21.07.2022 | Publikation

Cortés Rodríguez, Álvaro (2022) Multiple sluicing and islands: a cross-linguistic experimental investigation of the clausemate condition


This paper experimentally investigates the two generalizations for multiple sluicing (MS) recently presented by Klaus Abels and Veneeta Dayal: first, that wh-remnants must have clausemate correlates in the antecedent utterance and, second, that wh-remnants in MS can have correlates in the antecedent clause that are contained in a strong syntactic island. The fact that MS displays both of these properties is puzzling since island insensitivity under sluicing favors a nonsententialist approach to MS, while the clausemate requirement on MS is most straightforwardly explained by postulating a silent structure at the ellipsis site. Even though the clausemate condition has been reported in several languages, no experimental work has been conducted so far to examine its precise effects on the acceptability of MS constructions. In this paper, I will present the results of a series of experiments in German, English, and Spanish (employing both acceptability judgment tasks and a self-paced reading task), where the factors of clausemateness and islandhood have been examined systematically. The results provide solid cross-linguistic support for Abels and Dayal’s generalizations by showing that multiple sluices originating from islands and non-islands are equally acceptable and do not exhibit online processing differences. Furthermore, the acceptability judgment tasks show a significant degradation in acceptability when the correlates in the antecedent do not stem from the same finite clause, thus violating the clausemate condition. I will interpret these results as supporting a particular strand of sententialist research known as the island evasion approach and, in particular, defend that MS is derived from a non-isomorphic short source sluice


Link to the website:


The Linguistic Review. https://doi.org/10.1515/tlr-2022-2093