VP Ellipsis

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Capeverdean, a Portuguese-based Creole language, displays an intriguing pattern of VP Ellipsis (VPE): VPE may occur in answers to <i>yes/no</i> questions but it is ruled out in coordination structures. This is unexpected, since both polar question/answer pairs and coordination structures are typical licensing contexts for VPE in the languages that allow it, like English and Portuguese. The present paper contributes to the identification of the structural locus of parametric variation across languages regarding VPE, by exploring the potential of new empirical evidence to evaluate alternative accounts of VPE. The proposal is that VPE is licensed by the polarity-encoding head &#931;, while crosslinguistic variation with respect to the availability of VPE depends on the interaction between clause structure (i.e. absence/presence of a given layer of the functional domain and the relative hierarchy of the functional heads), the &#177; V-relatedness of &#931; and verb movement. Keywords:&#65279;&#65279; VP Ellipsis; TP Ellipsis; Capeverdean; parametric variation; polarity and the functional domain


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