Condition C reconstruction, clausal ellipsis and island repair

Masaya Yoshida*, David Potter, Tim Hunter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper makes two related but distinct claims concerning the relationship between islandhood and the clausal ellipsis construction known as stripping. The first claim is that (at least a certain version of) this construction is island insensitive: no unacceptability results from having a correlate inside an island. This claim is supported by evidence from a formal acceptability judgment study. The second claim concerns the question of how to best account for this phenomenon of island- insensitivity in stripping: we claim that this island-insensitivity is best explained via the notion of island-repair, i.e., the ellipsis site involves the structure of island yet the ellipsis operation ameliorates island violations as opposed to the alternatives that have been dubbed evasion approaches. By this we mean that the island-insensitivity cannot be explained by positing a smaller, non-island structure in the ellipsis site; while this approach does of course explain the lack of an island effect, we show that it is incompatible with other facts about the crucial example sentences. If we instead assume that movement out of an island is grammatical if the island is properly contained inside a clausal ellipsis site, then positing a complete island structure inside the ellipsis site can explain all the properties of these crucial examples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1515-1544
Number of pages30
JournalNatural Language and Linguistic Theory
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019


  • Clausal ellipsis
  • Condition C reconstruction
  • Island
  • Island-repair
  • Stripping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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