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ISSN : 1226-3206(Print)
Studies in Modern Grammar Vol.96 pp.89-107

On English Verbal Anaphor: VP Replacement and VP Ellipsis

Myung-Kwan Park and Sunjoo Choi
Dongguk University


It has been noted that VP replacement do so is not allowed with verbal passives, though it is with unaccusatives (Hallman 2013). This paper develops an identity-based account for this contrast. Bruening (2016) recently reports that VP replacement is permitted even with passives in some restricted environments. Reformulating Miller's (2011) three options for VP anaphor (i.e., VP replacement and VP ellipsis), Bruening (2016) suggests two factors governing the choice of VP anaphor. Departing from Bruening (2016), however, this paper provides an identity-based account for the issue concerned, by demonstrating that VP replacement and VP ellipsis are derived in a similar way but they require different operational domains in tandem with the identity domain for VP replacement or ellipsis. Grounded on some key representative examples, we suggest that passives as well as unaccusatives require syntactic identity, but that they are distinguished in terms of the category where VP replacement or ellipsis applies. Furthermore, the difference between VP replacement and VP ellipsis concerning the size of operational domain can be extended to account for causative-inchoative alternations. In doing so, we argue that meeting the identity condition is crucial for VP replacement as well as VP ellipsis.