Nykiel og Põldvere

Joanna Nykiel og Nele Põldvere (ILOS): Ellipsis in a less well known environment: The reactive what-x construction in English

In this talk, we present, and suggest a theoretical analysis of, what is known as the reactive what-x construction, depicted in (1B). This construction has interrogative and anaphoric properties (i.e., it requires an antecedent in the preceding context), as has been shown by recent corpus work on English (Põldvere & Paradis 2019, 2020). We begin by summarizing this work and data drawn from the London-Lund Corpora, as well as a Construction Grammar analysis offered in Põldvere & Paradis (2020). In the second part of this talk, we address patterns that haven’t been noticed before, i.e., that this construction has properties aligning it with certain kinds of elliptical constructions (e.g., sluicing and fragments). This suggests that we could pursue a theoretical analysis that explicitly captures the elliptical properties of the reactive what-x construction.
We outline ways of doing so in a constraint-based framework, and this includes suggesting a multiple inheritance network to license the entire set of the construction’s properties.
(1)  A:  Have you ever been out there before?
(1)  B:  What to Russia?
Põldvere, N., & Paradis, C. (2019). Motivations and mechanisms for the development of the reactive what-x construction in spoken dialogue. Journal of Pragmatics, 143, 65-84.
Põldvere, N., & Paradis, C. (2020). ‘What and then a little robot brings it to you?’ The reactive what-x construction in spoken dialogue. English Language and Linguistics, 24(2), 307-332.
Published Aug. 16, 2021 6:31 PM - Last modified Sep. 21, 2021 6:19 PM