Sluicing

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Definition

Sluicing is reducing a wh-question to its wh-phrase(s) in a context where the omitted part can be reconstructed from the preceding sentence.

Example

In (i) the content of the complement clause of know is understood as which sonata's Susan has played.

(i) Susan has played some sonata's, but I don't know which sonata's __

Sentences like (i) raise the question whether there is an empty category following which sonata's, and if so, how it is licensed (see licensing).

Origin

The term goes back to Ross (1969).

Links

Utrecht Lexicon of Linguistics

References

  • Ross, J.R. 1969. Guess who?., Papers from the 5th Regional Meeting of Chigago Linguistic Society, 252-286
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