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date: 15 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides an overview of dialectal variation in English with respect to ellipsis phenomena. The discussion focuses on VP-ellipsis, describing dialectal variation in the range of licensors and in the retention of additional non-finite auxiliaries (e.g. John has been fired and Mary has (been) too). The range of variation attested, drawing upon data from British and North American varieties, provides an instructive test for theories of licensing, pushing in the direction of a theory which pays closer attention to the role of prosody in licensing ellipsis. There is also a discussion of British do, an ellipsis construction which seems to show an interaction between ellipsis licensing and extraction.

Keywords: ellipsis, varieties of English, dialectal variation, VP-ellipsis, auxiliaries, British do, licensing, extraction, tag questions

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