse-based theories do remain.

Keywords: verb phrase ellipsis, identity constraint, syntactic mismatch, information structure, strict/sloppy reading, missing readings puzzle, focus and deaccenting, coherence relations, event reference, Question-Under-Discussion (QUD) models

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