Project B13:
Ellipsis and Coordination in English

  Project B13
  SFB 441 Subprojects
  SFB 441 Main Page


Prof. Dr. Susanne Winkler
English Department
University of Tübingen
Wilhelmstraße 50
72074 Tübingen
Phone: +49 (0)7071/ 29-74276; Fax +49 (0)7071/ 29-5760


Andreas Konietzko

SFB 441/ B13
Nauklerstrasse 35/ 3.05
72074 Tübingen
Tel.: ++49 (0) 7071/ 29-77163
Fax: ++49 (0) 7071/ 29-5830

Research assistants

Melanie Henschke

Katharina Musiol

Tina Schäfer

Katharina Schmeh

Major Goals

The project investigates the syntactic, semantic, phonological and information structural licensing conditions of phrasal and nonphrasal ellipsis. It concentrates on the interaction between syntactic licensing of ellipsis, the focusing of the remnants and the phonological reduction of the elliptical material. Based on comparative studies from English and German, the envisaged work should clarify the interrelatedness of syntax, focus and deaccentuation in the licensing and interpretation processes of ellipsis (VP-ellipsis (VP-E), VP-Anaphora (VP-A) and Gapping). The project investigates three main areas:

  1. the role of focus in the syntactic licensing of VP-E/ VP-A vs. Gapping;
  2. the interrelatedness of deaccentuation of the elliptical material and focusing/ topicalizing the remnant material;
  3. interpretation of VP-E, VP-A and Gapping in connection with prosodic phrasing.

Three major claims form the starting point of the investigation:

  1. Licensing conditions on ellipsis are not only syntactic, but also prosodic.
  2. Not all cases of ellipsis can be subsumed under the Phonological Reduction Hypothesis (Tancredi 1992): "VP-E is no more than an extreme case of deaccenting where a VP ceases to be audible altogether."
  3. Certain ambiguities involved in ellipsis can be prosodically disambiguated.

This project puts major emphasis on basic research in the area of linguistic theory. The central goal is the explication of the grammatical architecture at the syntax-semantics, syntax-phonology and the syntax-discourse interface. Intonational elicitation experiments corpus searches are planned.

Guest Researchers and Former Staff

Remus Gergel
(Research fellow at Tübingen University - beginning May 2006)

Jutta Hartmann
(Research fellow 01.9. to 31.12.07)

Luis López
DAAD guest researcher; University of Illinois at Chicago; 20.5. to 24.8.2003.

Kirsten Gengel
(Scholarship at the Graduiertenkolleg "Linguistic Representations and Their Interpretation" at the University of Stuttgart - beginning December 2003)

Text editor: Susanne Winkler. Webpage created by Jutta Hartmann, maintained by Andreas Konietzko.
Last updated 16.02.07.