The case of fragment answers

Jacob Kodner


This paper investigates the case of bare-(pro)nominal fragment answers, and specifically the issues that arise in analyzing the case of fragment DPs from subject questions. I adopt a middle ground approach between competing theories of nonsententials—namely the Ellipsis Approach (Merchant 2004) and the approach of Direct Interpretation (Barton & Progovac 2005)—and propose fragment DPs to be derived from a null vP. For their case forms, I compare two different theories of case—assignment by functional heads and Dependent Case Theory—and hypothesize that fragment DPs construed as the internal argument are realized in dependent case for nominative-accusative languages. Fragment DPs construed as the external argument would be found in their default case form, which is language-specific. Fragment answer data from English, Korean, and Serbian is used to provide crosslinguistic support for this null vP analysis and discussion of case.


fragment answers; dependent case; English; Korean; Serbian

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