Ellipsis in tautologous conditionals: the contrast condition on ellipsis

Richard Stockwell


I compare two theories to account for the novel observation that ellipsis is ungrammatical in tautologous conditionals, e.g. If John is wrong, then he is *(wrong).  One theory attributes the ungrammaticality to a contrast failure in ellipsis parallelism (Rooth 1992a,b); the other to triviality at a more abstract, logical level (Gajewski 2009). The ellipsis parallelism theory prevails on further data, joining Griffiths (to appear) in arguing that contrast plays a role in ellipsis licensing. Contrast is further shown to be sensitive to intensionality.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.3765/salt.v28i0.4426

Copyright (c) 2018 Richard Stockwell