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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Strict and sloppy reflexives in VP-ellipsis

  • Author(s): Ong, Matthew
  • Advisor(s): Brasoveanu, Adrian
  • et al.

This thesis investigates three of the ways causality influences the resolution of reflexives in VP-ellipsis to either a strict or sloppy interpretation. It looks at structural factors (position of the elided clause relative to the antecedent clause), discourse relations (parallelism versus cause-effect), and lexical influences (implicit causality). It examines competing theories for the observed bias in strict vs. sloppy readings in pairs of sentences like `John blamed himself and/because Bill did too' and argues that discourse relations and lexical items prove the strongest predictors of the bias.

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