Sloppy/Strict Identity, Empty Objects, and NP Ellipsis*

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This article proposes that, with Fiengo and May's (1994) indexing theory, a full-fledged reconstruction approach to null argument phenomena in such languages as Chinese, Japanese, and Korean becomes possible. Not only does the present NP-Ellipsis analysis preserve the insight of Otani and Whitman (1991), but it also helps overcome the drawbacks of their VP-Ellipsis analysis of null objects. This article thus argues that null NPs in these languages must be empty phrase-markers underlyingly, not empty pronouns per se, and hence, their reference properties can be determined only at LF after reconstruction. It is shown that this analysis also promises to solve certain binding-theoretic puzzles that null argument phenomena have posed.

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