Antecedentless fragments: a middle road between sententialism and nonsententialism
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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This article considers discourse-initial fragments such as 'A coffee, please'. The article argues against "sententialist" analyses of such fragments which propose that they are elliptical for fully-fledged syntactic structures, but also argues that DP fragments are not strictly "what-you-see-is-what-you-get" either. Rather, a small amount of unpronounced syntactic structure is present in such fragments – a null head, crucially not verbal but rather something more akin to a preposition, which introduces an event argument and assigns a thematic role to the DP fragment. This is argued to account for a number of otherwise mysterious (on the sententialist view) properties of antecedentless fragments, in particular some surprising cases of ungrammatical antecedentless fragments.