We are unable to display your institutional affiliation without JavaScript turned on.
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

Find using OpenURL

Fragments, ellipsis, and PF-repair: New evidence from Indonesian
In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

1. Merchant’s (2004) PF-ellipsis theory of fragments

Merchant (2004) proposes that a fragmentary response like the one in (1b) to the question in (1a) is derived from its full-fledged sentential counterpart in (1c).


  1. a.   Who did she see?

  2. b.   [DP John]

  3. c.   [TP She saw John]

    (Merchant 2004:673)

    More specifically, Merchant argues that the fragmentary response arises as the result of A′-movement of the fragment DP into the specifier of a functional projection, which he equates with FocP in Rizzi’s (1997) theory of the left periphery, followed by TP-ellipsis. The relevant part of the derivation for (1b), then, is as shown in (2), where < > stands for the ellipsis site.

  4. (2).   

    Merchant provides various arguments for this analysis based on connectivity effects as manifested in case-matching, binding, P-stranding, negative polarity licensing, and island effects. For reasons of space, I repeat here just two of his arguments—case-matching and P-stranding. Merchant observes that the morphological case of the DP in a fragmentary response must match that of the corresponding DP in its non-elliptical sentential reply. This observation is illustrated in (3) in Greek; see Merchant (2004:676–679) for further examples illustrating this observation from German, Korean, English, Hebrew, Russian, and Urdu.

  5. (3).   


    Pjos     idhe tin Maria?

    who.nom saw the Maria

    ‘Who saw Maria?’

    1. a.   { O Giannis.     /* Ton Gianni.}

      the Giannis.nom     the Giannis.acc

    2. b.   { O Giannis.     /* Ton Gianni}     idhe tin Maria.

      the Giannis.nom   the Giannis.acc saw the Maria

      (Merchant 2004:676)

    Merchant’s analysis correctly predicts this case-matching effect because the distribution of case on DPs is regulated by the same mechanism in both elliptical and sentential contexts. Similarly, Merchant’s analysis predicts that DP-fragments are disallowed when the preceding question contains a wh-PP, since the constraints which govern P-stranding in a language should be operative in both elliptical and full structures in that language. Examples (4) from English and (5) from Greek bear out this prediction; see Merchant (2004:685–687) for further examples from German, Yiddish, Czech, Russian, Bulgarian, and Hebrew, confirming this prediction.

  6. (4).   

    1. a.   Who was Peter talking with?

    2. b.   With whom was Peter talking?

    3. c.   [PP with Mary]

    4. d.   [DP Mary]

      ((4a, d) from Merchant 2004:685)

  7. (5).   

    1. a.   *Pjon   milise i   Anna me?

      whom spoke the Anna with

      ‘Who did Anna speak with?’

    2. b.   Me   pjon   milise i   Anna?

      with whom spoke the Anna

      ‘With whom did Anna speak?’

    3. c.   [PP Me   ton Kosta].

          with the Kosta

      ‘With Kosta’

    4. d.   *[DP Ton Kosta]

          the Kosta


      ((5b, c, d) from Merchant 2004:686)

    The examples in (4c, d) show that both PP and DP fragments are grammatical as truncated replies to a wh-question in English. This is because English allows both P-stranding and pied-piping, as illustrated in (4a, b). In Greek, however, only the PP fragment is possible, as shown by the contrast in (5c, d). This is because Greek allows pied-piping, but not P-stranding, as illustrated in (5a, b).

    2. Fragments and P-stranding in Indonesian

    In this section, I present new data showing that fragmentary response patterns in Indonesian raise an important empirical challenge for Merchant’s (2004) PF-ellipsis theory. The line of argumentation presented below is developed on the basis of Fortin (2007a, 2007b, 2007c), who was the first to point out that the P-stranding pattern under wh-questions and sluicing in Indonesian is problematic for Merchant’s (2001) analysis of sluicing as wh-movement followed by TP-ellipsis. See Fortin (2007a) and Sato (2010, 2011) for two recent competing analyses of P-stranding in Indonesian drawing on LF-Copy and PF-repair, respectively.

    Consider the examples in (6).

  8. (6).   

    1. a.   *[DP Pria yang   mana]i kamu bicara tentang ti?

          man comp where 2sg   talk about

      ‘Which man did you talk about?’

    2. b.   [PP Tentang [DP pria yang   mana]]i kamu bicara ti?

          about     man comp where   2sg   talk

      ‘About which man did you talk?’

    3. c.   [PP Tentang Pak Sugiarto]

          about   Mr. Sugiarto

      ‘About Sugiarto’

    4. d.   [DP Pak Sugiarto]

          Mr. Sugiarto


    The contrast in (6a, b) shows...

You must be logged in through an institution that subscribes to this journal or book to access the full text.


Shibboleth authentication is only available to registered institutions.

Project MUSE

For subscribing associations only.