On timing of ellipsis: Evidence from parasitic deletion processes
In current derivational approaches to ellipsis, it is fairly standard to assume that ellipsis is licensed in narrow syntax and targets constituents, while actual deletion of structure occurs at the PF, that is, the postsyntactic stage of derivation, Chomsky (1995); Merchant (2001); Aelbrecht (2010); Lipták & Griffiths (2014); Weir (2014); Thoms (2015); Abe (2015); and Ott & Struckmeier (2018). With an increasingly complex picture of postsyntactic derivation emerging (Arregi & Nevins (2012) and references there), it makes sense to try to find the appropriate ordering of deletion with respect to these other postsyntactic rules.
Ahn (2016) has recently shown that deletion can reach into the material adjacent to the ellipsis site and, as an effect of this, delete a fragment of the sentence that does not form a syntactic constituent. He called such a phenomenon parasitic deletion. Specifically, he addressed fragment answer formation in Korean.
In this talk, I will introduce a hitherto undescribed ellipsis variety I have found so far in a number of head-final languages including Eastern Armenian, Digor and Iron Ossetic, and Turkish. I will argue that this ellipsis variety also involves parasitic deletion rather than mere deletion of a constituent. I will proceed to argue that the existence of parasitic deletion allows us to more precisely pinpoint the ordering of deletion among the various Phonological Form rules. Specifically, deletion must occur after linearization and target contiguous strings.