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date: 19 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

One of the fundamental tenets of (most versions of) Categorial Grammar is that the syntax and semantics work ‘in tandem’: the syntax proves expressions well-formed while the semantics assigns them a meaning. Under this view (termed Direct Compositionality), it is difficult at best to state a rule deleting or silencing material under identity with some other overt linguistic material in the discourse context, which suggests that the common wisdom that there is ‘silent linguistic material’ is incorrect. This chapter explores an alternative way to view VP-ellipsis without silent linguistic material. Using conventions developed in earlier work within variable-free semantics and Direct Compositionality, it is shown that such an approach extends immediately to Antecedent Contained Deletion (which is just a special case of ‘transitive verb phrase ellipsis’) as well as to pseudogapping. The chapter also briefly explores the analysis of fragment answers to questions without invoking silent linguistic material, and shows that some of the apparent challenges to this view are in fact not real challenges.

Keywords: Direct Compositionality, Categorial Grammar, variable-free semantics, VP-ellipsis, Antecedent Contained Deletion, pseudogapping, fragments answers, TVP ellipsis

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