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date: 22 January 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses two kinds of fragments: phrases such as DPs and PPs that occur apparently unembedded in a sentence, without any overt antecedent, and fragment answers to questions. It presents non-sententialist (Stainton 2006, Progovac 2006) and sententialist approaches (focusing especially on Merchant’s 2004 movement-then-deletion account), then considers the main evidence for each approach, and how the opposing approach has tried to address this evidence. Arguments discussed in favour of non-sententialism are anticonnectivity effects, differences in the behaviour of fragment answers and their overtly sentential counterparts with regard to presupposition inheritance, and questions about the psychological plausibility of silent syntax; arguments in favour of sententialism are various kinds of connectivity effects—case, island effects, binding, and requirements for complementizers and prepositions in fragment answers.

Keywords: fragment answers, antecedentless fragments, sententialist approach, non-sententialist approach, connectivity, case, island effects, presupposition inheritance, preposition stranding, complementizers

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