Noun Phrase Ellipsis

Daiko Takahashi

in The Oxford Handbook of Japanese Linguistics

Published in print November 2008 | ISBN: 9780195307344
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Noun Phrase Ellipsis

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  • Linguistics
  • Grammar, Syntax and Morphology
  • Language Families


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This article provides an overview of the analysis of null arguments in Japanese in terms of ellipsis. It addresses some of the examples that pose problems for the pronoun theory. The article also demonstrates the two analyses of null arguments in terms of ellipsis. It specifically describes the VP-ellipsis analysis and the NP-ellipsis analysis. Some implications of the ellipsis theory on the typology of languages with null arguments are then reported. Although NP-ellipsis is no doubt operative in the grammar of Japanese, it cannot be responsible for all the cases of elliptic null arguments, given that there are elliptic nominal arguments which are bigger than NP. The article considers several arguments that ellipsis analysis is empirically preferred. The hypothesis that argument ellipsis is closely tied to scrambling makes a number of Japanese-particular and cross-linguistic predictions.

Keywords: null arguments; VP; NP; pronoun theory; Japanese; argument ellipsis

Article.  10986 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Grammar, Syntax and Morphology ; Language Families

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