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Gaps, Ghosts and Gapless Relatives in Spoken English

Collins, C and Radford, A (2015) 'Gaps, Ghosts and Gapless Relatives in Spoken English.' Studia Linguistica, 69 (2). pp. 191-235. ISSN 0039-3193


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This paper looks at the syntax of so-called gapless relative clauses in spoken English. �1 contrasts gap relatives (like that italicised in ?something which I said?, in which there is a gap internally within the relative clause associated with the relativised constituent) with gapless relatives (like that italicised in ?They were clowning around, which I didn't really care until I found out they had lost my file?, in which there is no apparent gap within the relative clause). In �2, we note that a number of recent analyses take which to function as a subordinating conjunction in gapless relatives, but we argue against this view and provide evidence that the wh-word in such clauses is indeed a relative pronoun. In �3, we argue that the relative pronoun in gapless relatives serves as the object of a ?silent? preposition. In �4, we present an analysis under which a preposition can be silent when it undergoes a type of deletion operation called Ghosting. �5 discusses gapless relatives which have a Topic-Comment interpretation, and argues for an extended Ghosting analysis under which a TP containing a predicate of saying associated with the ghosted preposition is also ghosted. Our overall conclusion is that supposedly ?gapless? relatives are more properly analysed as containing a gap created by relativization of the object of a ghosted preposition.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PE English
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Language and Linguistics, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 11 May 2015 10:28
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 13:28

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