Elliptical 'why not'

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This paper investigates clausal ellipsis with why not; e.g., Chris didn’t come, but I don’t know why not. Elliptical why not requires a negative antecedent, involves negative concord, and is subject to a clausemate condition. These empirical traits might be captured by analysing elliptical why not as a version of polarity ellipsis. Despite consisting of not and why, why not behaves very differently from both negative stripping and why-stripping.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 9 Aug 2022


  • why not
  • negative stripping
  • why-stripping
  • FFR
  • polarity ellipsis
  • ellipsis


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