Cecchetto Colloquium

October 11
Cobb 201
University of Milan-Bicocca
Identifying VP ellipsis in sign languages: the case of Italian Sign Language (LIS)

In this talk I will describe "the SAME construction" in LIS, a type of ellipsis that can shed light on the constituent structure of the clause in LIS, contra recent claims that sign languages might be a challenge for the idea that constituents are a universal trait of human languages.

The SAME construction shares some general property with VP ellipsis in English (i.e. availability of the sloppy reading and of vehicle change) modulo some intriguing differences due to the visuo-spatial modality. It can be properly described as a case of PF deletion of a fully-fledged linguistic structure.