What generative linguistics can do for ellipsis and why it can

Jour Fixe talk by James Griffith on January 18, 2017

James Griffiths is Postdoctoral Fellow at the Zukunftskolleg and affiliated with the Department of Linguistics.

If you want to leave out redundant words in a sentence, you can. The previous sentence, in which the phrase ‘leave out redundant words in a sentence’ is missing after ‘can’, exemplifies the linguistic phenomenon known as 'ellipsis'. Because of its elusive nature (it is silence), ellipsis has, and continues to be, of great interest to linguists. In his presentation, James Griffiths discusses the insights gained from studying ellipsis from a generative linguistic perspective. He first provides a broad outline of the generative program for investigating natural language, and then discuss recent generative research on ellipsis (including his own).