Article

Gapping, pseudogapping and sideward movement

English Pseudogapping constructions share some surface similarities with both Gapping and Verb Phrase Ellipsis (VPE). Levin (1978, 1979 [main text]) concludes, however, that Pseudogapping is transformationally unrelated to both Gapping and VPE. We argue that this conclusion is only partially correct. Gapping and Pseudogapping are transformationally related in that they both involve the application of verb movement, in particular sideward movement of the main verb. We take Johnson’s (1994) ATB Movement analysis of Gapping as an important precedent in this regard, and we draw from proposals of Nunes (2001) and Nunes and Uriagereka (2000) for the possibility of sideward movement out of coordinate structures and adjunct clauses. After pursuing the sideward movement approach to Pseudogapping (and ultimately Gapping as well), we outline some important empirical differences between Pseudogapping and VPE that we think raise substantial problems for any analysis that treats Pseudogapping and VPE on a par (e.g., Jayaseelan 1990, Lasnik 1995, 1999a, 1999b). We present evidence for a fundamental syntactic difference between Pseudogapping and VPE, and conclude that the VPE analysis of Pseudogapping cannot be maintained.

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