Scientific article

Subject ellipsis in embedded clauses in English

Published inEnglish Language and Linguistics, vol. 3, no. 1, p. 117-145
Publication date1999

This paper examines subject omission in English finite clauses. Contrary to what is claimed in Haegeman (1997), it is shown that embedded subject omission is attested in diary-style register. These data pose a problem for the theory of empty categories in the 'Principles and Parameters' framework. The main body of the paper describes the contexts in which subjects of embedded finite clauses are omitted. No syntactic constraints have been identified. Based on the observation that the omission of embedded subjects coincides with pronoun omission of reflexives, we tentatively suggest that in specific registers pronoun ellipsis is licensed by a specifier-head relation with a head carrying agreement features.

  • Subject omission
  • Diaries
  • Abbreviated registers
  • Embedded clauses
  • English
  • Empty categories
  • Omission of reflexives
  • Pronoun ellipsis
Citation (ISO format)
HAEGEMAN-DE PAUW, Liliane, IHSANE, Tabea. Subject ellipsis in embedded clauses in English. In: English Language and Linguistics, 1999, vol. 3, n° 1, p. 117–145. doi: 10.1017/S1360674399000155
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal1360-6743

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