, Volume 19, Issue 5, pp 527-552

Interactions of scope and ellipsis

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Abstract

Systematic semantic ambiguities result from the interaction of the two operations that are involved in resolving ellipsis in the presence of scoping elements such as quantifiers and intensional operators: scope determination for the scoping elements and resolution of the elided relation. A variety of problematic examples previously noted - by Sag, Hirschbüihler, Gawron and Peters, Harper, and others - all have to do with such interactions. In previous work, we showed how ellipsis resolution can be stated and solved in equational terms. Furthermore, this equational analysis of ellipsis provides a uniform framework in which interactions between ellipsis resolution and scope determination can be captured. As a consequence, an account of the problematic examples follows directly from the equational method. The goal of this paper is merely to point out this pleasant aspect of the equational analysis, through its application to these cases. No new analytical methods or associated formalism are presented, with the exception of a straightforward extension of the equational method to intensional logic.