Abstract: This talk examines various arguments that have been made by Merchant (2001, 2004, 2008, to appear) against direct-interpretation theories of Sluicing and Bare Argument Ellipsis, e.g. those of Ginzburg and Sag (2000) [GSOO] and Culicover and Jackendoff (2005). We focus on the relevant identity condition,
including the inadequacy of e-givenness. Indexical resolution data favors a semantic approach more closely linked to to the discourse context. With more careful examination of GS00's proposal, specifically in relation to the role of salient utterance (SAL-UTT) and the maximal question under discussion (MAX-QUD) supplied by context, Merchant's arguments made against the direct-interpretation approach are seen to lose their force. We also examine data from a number of languages which are problematic for any deletion-based analysis of Sluicing, showing how the direct-interpretation approach avoids these difficulties. Finally, we show how GS00's analysis interacts with Ginzburg's (in press) theory of dialogue to provide an account of `sprouting'.
[Based in part on joint work with Joanna Nykiel (U. of Silesia).]