Lecture: Diagnosing verb stranding verb phrase ellipsis in Kiswahili
This talk aims to provide an account for analysing Kiswahili object gaps as verb
stranding verb phrase ellipsis (VSVPE). Different tests are used that have been shown to be
characteristic for verb phrase ellipsis (VPE). In particular, other analyses of argument drop or
argument ellipsis are shown to be insufficient to explain all the available data for Kiswahili. To
assume VSVPE in Kiswahili, means to assume verb movement out of the VP. This means
VSVPE can be used as supporting evidence for head movement in the language. I show that
verb movement out of the VP and concequently VSVPE is available in Kiswahili.
The focus of this talk lies on Kiswahili object gaps. In these constructions the clause is lacking an object and crucially needs an antecedent clause to be licensed. In previous literature this has been analysed as verb stranding verb phrase ellipsis (VSVPE). For VSVPE to be available, the verb escapes the to be elided VP, via head movement. Thus, when the VP is elided, the verb stays stranded in a higher position. The result is a sentence lacking the object, hence the name object gap. The problem with VSVPE accounts is that they are difficult to differentiate from simple argument drop or argument ellipsis accounts, because the surface forms are identical. This talk tests the availability of VSVPE in Kiswahili. Crucially I show, that neither argument drop nor argument ellipsis can explain all the available data and VSVPE is necessary.