A new puzzle about ellipsis: evidence from tense embedding

Sam Al Khatib, CUNY GC, and Yael Sharvit, UCLA


In this talk we discuss accounts of simultaneous intepretations of tense embedding constructions (TE). We show differences between TE across Attitude Verbs, and TE across Relative Clause boundaries (AVTE and RCTE, respectively), and point to evidence favoring a "binding" approach in AVTE, but disfavoring it in RCTE (building on Abusch 1993 and von Stechow 1995). On the other hand, we show cases of VP-ellipsis that point to a conflicting conclusion: that simultaneity in RCTE does require a binding account (building on Stowell 2014). We investigate this conflict further and conclude that VP-ellipsis is not a reliable test for semantic binding.