Licensing of nominal ellipsis in Hungarian possessives

Eszter Ronai, Laura Stigliano


We argue, based on novel data, that the possessor head (Poss) can license ellipsis of its complement in Hungarian. That is, contra existing claims in the literature, possessor morphology can survive nominal ellipsis and be stranded on the remnant. Adopting Saab & Lipták (2016)’s of ellipsis licensing, we propose that there is variation in the size of the ellipsis site in Hungarian: nominal ellipsis can be licensed by either Num or Poss. We further propose that nominal ellipsis licensed by Poss can capture a previously unanalyzed variation in the Hungarian possessive pronoun paradigm. Specifically, the two variants of possessive pronouns correspond to two different structures: one is the anaphoric possessive (see Dékány 2015), while the other exists only as a consequence of nominal ellipsis, which, as we show, is a productive possibility.


ellipsis; nominal ellipsis; possessives; Hungarian

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