On ellipsis structures involving a wh-remnant and a non-wh-remnant simultaneously

Iván Ortega-Santos*, Masaya Yoshida, Chizuru Nakao

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The goal of this work is to provide an account of the licensing of what we call Sluice-Stripping, an under-studied elliptical construction where a wh-phrase and a non-wh-phrase appear fragmentally. This construction, attested across Romance languages and beyond them, is apparently a combination of Sluicing (ellipsis with a wh-remnant) and Stripping (ellipsis with a non-wh-remnant). Through a detailed study of its properties, we propose that there are two distinct types of Sluice-Stripping, namely, (i.) Why-Stripping, where the wh-element is restricted to why, and the non-wh remnant is typically identical to its antecedent in the preceding clause; (ii.) Wh-Stripping, which involves a wh-remnant other than why and a non-wh-remnant which contrasts with its antecedent in the antecedent clause. We establish the following claims through a detailed study of the syntax of Spanish: (a) Why-Stripping involves a base-generated why and leftward movement of a focused non-wh-element followed by clausal ellipsis; (b) Wh-Stripping involves wh-movement followed by rightward movement of the focused non-wh-element and clausal ellipsis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-85
Number of pages31
StatePublished - Jan 2014


  • Ellipsis
  • Focus movement
  • Rightward movement
  • Sluice-Stripping
  • Spanish syntax

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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