ELLIPSIS IN THE STRUCTURE OF COMPOUND WORDS
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Hungarian coordinated compound words may involve ellipsis. The paper outlines the proposal that ellipsis should be regarded as non-insertion of the phonological form of a lexical item into the structural representation. Accordingly, lexical and grammatical features are present in the position of ellipsis, and thus participate in the interpretation of the compound word concerned. This approach rejects the view that the 'missing' material would be deleted phonetically, and therefore would have to be reconstructed. 'Silent' lexical items without a phonological form are claimed to be subject to ellipsis. Lexical items with a phonological form, making the interpretation of the former possible, are available in the other compound word. These are called licensers. If the licensing compound word precedes the compound word involving ellipsis, we have to do with forward ellipsis. If the licensing compound word follows the elliptic one, we are dealing with backward ellipsis. A directionality constraint for ellipsis in compound words is presented. The constraint means that the possibility of 'ellipticity' of a constituent of a compound word does not only depend on whether it occurs repeatedly but also on the kind of structural position it occurs in. In terms of a tree representing a coordinative structure, in the first or left-hand member of the coordinative construction it is only a constituent on a right-hand branch that can be elided, whereas in the second or right-hand member of the coordinative construction it is only a constituent on a left-hand branch that can undergo ellipsis. The author argues that the directionality constraint allows only the backward types of ellipsis in a coordinative structure of compound words. This type of ellipsis is supported by an interaction of structural, lexical, and phonological features.
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