Verb Phrase Ellipsis - Argument Contained Ellipsis

Argument Contained Ellipsis

As noted above, VP-ellipsis is generally impossible if it would operate both backwards and upwards. There are also certain other restrictions on the possibility of ellipsis, although a complete theoretical analysis may be lacking. Two examples of environments in which ellipsis fails are now given:

*A proof that God exists does .
*A proof that God does exists.

The inability of VP-ellipsis to occur in these cases has been explored in terms of so-called argument contained ellipsis. The ellipsis appears inside an argument of the predicate represented by the antecedent to the ellipsis. A satisfactory account of the inability of VP-ellipsis to occur in these sentences is lacking.

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