We are happy to announce a talk by Samuel Acheampong (GU Frankfurt) in the Syntax Colloquium.

The talk will take place in person. Room IG 4.301

Date: November 14

Time: 4 pm – 6 pm ct

Title: The syntax of sluiced constructions in Likpakpaanl 


This talk discusses a preliminary analysis of the syntax of sluicing in Likpakpaanl, a Mabia language spoken in the Eastern corridors of Ghana and Western Togo. The talk describes an ellipsis phenomenon in which an entire clause is deleted, but the wh- remnant survives. I show that while the overt focus markers wɛ̀ and o in wh-questions in Gungbe and Nupe, respectively, escape the ellipsis [e]-site, the focus marker lè in Likpakpaanl ex-situ wh-questions, is contained in the ellipsis site. Thus, Likpakpaanl sluices violate the ‘Wh-sluicing correlation hypothesis’ of Van Craenenbroeck and Lipták (2013), which proposes an obligatory movement to spec-FocP for languages with overt focus markers because the E-feature in such languages is on the Foco. Such an analysis does not account for the Likpkapaanl sluicing data, which calls for an alternative approach since the [e]-feature that triggers the ‘deletion’ of its complement does not seem to occur on the Foco in the language.
In this alternative analysis, I propose a split between the Question (Q)-feature and the Focus (F)-feature and adopt Rizzi’s (1997) Cartography approach, showing that in Likpkpaanl sluicing, there is an extra projection, ForceP, where Q-feature is hosted above FocP. Under the feature valuation system proposed by Pesetsky and Torrego (2007), I assume that both ForceP and FocP are Probes with interpretable unvalued features + (EPP) that are valued by the uninterpretable valued features on the wh-phrase triggering Agree + Move of the wh-phrase first to Spec-FocP and then to the landing site in Spec ForceP. The [e]-feature is on Forceo and licenses the ellipsis by deleting FocP, which is the complement.