In this book, I propose a grammar fragment which accounts for the main properties of two elliptical constructions (‘lacking’ for the verbal head) called gapping (1a) and verbless relative adjuncts (therefore, VRA) (1b) respectively.
(1) a. Jean aime les pommes [et Marie les bananes]. 'Jean likes apples and Maria bananas'
b. Plusieurs personnes sont venues cette semaine, [dont Marie (hier)]. 'Several people have come this week, among which Marie yesterday'
We mainly argue for the fact that elliptical clauses in gapping and VRA constructions don’t behave as regular verbal clauses. Their syntactic and semantic properties don’t provide evidence for deriving this kind of elliptical clause from a complete clause. An analysis in terms of syntactic reconstruction of the missing material is therefore inadequate. Thus, the elliptical clause in both constructions (gapping and VRA) has a specific syntactic behaviour and must be assigned an independent status in the grammar, more precisely the status of a fragmentary clause, that is a syntactic unit having a propositional content of message type, but an incomplete syntax. This dissertation gives new arguments in favor of a semantic reconstruction with parallelism constraints, cf. Ginzburg & Sag (2000), Culicover & Jackendoff (2005).