Natural Language & Linguistic Theory

, Volume 37, Issue 4, pp 1515–1544 | Cite as

Condition C reconstruction, clausal ellipsis and island repair

  • Masaya YoshidaEmail author
  • David Potter
  • Tim Hunter


This paper makes two related but distinct claims concerning the relationship between islandhood and the clausal ellipsis construction known as stripping. The first claim is that (at least a certain version of) this construction is island insensitive: no unacceptability results from having a correlate inside an island. This claim is supported by evidence from a formal acceptability judgment study. The second claim concerns the question of how to best account for this phenomenon of island- insensitivity in stripping: we claim that this island-insensitivity is best explained via the notion of island-repair, i.e., the ellipsis site involves the structure of island yet the ellipsis operation ameliorates island violations as opposed to the alternatives that have been dubbed evasion approaches. By this we mean that the island-insensitivity cannot be explained by positing a smaller, non-island structure in the ellipsis site; while this approach does of course explain the lack of an island effect, we show that it is incompatible with other facts about the crucial example sentences. If we instead assume that movement out of an island is grammatical if the island is properly contained inside a clausal ellipsis site, then positing a complete island structure inside the ellipsis site can explain all the properties of these crucial examples.


Stripping Clausal ellipsis Island Island-repair Condition C reconstruction 



We would like to thank three anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions. We would also like to thank Matthew Barros, Sandy Chung, Bob Frank, Tomohiro Fujii, Theresa Gregoire, Norbert Hornstein, Howard Lasnik, Jason Merchant, and Ming Xiang, for their valuable comments and suggestions to the earlier version of this work. We are grateful to the audience of NELS 47. This work has been supported in part by NSF grant BCS-1323245 awarded to Masaya Yoshida.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of LinguisticsNorthwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA
  2. 2.Department of EnglishMorehead State UniversityMoreheadUSA
  3. 3.Department of LinguisticsUniversity of California Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA

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