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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.


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).


The term goes back to Ross (1969).


Utrecht Lexicon of Linguistics


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