In the Case of Sluicing

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Middle East Technical University, Graduate School of Social Sciences, Turkey

Approval Date: 2020

Thesis Language: English


Supervisor: Martina Gracanin Yüksek


This thesis explores sluicing like constructions (SLCs) in Turkish. SLCs are investigated from a particular perspective: that of case connectivity between the whphrase in the ellipsis site (wh-remnant) and the indefinite pronoun in the antecedent clause (indefinite correlate). Case connectivity refers to the wh-remnant sharing the morphological case of its correlate, while anti-connectivity refers to the wh-remnant surfacing bare, regardless of the form of the correlate. The thesis's purpose is twofold: It aims to provide empirical data regarding which SLCs are indeed well-formed in Turkish (given controversial judgments in the literature) and to offer an appropriate analysis of SLCs compatible with the findings. Based on the judgments collected through an Acceptability Judgment Task from 216 participants, I establish that connectivity and anti-connectivity in all grammatical cases between the wh-phrase and its correlate are acceptable except when accusative object wh-remnants or genitive subject wh-remnants are affixed by a tense marker. To account for all conditions, I propose unified accounts for matrix clause and embedded clause sluicing by adopting the MD analysis for case connectivity and the pro-form analysis for anti-connectivity between the remnant and its correlate. I also argue that the Question particle ki can occur not only in matrix interrogative clauses, but also in tensed embedded interrogative environments clause-finally. Due to this distribution of the particle ki, I propose that the pre-sluice can transform from a non-finite to a finite clause, and that the source of the sluice must be the minimal tensed clause where wh-phrase originates. In cases where a bigger source is forced, it must be as minimal as possible.