On the syntax of exceptions

Pérez-Jiménez I., and Moreno-Quibén, N. (2012). «On the syntax of exceptions. Evidence from Spanish». Lingua 122: 6, pp. 582-607.

Keywords: Coordination, Free exceptive, Connected exceptive, Subordination, Ellipsis, Spanish

In this paper we offer a syntactic description of Spanish exceptive constructions headed by excepto, salvo or menos (‘except’). Framing our hypothesis in an adjunction analysis of coordination, we argue that these exceptive markers head a Boolean Phrase, like other coordinating conjunctions. Two types of exceptive phrases can be identified, depending on the level of the constituents conjoined. In connected exceptives two DPs are conjoined. In free exceptives two CPs are conjoined; the exceptive markers select for a full-fledged CP as complement, whose null head (C) triggers a process of ellipsis in which all the syntactic material inside TP is marked for PF-deletion, except the remnant constituent(s). Our proposal supports a structural approach to ellipsis whereby elliptical constituents are in fact fully fledged though non-pronounced syntactic structures. It also supports the hypothesis that the differences in the syntactic behaviour of coordinate sentences and subordinate adverbial clauses cannot be derived from their phrase structure geometry but are instead due to the properties of individual conjunctions.

On the syntax of exceptions

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