Modal ellipsis in French, Spanish and Italian

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French, Spanish and Italian, reputedly non-VP-ellipsis allowing languages, can display gaps after root modals. I argue that these gaps are instances of ellipsis, viewed as PF-deletion of a constituent. They indeed allow for A’-movement, which an alternative null proform analysis cannot capture. Yet, they differ from English VP-ellipsis, in particular wrt the kind of remnants they allow, their tolerance to voice mismatches, and by displaying a constraint on subjects in Antecedent Contained Deletion. I propose that these differences follow from the status of the modals in these languages and the size of the deleted structure, which is a TP in the three Romance languages vs a VP in English.


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