On the Syntax of Why-Stripping

Chizuru Nakao, Masaya Yoshida, Iván Ortega-Santos

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This paper examines properties of an elliptical construction called Why-Stripping (e.g. "John ate natto." "Why NATTO?"), and claims that it involves clausal ellipsis in the same way as Sluicing and Stripping. The remnant (e.g. NATTO in "Why NATTO?") in Why-Stripping undergoes focus movement induced by why, while why in Why-Stripping is base-generated in [Spec, ForceP], unlike why in regular wh-questions. In languages like English and Mexican Spanish, focus movement is overtly manifested only in ellipsis constructions such as Why-Stripping. It is suggested that this overt manifestation of focus movement under ellipsis is due to the recoverability condition on ellipsis.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 30th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
EditorsNathan Arnett, Ryan Bennett
PublisherCascadilla Proceedings Project
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)978-1574734546
StatePublished - 2012


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