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Auteur: Tim STOWELL

The syntax of Abbreviated English

Abstract/Résumé: In certain syntactic contexts, the written register of Abbreviated English (AE) allows the omission of (i) definite and indefinite articles; (ii) bound possessive pronouns; (iii) subject and object pronouns; (iv) the finite copula; (v) the conjunction and. AE also allows (vi) the use of present tense morphology to convey (recent) past tense, and the use of past tense morphology to convey (approximately) the past perfect. I explore an account of (i)-(iii) based on Haegeman’s (2011) proposal that the higher functional structure of AE sentences can be truncated (or fail to be spelled out) at a point somewhere above vP. This has implications for the distribution and licensing of determiners and pronouns, given Sportiche’s (2005) proposal that D originates in a functional projection above VP and combines with its associated NP via internal merge (movement). Syntactic restrictions on combinations of omitted and overt Ds are interpreted as crossover effects. Similar approaches to (iv) and (vi) are also considered, based on the assumption that present and past tense morphology in English is not a direct spell-out of tense per se, but rather of a lower functional category licensed by tense.