We are happy to announce a talk by  Ken Hiraiwa (Meiji Gakuin University Tokyo) in the Syntax Colloquium.

The talk will take place in person. Room IG 4.301

Date: May 22

Time: 2 pm – 4 pm ct

Title: Sluicing and Countersluicing in Japanese


Ross (1969) showed that In sluicing, everything but a fronted wh-phrase is deleted. It has been controversial, however, how sluicing is derived in wh-in-situ languages like Japanese. I first outline Hiraiwa and Ishihara’s (2012) cleft analysis of sluicing, rejecting a wh-movement analysis (Takahashi 1994) and an in-situ analysis (Abe 2012). Crucial evidence comes from parallel patterns that immobile elements show in clefting and sluicing. After establishing that Japanese sluicing is built on clefting, I discuss what I call countersluicing. Countersluicing is a peculiar type of elliptical question in Japanese that is quite frequently used but has never been documented before. I show that it is exactly the opposite to sluicing in that (almost) everything but a wh-phrase survives deletion. I argue that countersluicing and sluicing share the same underlying structure and are given a unified analysis.