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5.1.5. Fragment clauses
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Fragment clauses cannot be immediately recognized as such because they do not contain an overt finite verb and, consequently, look like phrases of some non-verbal category. There are two types of fragment clauses: fragment wh-questions and fragment answers. Examples of the former are given in the primed examples in (248), which show that fragment wh-questions can plausibly be analyzed as phonetically reduced finite interrogative clauses.

Example 248
a. Jan heeft gisteren iemand bezocht.
speaker A
  Jan has  yesterday  someone  visited
  'Jan visited someone yesterday.'
a'. Wie heeft Jan gisteren bezocht?
speaker B
  who has Jan yesterday visited
  'Who (did he visit yesterday)?'
b. Jan heeft Marie bezocht.
speaker A
  Jan has  Marie visited
  'Jan has visited Marie'
b'. Wanneer heeft Jan Marie bezocht?
speaker B
  when  has  Jan Marie  visited
  'When (did Jan visit Marie)?'

Ross (1967) derived fragment wh-questions by means of a deletion operation that he referred to as sluicing, and fragment wh-questions are therefore also known as sluicing constructions; the suppressed information is indicated here by means of strikethrough. At first sight, the deletion seems licensed simply by the presence of some antecedent clause in the preceding discourse, which contains some (implicit) correlate of the wh-phrase constituting the fragment wh-question, but our discussion below will bear out that on closer scrutiny the situation is more complex.
      The examples in (249) show that fragment answers may arise in conversation as a response to wh-questions; the suppressed information is again indicated by strikethrough.

Example 249
a. Wat heeft Jan gisteren gekocht?
speaker A
  what  has  Jan yesterday  bought
  'What did Jan buy yesterday?'
a'. Een nieuwe computer heeft Jan gisteren gekocht.
speaker B
  a new computer  has  Jan yesterday  bought
  'A new computer (Jan bought yesterday).'
b. Wanneer heeft Jan die nieuwe computer gekocht?
speaker A
  when  has  Jan that new computer  bought
  'When did Jan buy that new computer?'
b'. Gisteren heeft Jan die nieuwe computer gekocht.
speaker B
  yesterday  has  Jan that new computer  bought
  'Yesterday (Jan bought that new computer).'

The non-reduced clauses corresponding to the fragment clauses in the examples above are grammatical but less felicitous, for reasons of economy, given that the suppressed information can easily be reconstructed from the context; usually the preceding discourse contains some antecedent clause which provides the information suppressed in the fragment clause. Nevertheless, we cannot a priori assume that the deletion analysis suggested above is correct, especially because it runs into several problems. Establishing that we are dealing with some kind of reduction will therefore be an essential part of our discussion of fragment clauses. After having established this, we will discuss the properties of fragment clauses in greater detail. Fragment wh-questions are discussed in Subsection I and fragment answers in Subsection II.

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[+]  I.  Fragment wh-questions (sluicing)

The examples in (250) show that fragment wh-questions do not only occur as independent utterances but also as subparts of clauses. If we are indeed dealing with reduced clauses, this would show that sluicing can apply to matrix and embedded clauses alike.

Example 250
a. Jan heeft gisteren iemand bezocht.
speaker A
  Jan has  yesterday  someone  visited
  'Jan visited someone yesterday.'
a'. Kan je me ook zeggen wie Jan gisteren bezocht heeft?
speaker B
  can you  me also  tell  who  Jan yesterday  visited  has
  'Can you tell me who (Jan visited yesterday)?'
b. Jan heeft gisteren iemand bezocht, maar ik weet niet wie Jan gisteren bezocht heeft?
  Jan has  yesterday  someone  visited    but  I know not  who  Jan yesterday  visited  has
  'Jan visited someone yesterday, but I donʼt know who.'

The following subsections discuss fragment wh-questions in more detail, subsection A begins by showing that fragment wh-questions are indeed clauses, and that we must therefore assume that some sort of sluicing operation is at work here. This need not imply, however, that sluicing must be seen as a deletion operation, subsection B shows that there are at least two ways of analyzing sluicing, which in fact both face a number of challenges, subsection C continues by investigating to what extent the interpretatively present but phonetically non-expressed part of the fragment wh-question must be isomorphic to some antecedent clause, subsection D investigates the correlate of the wh-phrase in the antecedent clause, subsection E concludes with a number of specific examples that may involve sluicing.

[+]  A.  Fragment wh-questions are clauses

This subsection reviews the evidence in favor of the claim that fragment wh-questions are really clauses. We will follow the literature in mainly discussing examples of the type in (250b), but this is not a matter of principle; similar arguments can be given on the basis of examples such as (250a').

[+]  1.  Selection restrictions

A first argument for claiming that fragment wh-questions are clauses is based on the selection restrictions imposed by the verb on its complements; embedded fragment wh-questions can only occur with predicates that select interrogative clauses. The primeless examples in (251) illustrate that verbs like weten'to know' and zien'to see' may take an interrogative clause and the primed examples show that they may likewise take an embedded fragment wh-question. Examples such as (251a') are especially telling given that the verb weten'to know' can only be combined with a severely limited set of noun phrases, and noun phrases referring to objects are certainly not part of this set (contrary to what is the case with its English counterpart to know): cf. Ik weet het antwoord/*dat boek'I know the answer/that book'.

Example 251
a. Ik weet [wat Jan gekocht heeft].
  know  what  Jan bought  has
  'I know what Jan has bought.'
a'. Jan heeft iets gekocht maar ik weet niet wat.
  Jan has  something  bought  but  know  not  what
  'Jan bought something but I donʼt know what.'
b. Ik zag [wie er wegrende].
  I saw   who  there  away-ran
  'I saw who ran away.'
b'. Er rende iemand weg en ik zag ook wie.
  there  ran  someone  away  and  saw  also  who
  'Someone ran away, and I also saw who.'

The examples in (252) show that verbs like beweren'to claim', which do not select interrogative clauses, cannot be combined with fragment wh-questions either.

Example 252
a. * Marie beweert [wat Jan gekocht heeft].
  Marie claims   what  Jan bought  has
b. * Peter denkt dat Jan iets gekocht heeft *(en Marie beweert wat).
  Peter thinks  that  Jan something  bought  has    and  Marie claims  what
[+]  2.  Coordination

A second argument for assuming that fragment wh-questions are clauses can be based on coordination: given that coordination is normally restricted to phrases of the same categorial type, the fact that full clauses fragment wh-questions can be coordinated with fragment wh-questions suggests that the first are also clauses.

Example 253
a. Jan vroeg me [[waar ik gewoond had] en [hoe lang]].
  Jan asked  me  where  lived  had  and   how long
  'Jan asked me where I had lived and for how long.'
b. Ik weet niet [[wat hij gedaan heeft] of [waarom]].
  know  not   what  he done has  or why
  'I donʼt know what he has done or why.'
[+]  3.  Case assignment

A third argument is based on case assignment: the wh-phrase constituting the overt part of the fragment wh-question in (254a) is assigned the same case as the corresponding phrase in the antecedent clause and not the case normally assigned by the embedding predicate. One must keep in mind, however, that cases like these may be misleading as they may involve N-ellipsis on top of sluicing. An argument in favor of such an analysis is that the possessive pronoun wiens in (254b) does not have a syntactic correlate in the antecedent clause, whereas the noun phrase wiens auto does.

Example 254
a. Jan heeft iemands boek gelezen, maar ik weet niet wiens.
  Jan has  someoneʼs book  read  but  know  not  whose
  'Jan has read someoneʼs book but I donʼt know whose.'
b. Er staat een auto op de stoep, maar ik weet niet wiens.
  there  stands  a car  on the pavement  but  know  not  whose
  'There is a car on the pavement but I donʼt know whose.'

Since Dutch has overt case marking on pronominal possessives only, we cannot provide any better evidence than cases such as (254), but Merchant (2001/2006) provides a number of examples from German (and other languages) that involve nominal arguments. Although the verb wissen'to know' governs accusative case, the wh-phrase that constitutes the fragment wh-question in (255) has dative case just like the complement of the verb schmeicheln'to flatter' in the antecedent clause.

Example 255
Er will jemandemdat schmeicheln, aber sie wissen nicht wemdat/*wenacc.
  he wants someone  flatter  but  they  know  not who/who
'He wants to flatter someone, but they donʼt know who.'
[+]  4.  Syntactic distribution/placement of fragment wh-questions

The most important argument for claiming that fragment wh-questions are clauses involves the syntactic distribution of embedded fragment wh-questions like Wie?'Who?' or Wat?'What?'. If such fragment wh-questions were noun phrases, we would expect them to have the distribution of nominal phrases and hence to appear before the clause-final verbs. If, on the other hand, such fragment wh-questions are clauses, we expect them to occur in the normal position of clauses, that is, after the clause-final verbs. The examples in (256) therefore unambiguously show that fragment wh-questions are clauses.

Example 256
a. Jan heeft iets gekocht en ik denk dat ik weet wat.
  Jan has  something  bought  and  think  that  know  what
  'Jan has bought something and I think that I know what.'
b. * Jan heeft iets gekocht en ik denk dat ik wat weet.
  Jan has  something  bought  and  think  that  what  know

The examples in (257) show that, like regular object clauses, fragment wh-questions functioning as direct object can only occur to the left of the clause-final verbs if they are topicalized or left-dislocated. The relevant sluicing construction is given in the second conjunct of (257b).

Example 257
a. [Wat hij gekocht heeft] (dat) weet ik niet.
  what  he  bought  has   that  know  not
  'What he bought, (that) I donʼt know.'
b. Hij heeft iets gekocht, maar wat (dat) weet ik niet.
  he  has  something  bought  but  what   that  know  not
  'He bought something but what (that) I donʼt know.'
[+]  5.  The anticipatory pronoun het

Yet another argument involves the distribution of the anticipatory pronoun het. We would expect this pronoun to be possible if fragment wh-questions are clauses, but not if they are some non-verbal category. The examples in (258) show that the results are somewhat mixed: the (a)-examples show that fragment wh-questions functioning as objects cannot co-occur with the anticipatory pronoun het, whereas the (b)-examples show that fragment wh-questions functioning as subjects can.

Example 258
a. Ik weet (het) nog niet [wie er morgen komt].
  know    it  yet  not   who  there  tomorrow  comes
  'I donʼt know yet who is coming tomorrow.'
a'. Er komt morgen iemand, maar ik weet (*het) nog niet wie.
  there  comes  tomorrow  someone  but  know     it  yet  not  who
  'Someone will be coming tomorrow, but I donʼt know yet who.'
b. Het is nog niet duidelijk [wie er morgen komt].
  it  is yet  not  clear   who  there  tomorrow  comes
  'It isnʼt clear yet who will come tomorrow.'
b'. Er komt morgen iemand, maar het is nog niet duidelijk wie.
  there  comes  tomorrow  someone  but  it  is yet  not  clear  who
  'Someone will be coming tomorrow, but it isnʼt clear yet who.'

A possible account for the contrast between the two primed examples in (258) may be that fragment wh-questions are always part of the focus (new information) of the clause, as is clear from the fact that they are always assigned contrastive accent. Section 5.1.1, sub III, has shown that the anticipatory object pronoun het tends to trigger a presuppositional reading of the object clause; so it may be that combining it with a fragment wh-question results in an incoherent information structure, which may account for the judgment given in (258a'). Although Section 5.1.3, sub III, has shown that the anticipatory subject pronoun het can sometimes likewise trigger a presuppositional reading of the subject clause, there are also many cases in which this effect does not arise; this means that the information structure of example (258b') may be fully coherent, regardless of whether the anticipatory pronoun is present or not. We leave it to future research to establish whether this account of the contrast between the two primed examples in (258) is tenable, but conclude for the moment that the acceptability of the anticipatory pronoun het in examples such as (258b') provides support for the claim that fragment wh-questions are clauses.

[+]  6.  Left dislocation

The argument on the basis of the anticipatory pronoun can be replicated in a slightly more straightforward form on the basis of left-dislocation constructions such as (259); the primed examples show that the resumptive pronoun dat'that' is possible with fragment wh-questions, irrespective of the latter's function.

Example 259
a. [Wie er morgen komt] dat weet ik nog niet.
  who  there  tomorrow  comes  that  know  not  yet
  'Who is coming tomorrow, that I donʼt know yet.'
a'. Er komt morgen iemand, maar wie dat weet ik nog niet.
  there  comes  tomorrow  someone  but  who  that  know  yet  not
  'Someone will be coming tomorrow, but who, that I donʼt know yet.'
b. [Wie er morgen komt] dat is nog niet duidelijk.
  who  there  tomorrow  comes  that  is yet  not  clear
  'Who is coming tomorrow, that isnʼt clear yet.'
b'. Er komt morgen iemand, maar wie dat is nog niet duidelijk.
  there  comes  tomorrow  someone  but  who  that  is yet  not  clear
  'Someone will be coming tomorrow, but who, that isnʼt clear yet.'

It should be noted that the possibility of left dislocation strongly disfavors the nominal analysis of fragment wh-questions. First, example (260) shows that left dislocation is normally excluded with wh-phrases.

Example 260
a. Wat (*dat) wil je kopen?
  what     that  want  you  buy
  'What do you want to buy?'
b. Welke boeken (*die) wil je kopen?
  which books   these  want  you  buy
  'Which books do you want to buy?'

Second, the primeless examples in (261) show that resumptive pronouns normally exhibit number agreement with left-dislocated noun phrases, whereas the primed examples show that left dislocation of fragment wh-clauses involves the invariant form dat'that', that is, the form normally found with left-dislocated clauses.

Example 261
a. Het boek, dat wil ik kopen.
  the book  that  want  buy
a'. Jan wil een boek kopen, maar welksg dat weet ik niet.
  Jan  wants  a book  buy  but  which  that  know  not
b. De boeken, die/*dat wil Jan kopen.
  the books  those/that  want  Jan buy
b'. Jan wil wat boeken kopen, maar welkepl dat/*die weet ik niet.
  Jan wants  some books  buy,  but  which  that/these  know  not
[+]  7.  Nominalization

Nominalization also provides evidence for the claim that fragment wh-questions are clauses. First, the (a)-examples in (262) show that nominal objects of verbs normally appear as van-PPs in the corresponding nominalizations; cf. N2.2.3.2. Second, the (b)-examples show that object clauses are never preceded by a preposition. The fact that the nominalization in (262c') does not contain the preposition van thus shows that fragment clauses are not nominal, but clausal.

Example 262
a. Jan rookt sigaren.
  Jan smokes  cigars
a'. [Het roken *(van) sigaren] is ongezond.
  the  smoking     of  cigars  is unhealthy
b. Marie vroeg [waarom Jan sigaren rookt].
  Marie asked   why  Jan cigars  smokes
  'Marie asked why Jan smokes cigars.'
b'. Marie vroeg waarom.
  Marie asked  why
c. de vraag [waarom Jan sigaren rookt]
  the question   why  Jan cigars  smokes
  'the question as to why Jan smokes cigars'
c'. de vraag waarom
  the question  why
[+]  8.  Subject-verb agreement

The final argument again pertains to fragment wh-questions functioning as subjects. If fragment wh-questions are really clauses, we expect finite verbs to exhibit (default) singular agreement throughout, whereas we would expect finite verbs to agree in number with nominal fragment wh-questions if they are not. The examples in (263) show that the former prediction is the correct one; finite verbs are always singular even if the fragment wh-question has the form of a plural noun phrase.

Example 263
a. Het is niet duidelijk [welke boeken Jan wil hebben].
  it  is not  clear   which books  Jan wants.to  have
  'It isnʼt clear which books Jan wants to have.'
a'. Jan wil wat boeken hebben, maar het is/*zijn niet duidelijk welke.
  Jan wants.to  some books  have  but  it  is/are  not  clear  which
  'Jan wants to have some books, but it isnʼt clear which.'
b. [Welke boeken Jan wil hebben] is niet duidelijk.
  which books  Jan wants.to  have  is not  clear
  'Which books Jan wants to have isnʼt clear.'
b'. Jan wil wat boeken hebben, maar welke is/*zijn niet duidelijk.
  Jan wants  some books  have  but  which  is/are  not  clear
  'Jan wants to have some books, but which ones isnʼt clear.'
[+]  B.  What is Sluicing?

The previous subsection has shown that there is overwhelming evidence in favor of the claim that fragment wh-questions are clausal in nature, and hence that something like sluicing must exist. Let us assume the standard generative claim discussed in Section 9.1 that embedded finite interrogative clauses have the CP/TP structure in (264a), and that the wh-element occupies the position preceding the (phonetically empty) complementizer indicated by C. Sluicing can then be derived in at least two ways: the phonetic content of TP might be deleted under identity with its antecedent clause in the preceding discourse, or the TP might be phonetically empty right from the start and function as a pro-form that can be assigned an interpretation on the basis of its antecedent clause. The two options have been indicated in the (b)-examples in (264), in which strikethrough stands for deletion of the phonetic content of the TP and e for an empty pro-form replacing TP.

Example 264
a. Ik weet niet [CP wati C [TP Jan gekocht ti heeft]].
  I know not  what  Jan bought  has
  'I donʼt know what Jan has bought.'
b. Ik weet niet [CP wati C [TPJan gekocht ti heeft]].
b'. Ik weet niet [CP wat C [TP e ]].

We will not attempt to compare the two analyses here, but confine ourselves to mentioning a series of problems that must be solved by any proposal that claims that fragment wh-questions are CPs with a phonetically empty TP; readers who are interested in a comparison of the two analyses are referred to Merchant (2001/2006), who also discusses a number of other proposals, such as the idea that fragment wh-questions are reduced wh-cleft-constructions: Wat is het dat Jan gekocht heeft'What is it that Jan has bought?'. Because it is easier for reasons of exposition, we will follow Merchant's (2001/2006) wh-movement + TP deletion approach in (264b) in our structural representations, without intending to imply, however, that we consider this approach superior or inferior to the TP pro-form approach.

[+]  1.  Sluicing is possible in wh-questions only

A first problem that should be accounted for is that sluicing is generally impossible outside the domain of fragment wh-questions. This is illustrated in the (a)-examples in (265): the first conjunct Jan is hier may not give rise to sluicing in the declarative object clause in the second conjunct, although it can be pronominalized by means of the pronoun het/dat. The same thing is illustrated in the (b)-examples which involve an embedded yes/no question. The unacceptability of the primeless examples shows that we need to formulate certain non-trivial conditions on the application of sluicing to ensure that it gives rise to fragment wh-questions only.

Example 265
a. * Jan is hier maar Peter mag niet weten [dat hij hier is]
  Jan is here  but  Peter is.supposed.to  not  know   that  he  here  is
a'. Jan is hier maar Peter mag het/dat niet weten
  Jan is here  but  Peter  is.supposed.to  it/that  not  know
  'Jan is here but Peter isnʼt supposed to know it/that.'
b. * Jan komt misschien maar niemand weet zeker [of hij komt].
  Jan comes  maybe  but  nobody knows  for.sure  whether  he  comes
b'. Jan komt misschien maar niemand weet het/dat zeker.
  Jan comes  maybe  but  nobody knows  it/that  for.sure
  'Jan may be coming but nobody knows it/that for certain.'

For completeness' sake, example (266b) shows that sluicing is not possible in the domain of wh-exclamatives either.

Example 266
a. Het is ongelooflijk [wat een boeken Els geschreven heeft]!
  it  is incredible  what a books  Els  written  has
  'It is incredible how many books Els has written!'
b. * Els heeft veel geschreven; het is vooral ongelooflijk wat een boeken.
  Els has  a.lot  written  it  is especially  incredible  what a books
[+]  2.  The overt part does not include elements in the C-position

A second problem that should be solved is that fragment wh-questions normally cannot contain material that is not part of the wh-phrase. Some speakers of Dutch allow the overt realization of the complementizer of in embedded clauses, but, contrary to what is to be expected on the basis of the analyses in (264), example (267a') shows that the complementizer does not surface in embedded fragment wh-questions. The (b)-examples further show that, under the standard analysis that finite verbs occupy the C-position in interrogative main clauses, it would predict wrongly that non-embedded fragment wh-questions like Wat?'What?' should contain a finite verb.

Example 267
a. Ik weet niet [CP wati of [TP hij ti zei]].
  know  not  what  comp  he  said
  'I donʼt know what he said.'
a'. * Hij zei iets maar ik weet niet [CP wati of [TP hij ti zei]].
  he  said something  but  I know not  what  comp  he  said
  'He said something but I donʼt know what.'
b. Hij zei iets.
  he said  something
b'. * [CP Wat [C zei] [TP hij titv]]?
  what  said  he

Naturally, the ungrammaticality of the primed examples in (267) may be solved by assuming that sluicing affects the sequence C + TP, but this assumption is less desirable given that deletion and pronominalization normally involve maximal projections. If we want to stick to this standard assumption, the analyses in (264) require additional stipulations to be made; see cf. Merchant (2001:281ff.).

[+]  3.  The overt part sometimes includes TP-internal material

The third problem is in a sense the reverse of the second one: if sluicing involves deletion or pronominalization of the TP projection, we wrongly predict that TP-internal material will never surface. A first case that proves that this is wrong has to do with multiple questions. Example (268a) shows that, like in English, Dutch multiple questions allow at most one wh-phrase in the CP projection, which predicts that fragment wh-questions also consist of at most one wh-phrase. The (b)-examples in (268) show, however, that the presumed TP-internal wh-phrase in multiple wh-questions must be overtly expressed in fragment questions: leaving it out leads to unacceptability; we refer the reader to Merchant (2001:285ff.) for a more detailed discussion of this issue.

Example 268
a. Ik weet [CP wiei C [TPti gisteren wat las]].
  know  who  yesterday  what  read
  'I know who read what yesterday.'
b. Iedereen las gisteren iets maar ik weet niet wie wat.
  everyone  read  yesterday  something  but  know  not  who  what
b'. * Iedereen las gisteren iets maar ik weet niet wie.
  everyone  read  yesterday  something  but  know  not  who

It may be relevant in this connection that although multiple questions can be straightforward main clauses, non-embedded multiple fragment wh-questions are very marked. This is illustrated in the examples in (269).

Example 269
a. Wie heeft wat gelezen?
  who  has  what  read
  'Who read what?'
b. A. Iedereen heeft iets gelezen. B. *?Wie wat?
  A. everyone  has  something  read  B.   who  what
  'Everyone has read something. Who what?'

A second case, not mentioned in Merchant (2001/2006), involves constructions with floating quantifiers. The examples in (270) show that although the Dutch floating quantifiers nog meer'else' and allemaal'all' must appear TP-internally in embedded interrogative clauses, they nevertheless seem to survive sluicing. Note that the problem does not occur in English given that the quantifiers may be adjacent to the wh-phrase in regular wh-questions; cf. Merchant (2006:122).

Example 270
a. Ik ben vergeten [CP wie <*nog meer> C [TP er <nog meer> waren]].
  am  forgotten  who    else  there  were
  'Iʼve forgotten who else were there.'
a'. Jan was er, maar ik ben vergeten wie nog meer.
  Jan was there  but  am  forgotten  who  else
  'Jan was there but Iʼve forgotten who else.'
b. Ik ben vergeten [CP wie <*allemaal> C [TP er <allemaal> waren]].
  am  forgotten  who      all  there  were
  'Iʼve forgotten who all were there.'
b'. Er waren veel mensen, maar ik ben vergeten wie allemaal.
  there  were  many people  but  am  forgotten  who  all
  'There were many people but Iʼve forgotten who all.'

The primed (a)- and (b)-examples in (271) show that we find the same facts in main clauses. In fact, the primed (c)-examples seem to show that it is even possible in such cases to construct fragment wh-questions that contain adverbial-like material.

Example 271
a. Wie <*nog meer> waren er <nog meer>?
  who     else  were  there
a'. A. Jan was er. B. Leuk! Wie nog meer?
  A. Jan was there  B. nice  who else
b. Wie <*allemaal> waren er <allemaal>?
  who     all  were  there
b'. A. Er waren veel mensen. B. Leuk! wie allemaal?
  A. there  were  many people  B. nice  who  all
c. Wie <*dan> heeft hij <dan> uitgenodigd?
  who     then  has  he  prt.-invited
  'Who did he invite then?'
c'. A. Jan heeft een speciale gast uitgenodigd. B. O, wie dan?
  A. Jan has a special guest prt.-invited  B. o  who  then
  'Jan has invited a special guest. O, who then?'
[+]  4.  Sluicing is not island-sensitive

We conclude our list of potential problems with the fact that has received most attention in the literature, namely, that sluicing is not island-sensitive. In short, the problem is that there are fragment wh-questions for which it is not immediately clear that they can be derived by means of wh-movement followed by TP deletion, because wh-movement is blocked in the corresponding non-reduced wh-questions. First consider the examples in (272a&b), which show that relative clauses are island for wh-extraction. If non-embedded fragment wh-questions are derived by deletion of the TP of the matrix clause, we expect that (272c) could not be used to enquire more closely as to the nature of the thing stolen, but this is clearly wrong as this fragment wh-question would be an entirely natural response to the assertion in (272a).

Example 272
a. Jan ontmoette iemand [Rel-clause die iets gestolen had].
  Jan met  somebody  who  something  stolen  had
  'Jan met someone who had stolen something.'
b. * Wati ontmoette Jan iemand [Rel-clause die ti gestolen had]?
  what  met  Jan somebody  who  stolen  had
c. Wat?
  what

The examples in (273a&b) illustrate the so-called coordinate structure constraint, according to which wh-extraction from a coordinate structure is impossible. If non-embedded fragment wh-questions were derived by deletion of the TP of the matrix clause, we would expect that (273c) could not be used to ask who the second person involved was, but again this is clearly wrong as this fragment wh-question would be a natural response to the statement in (273a).

Example 273
a. Zij heeft gisteren [[Peter] en [nog iemand anders]] ontmoet.
  she has  yesterday    Peter  and   yet someone else  met
  'She met Peter and one other person yesterday.'
b. * Wiei heeft zij gisteren [[Peter] and [ti]] ontmoet?
  who  has  she  yesterday    Peter  and  met
c. Wie?
  who

The examples in (274) illustrate the so-called wh-island constraint, according to which wh-extraction from an embedded interrogative clause is impossible. We see again that fragment wh-questions are not sensitive to this type of island as the fragment wh-question in (274c) would again be an entirely natural response to the sentence in (274a).

Example 274
a. Marie weet [wie iets gestolen heeft].
  Marie  knows   who  something  stolen  has
  'Marie knows who has stolen something.'
b. * Wati weet Marie [wie ti gestolen heeft]?
  what  knows  Marie   who  stolen  has
  'Marie knows who has stolen what?'
c. Wat?
  what

The examples in (275) show that while wh-movement from adverbial adjunct clauses is prohibited, fragment wh-questions are not sensitive to it: the fragment wh-question (275c) is a completely natural response to what is asserted in (275a).

Example 275
a. Marie is boos op Jan [adjunct omdat hij iets gestolen heeft].
  Marie is angry  at Jan  because  he  something  stolen  has
  'Mary is angry with Jan because he has stolen something.'
b. * Wati is Marie boos op Jan [adjunct omdat hij ti gestolen heeft].
  what  is Marie angry  at Jan  because  he  stolen  has
c. Wat?
  what

Examples (272) to (275) make it patently clear that fragment wh-questions are not sensitive to islands for wh-extraction. Although Merchant (2001/2006) mentions many more cases, we will add one slightly more problematic example of potential island-insensitivity, which involves extraction of attributive modifiers from noun phrases. Although such extractions are normally not possible in Dutch wh-questions, fragment wh-questions consisting of APs that correlate with an attributive modifiers in their antecedent clause are normally judged acceptable by Dutch speakers; they generally prefer Merchant's example in (276b) to the one in (276b'), in which the full noun phrase is pied-piped (and the noun man may be omitted as the result of N-ellipsis).

Example 276
a. Zij hebben een lang-e man aangesteld, maar ik weet niet ...
  they  have  a tall-agr man  hired  but  know  not
  'Theyʼve hired a tall man, but I donʼt know ...'
b. ... hoe lang/*lang-e.
  how tall/tall-agr
b'. ?? ... een hoe lange (man).
  how long   man

A potential problem for the wh-movement + TP deletion approach is, however, that the extracted adjective, which is supposed to have an attributive function, does not exhibit the expected attributive -e inflection. Moreover, some of our informants indicate that even the use of the non-inflected adjective in (276b) is marked (just like the German speakers consulted by Merchant). It is therefore not entirely clear whether it is fully justified to use examples such as (276b) as an illustration of the island-insensitivity of sluicing.
      To conclude our discussion of the island-insensitivity of sluicing, we want to note that Merchant found one case in which Dutch fragment wh-questions seem to be island-sensitive: fragment wh-questions do obey the language-specific constraint on preposition stranding. First of all, the examples in (277b) show that wh-movement of wh-phrases from PPs is normally impossible in Dutch. Preposition stranding is only possible (and actually preferred) if we are dealing with a pronominal PP, that is, a PP consisting of an R-word and a preposition, like waarnaar'to what' in (277c); we refer the reader to P5 for a detailed discussion of this.

Example 277
a. Jan luistert graag naar Peter/de radio.
  Jan listens gladly to Peter/the radio
  'Jan likes to listen to Peter/the radio.'
b. * Wiei luister Jan graag naar ti?
  who  listens Jan gladly  to
b'. [Naar wie]i luistert Jan graag ti?
  to whom  listens  Jan gladly
c. Waar luistert Jan graag naar ti?
  where listens Jan gladly to
  'What does Jan like to listen to?'
c'. (?) Waarnaari luistert Jan graag ti?
  where-to  listens  Jan  gladly
  'What does Jan like to listen to?'

If fragment wh-questions are not island-sensitive, we would expect that none of the sluiced counterparts of the questions in (277) need to include the preposition. The examples in (278) show, however, that the preposition is preferably expressed if the question word is a pronoun and, which is perhaps even more surprising, obligatory if the question word is an R-word. We refer the reader to Subsection E for the discussion of one notable exception to the generalization that the wh-remnant preferably includes the preposition.

Example 278
a. Jan luistert naar iemand, maar ik weet niet ?(naar) wie.
  Jan listens  to someone but  know  not    to  whom
  'Jan is listening to someone, but I donʼt know who.'
b. Jan luistert ergens naar, maar ik weet niet waar*(naar).
  Jan listens  somewhere  to  but  know  not  where-to
  'Jan is listening to something, but I donʼt know what.'

Other cases of apparent island-sensitivity are provided in (279) and involve adverbial degree modification. First, consider the (a)-examples, which show that degree modifiers like hoe'how' must pied-pipe the adjective kwaad in regular wh-questions. The fact that the adjective kwaad cannot be omitted in the corresponding fragment question in the primed example is of course surprising if fragment wh-questions are not island-sensitive. The (b)-examples provide somewhat more complex cases in which the element hoe'how' is part of the more elaborate degree modifier hoe zwaar'how very', which can itself be extracted from the adjective hoe zwaar behaard "how very hairy'.

Example 279
a. Hoe <kwaad> is Jan <*kwaad>?
  how angry  is Jan
a'. Jan is kwaad, maar ik weet niet hoe *(kwaad).
  Jan is angry but  know  not  how angry
b. Hoe <zwaar> is Jan <*zwaar> behaard?
  how very  is Jan  hairy
  'How hirsute is Jan?'
b'. Jan is zwaar behaard, maar ik weet niet hoe *(zwaar).
  Jan is very hairy  but  know  not  how severely
[+]  C.  The antecedent clause need not be isomorphic to the phonetically empty TP

On the assumption that a fragment wh-question contains a phonetically empty TP, we may expect that the empty TP would be syntactically/semantically similar to the TP of the antecedent clause: deletion normally applies under syntactic identity, and pro-forms receive an interpretation on the basis of some phrase in the preceding discourse. This expectation is not borne out, however.

[+]  1.  No syntactic isomorphism

Dutch is a very suitable language for illustrating that the phonetically empty TP is not syntactically isomorphic to the TP of its antecedent clause because of the verb-second phenomenon found in main clauses: whereas finite verbs are clause-final (=TP-internal) in embedded clauses, they are in second position in interrogative main clauses (which is standardly assumed to be the C-position). Consequently, if the phonetically empty TP in a fragment wh-question must have the same syntactic structure as the TP of the antecedent clause, we expect that embedded fragment wh-questions can only take an embedded clause as their antecedent clause, whereas independent fragment wh-questions can only take a main clause as their antecedent clause. The examples in (280) show that this expectation does not come true: the main clause Er is iemand in de kamer'there is someone in the room' in the (a)-examples can be the antecedent of both independent and embedded fragment wh-questions, and the same thing holds for the embedded clause dat er iemand in de kamer is'that there is someone in the room' in the (b)-examples.

Example 280
a. A. Er is iemand in de kamer. B. Wie?
  A. there  is someone  in the room  B. who
a'. A. Er is iemand in de kamer. B. Weet je ook wie?
  A. there  is someone  in the room  B. know  you  also  who
  'There is someone in the room. Do you know who?'
b. A. Ik zie dat er iemand in de kamer is. B. Wie?
  A. I  see  that  there  someone  in the room  is  B. who
  'I see that there is someone in the room. Who?'
b'. A. Ik zie dat er iemand in de kamer is. B. Kan je ook zien wie?
  A. I see  that  there  someone  in the room  is  B. can  you  also  see  who
  'I see that there is someone in the room. Can you see who?'
[+]  2.  No semantic isomorphism

The previous subsection has shown that there is no syntactic isomorphism between the fragment wh-question and the antecedent clause. In fact, example (281a) reveals that is not even required that the two have an isomorphic semantic representation; the phonetically empty TP in the fragment wh-question is not interpreted in such a way that it contains the modal willen'to want' that we find in the antecedent clause—the interpretation rather involves a modal meaning normally expressed by kunnen'can' or moeten'must'. A similar example can be found in (282a).

Example 281
a. Ik wil de fiets wel repareren maar dan moet je me vertellen hoe.
  want  the bike  prt   repair  but  then  must  you  me tell  how
  'Iʼm willing to repair the bike, but then you have to tell me how.'
b. hoe ≠ hoe ik de fiets wel wil repareren
  'how I am willing to repair the bike'
b'. hoe = hoe ik de fiets kan/moet repareren
  'how I can/should repair the bike'
Example 282
a. Ik zou je graag helpen, maar ik weet niet hoe.
  would  you  gladly  help but  know  not  how
  'Iʼd like to help you, but I donʼt know how.'
b. hoe ≠ hoe ik je graag zou helpen
  'how I would like to help you'
b'. hoe = hoe ik je kan helpen
  'how I can help you'

An example of a slightly more complex nature is (283). In reply to a pupil's remark in (283a), a teacher may react by saying (283b), in which it is clear that the elided part cannot be isomorphous to what the pupil said given that the anaphor mezelf cannot be bound by the interrogative pronoun w ie: cf. Wie heeft zichzelf/*mezelf nog niet opgegeven'who did not yet enroll?'.

Example 283
a. Mijnheer, ik heb mezelf nog niet opgegeven voor deze cursus.
  master  have  refl  yet  not  enrolled  for this course
  'Master, I havenʼt enrolled yet for this course.'
b. Zo, ik vraag me af wie nog meer niet.
  well,  wonder  refl  prt.  who  yet  more  not
  'Well, I wonder who else (did not yet enroll).'
b'. wie = wie zichzelf heeft opgegeven

      The fact that semantic isomorphism need not hold in full does not mean that anything goes, because the propositional content of the fragment wh-question is still dependent on the propositional content that we find in the antecedent clause. This can be illustrated by means of example (284), which shows that minimally the proposition expressed by the main verb of the antecedent clause and its arguments must be preserved in the interpretation of the fragment wh-question. See Merchant (2006:ch.1) for an attempt to formally define this notion of "closeness in meaning".

Example 284
a. Marie noemt veel mensen stom, maar ik weet niet precies wie.
  Marie calls  many people  stupid  but  know  not  precisely  who
  'Marie calls many people dumb, but I donʼt know precisely who.'
b. wie = wie ze stom noemt
  'who she calls dumb'
c. wie ≠ wie ze beledigt
  'who she is insulting'
[+]  D.  The correlate of the wh-phrase in the antecedent clause

The fact established in the previous subsection that the phonetically empty TP need not be syntactically isomorphic to the TP of the antecedent clause could also have been demonstrated on the basis of the position of the wh-phrase of the fragment wh-question and its correlate in the antecedent clause. Again assume the wh-movement + TP deletion approach to fragment wh-questions. What examples such as (285) show then is that the antecedent clause differs from the phonetically empty in the fragment wh-question in that it has a noun phrase where the TP has a trace.

Example 285
Ik geloof [CP dat [TP Jan iets leuks gelezen heeft]], maar ik weet niet [CP wati C [TP Jan ti gelezen heeft]].
  believe  that  Jan something nice  read  has  but  know  not  what  Jan  read  has

Actually, example (286) shows that it is even possible to use the verb lezen'to read' pseudo-intransitively, and nevertheless to have a fragment wh-question with a wh-phrase that functions as the object of lezen; the absence of a(n overt) direct object is indicated by the use of Ø.

Example 286
Ik geloof [CP dat [TP Jan Ø gelezen heeft]], maar ik weet niet [CP wati C [TP Jan ti gelezen heeft]].
  believe  that  Jan  read  has  but know  not  what  Jan  read  has

When one analyzes pseudo-intransitive constructions as constructions without a direct object (alternatively, one may argue in favor of some covert object), the trace of the wh-phrase in the fragment wh-question would not have a correlate at all in the antecedent clause. This may in fact be the normal situation in fragment wh-questions such as (287) which consist of a wh-phrase with an adverbial function, as it is not normally assumed that such adverbial phrases are covertly expressed in sentences in which they are not morphologically visible.

Example 287
a. Jan is vertrokken, maar ik weet niet wanneer.
  Jan is  left  but  know  not  when
  'Jan has left, but I donʼt know when.'
b. Ik ben mijn sleutels verloren, maar ik weet niet waar.
  am  my keys  lost  but  know  not  where
  'Iʼve lost my keys, but I donʼt know where.'
c. Ik wil mijn fiets repareren maar ik weet niet hoe.
  want  my bike  repair  but  know  not  how
  'I want to repair my bike, but I donʼt know how.'

      Example (288a) shows that if an argument wh-trace does have a correlate in the antecedent clause, the latter must be indefinite. This is probably a semantic restriction: the use of a definite noun phrase would make the fragment wh-question contradictory or superfluous as in, respectively, (288a) and (288b).

Example 288
a. Jan heeft M ax H avelaar van Multatuli gelezen, ($maar ik weet niet wat).
  Jan has  Max Havelaar by Multatuli  read     but  know  not what
  'Jan has read Max Havelaar by Multatuli, but I donʼt know what.'
b. A. Jan heeft M ax H avelaar van M. gelezen. B. $Weet je ook wat?
  A. Jan has  Max Havelaar by M. read  B.    know  you  also  what
  'Jan has read Max Havelaar by Multatuli. Do you also know what?'

The (a)-examples in (289) suggest that something similar applies to adverbial wh-phrases; these cases are only acceptable if the wh-phrase is used to indicate that the speaker cannot determine the time/location more precisely. Similarly, the independent question in the (b)-examples is used to solicit more precise information about the relevant time internal/location.

Example 289
a. Jan is onlangs vertrokken, maar ik weet niet ?(precies) wanneer.
  Jan is  recently  left  but  know  not    precisely  when
  'Jan left recently, but I donʼt know precisely when.'
a'. A. Jan is onlangs vertrokken. B. Wanneer (precies)?
  A. Jan is  recently  left  B. when  precisely
  'Jan left recently. When precisely?'
b. Ik ben mijn sleutels thuis verloren, maar ik weet niet precies waar.
  am  my keys  at.home lost  but  know  not  precisely  where
  'Iʼve lost my keys at home, but I donʼt know precisely where.'
b'. A. Ik ben mijn sleutels thuis verloren. B. Waar (precies)?
  A. I  am  my keys  at.home  lost  B. where  precisely
  'Iʼve lost my keys at home. Where precisely?'

Universally quantified phrases are similarly excluded as correlates of wh-phrases in fragment wh-questions. This can again be seen as a semantic restriction: if all relevant entities in the given domain of discourse were to be included, the fragment wh-question would become contradictory or superfluous, as illustrated in, respectively, (290a) and (290b).

Example 290
a. Jan heeft alle romans van Boon gelezen, ($maar ik weet niet wat/welke).
  Jan has  all novels by Boon   read     but  know  not what/which
  'Jan has read all the novels by Boon, but I donʼt know what/which.'
b. A. Jan heeft alle romans van Boon gelezen. B. $Wat/Welke?
  A. Jan has  all novels by Boon   read  B.   what/which
  'Jan has read all the novels by Boon. Do you know what/which?'

There is, however, one exception: example (291a) shows that universally quantified phrases are possible as the correlate of the first wh-phrase in multiple fragment wh-questions. By means of examples like these the speaker expresses that he is not able to supply the reader with a paired list of persons and things <x,y> such that person x bought thing y. It is important to observe that the correlates of the wh-phrases in such multiple fragment wh-questions must be clause mates; this condition is satisfied in example (291a), but not in (291b), and as a result the multiple fragment wh-question is unacceptable in the latter case as a result.

Example 291
a. Iedereen had iets gekocht maar ik weet niet wie wat.
  everyone  has  something  bought  but  know  not  who  what
  'Everyone had bought something, but I donʼt know who [bought] what.'
b. Iedereen zei dat Jan iets las, (*maar ik weet niet wie wat).
  everyone  said  that  Jan something  read     but  know  not  who  what
  'Everyone said that Jan was reading something (but ...).'

Example (292a) is an apparent counterexample to this clause-mate condition: the fragment wh-question can only be used if the subject pronoun in the object clause of the antecedent clause is interpreted as a bound variable, that is, as referentially dependent on the quantified expression iedereen; the fact that the second correlate is a clause mate of the bound variable is apparently enough to satisfy the clause-mate condition. Example (292b) provides a comparable case in which the phonetically empty pronoun PRO of the infinitival clause functions as a variable bound by the universally quantified pronoun iedereen in the matrix clause.

Example 292
a. Iedereeni zei dat hiji iets las, maar ik weet niet wiewat.
  everyone  said  that  he  something  read  but  know  not who what
  'Everyone said that he was reading something (but I donʼt know who what).'
b. Iedereeni beloofde [PROi iets te lezen], maar ik weet niet wiewat.
  everyone promised  something  to read  but  know  not who what
  'Everyone promised to read something (but I donʼt know who what).'
[+]  E.  Sluicing-like constituents

The sluicing constructions discussed in the previous subsections all occur as independent sentences mostly given in conjunction with a sentence containing the correlates of the wh-phrase. We want to conclude our discussion by noting that sluicing-like constructions can also be used as constituents of clauses and smaller word groups; cf. Lakoff (1974). The examples in (293), adapted from Van Riemsdijk (2000) and especially Kluck (2011), show that the sluicing-like phrase, given in square brackets, can be used as an argument (subject/object), a complementive, an adverbial phrase, and even as a part of a quantifier or an attributive modifier of a noun phrase.

Example 293
a. [Je weet wel wie] was hier.
subject
  you  know  aff  who  was here
  'You know who was here.'
b. Jan heeft [je raadt nooit wat] gelezen.
direct object
  Jan has   you  guess  never  what  read
  'Jan has read youʼll never guess what.'
c. Jan stuurt Marie altijd [ik weet niet waar naartoe].
complementive
  Jan  sends Marie  always   I  know  not  where  to
  'Jan always sends Marie I never know where.'
d. Marie heeft [je raadt wel waar] geklaagd.
adverbial phrase
  Marie  has   you  guess  aff  where  complained
  'Marie has complained you can guess where.'
e. Marie heeft [ik weet niet/God weet hoeveel] boeken.
quantifier
  Marie has   I know not/God  knows  how.many  books
  'Marie has I donʼt know/God knows how many books.'
f. Jan heeft een [je wil niet weten hoe grote] televisie.
attributive mod.
  Jan has  you  want  not  know  how big  television
  'Jan has gotten an immensely big television.'

The matrix clauses of such sluicing-like phrases often consist of more or lesss fixed collocations; they are often headed by verbs like weten'to know' or raden'to guess' supplemented by the negative/affirmative markers niet/wel or a negative adverb like nooit'never'. Example (293e-f) shows that the matrix clause can even be a completely idiomatic phrase like God weet'God knows' + wh-phrase or je wil niet weten'you donʼt wanna know' + wh-phrase; see Kluck (2010).
      The bracketed phrases in (293) all have main clause word order, with the finite verb in second and the subject in first position. Although this suggests that we cannot be dealing with regular embedding, the phrases do not have the distribution of clauses either but occupy the same position as the non-clausal elements with the same syntactic function in (294).

Example 294
a. Peter was hier.
subject
  Peter was here
b. Jan heeft je dissertatie gelezen.
direct object
  Jan has  your dissertation  read
c. Jan stuurt Marie altijd naar Groningen.
complementive
  Jan sends Marie  always  to Groningen
d. Marie heeft bij de directie geklaagd.
adverbial phrase
  Marie  has  with the management  complained
e. Marie heeft veel boeken.
quantifier
  Marie has  many books
f. Jan heeft een grote televisie.
attributive modifier
  Jan has  a big television

This paradox is solved in Kluck (2011) by assuming that the sluicing-like phrases are actually parenthetical clauses; Examples like (293a-b) have a similar structure as the examples in (295), the only difference is that the correlates of the wh-phrases in the parenthetical clauses, iemand'someone' and iets'something', are not overtly expressed in (293a&b). Her proposal implies that for some of the cases in (293), there are only phonetically empty correlates.

Example 295
a. Iemand — je weet wel wie — was hier.
subject
  someone  you  know  aff  who  was here
  'You know who was here.'
b. Jan heeft iets — je raadt nooit wat — gelezen.
direct object
  Jan has  something  you  guess  never  what  read
  'Jan has read youʼll never guess what.'

      An argument in favor of analyzing the bracketed phrases as sluicing constructions can be built on cases in which the sluice is a prepositional object, subsection B has shown that in such cases the wh-remnant preferably includes the preposition. The (b)-examples show that we seem to find the same preference in the case of the constituents under discussion (albeit that our informants seem more lenient towards (296b')).

Example 296
a. Jan roddelt over iemand, maar ik weet niet ?(over) wie.
  Jan gossips  about someone but  know  not   to  whom
  'Jan is gossiping about someone, but I donʼt know who.'
b. Jan heeft [je weet wel over wie] geroddeld.
  Jan  has  you  know  prt  about who  gossiped
  'Jan has gossiped about you know who.'
b'. (?) Jan heeft over [je weet wel wie] geroddeld.
  Jan  has  about  you  know  prt  who  gossiped
  'Jan has gossiped about you know who.'

More evidence is provided in Kluck (2011:202), who observes that the wh-remnant preferably does not include the preposition in examples such as (297a), in which the form (op) wat is used instead of the more common pronominal PP form waarop. This exceptional behavior is also reflected in the (b)-examples: the bracketed phrase preferably does not include the preposition op but is itself the complement of op.

Example 297
a. Jan rekent ergens op, maar ik weet niet ?(op) wat.
  Jan counts  something  on  but  know  not    on  what
  'Jan is counting on something but I donʼt know what.'
b. Jan heeft op [ik weet niet wat] gerekend.
  Jan has  on   I  know  not  what  counted
  'Jan has counted on I donʼt know what.'
b'. ?? Jan heeft [ik weet niet op wat] gerekend.
  Jan has   I  know  not  on what  counted
  'Jan has counted on I donʼt know what.'

For completeness' sake, the examples in (298) show that sluicing also allows the more regular form waarop. Given that the preposition is obligatory in (298a), we correctly expect the bracketed phrase in the (b)-examples to obligatorily include the preposition.

Example 298
a. Jan rekent ergens op, maar ik weet niet waar *(op).
  Jan counts  something  on  but  know  not  where    on
  'Jan is counting on something but I donʼt know what.'
b. Jan heeft [ik weet niet waarop] gerekend.
  Jan has   I  know  not  where-on  counted
  'Jan has been counting on I donʼt know what.'
b'. * Jan heeft op [ik weet niet waar] gerekend.
  Jan has  on   I  know  not  where  counted

The fact that the bracketed phrases in the (b)-examples in (296) to (298) exhibit a similar behavior as the unequivocal sluicing constructions in the (a)-examples strongly supports a sluicing analysis of the former. For more evidence in favor of this conclusion, we refer the reader to Kluck (2011:ch.5).
      A construction that seems to belong to the same domain is given in (299); the construction resembles the regular sluicing construction in that we may add floating quantifiers like allemaal to the wh-phrase: compare examples like Jan heeft weet ik wat allemaal gelezen and Jan stuurt Marie altijd weet ik waar allemaal naartoe with the relevant examples in Subsection IB3. The examples in (299) seem to have a similar meaning as the corresponding examples in (293), but are structurally completely different: although the bracketed constituent does have the order of a main clause, the finite verb and the subject are inverted. The construction seems more restricted than the construction type in (293) in the sense that the verb is typically weten'to know', and seems to express some form of high degree quantification. To our knowledge, this construction has not been discussed in the literature so far.

Example 299
a. Jan heeft [weet ik wat] gelezen.
  Jan has   know  what  read
  'Jan has read all kinds of stuff.'
b. Jan stuurt Marie altijd [weet ik waar naartoe].
  Jan  sends Marie  always   know  where  to
  'Jan is always sending Marie I never know where.'
c. Jan heeft [weet ik waar] gestudeerd.
  Jan has  know  where  studied
  'Jan has studied at all kinds of places.'
d. Jan heeft [weet ik hoeveel] boeken.
  Jan has   know  how.many  books
  'Jan owns a tremendous number of books.'
[+]  F.  Conclusion

The previous subsections have looked in some detail at fragment wh-questions, subsection A has shown that these fragment wh-questions exhibit the behavior of clauses and so cannot be seen as projections of a non-verbal nature, subsection B investigated the internal structure of fragment wh-phrases in more detail: we have seen that fragment wh-questions do not overtly express the head of the CP-projection (they never contain a complementizer or a finite verb), do not contain any TP-internal material (although there are some potential exceptions to this claim), and are not island-sensitive (with, again, a number of potential exceptions), subsection C discussed the relation between the supposedly elided TP and its antecedent clause and showed that, although the two share the same core proposition, they need not be identical in syntactic structure, subsection D discussed the relation between the wh-phrases in fragment wh-questions and their non-wh-correlates in the antecedent clause, and later showed that the latter normally cannot be definite or universally quantified (with the notable exception of the correlate of the first wh-phrase in multiple fragment wh-questions). We concluded in subsection E with a brief remark on sluicing-like constructions that are used as constituents with a non-clausal behavior. Much of what we presented here was based on Merchant (2001/2006), to which we refer the reader for a more detailed discussion as well as a critical review of a variety of theoretical approaches to sluicing.

[+]  II.  Fragment answers

This subsection discusses the second type of fragment clauses, which we will refer to as fragment answers. The examples in (300) show that fragment answers are used in response to wh-questions and can occur either as independent utterances or as dependent constituents. The overt part of the fragment answer correlates with the wh-phrase in the antecedent clause (that is, the wh-question). Observe that fragment answers provide new information by definition and are therefore normally assigned sentence accent, which is indicated by a grave accent on the book title De zondvloed in the (b)-examples of (300).

Example 300
a. Wat is Jan momenteel aan het lezen?
  what  is Jan now  aan het  lezen
  'What is Jan reading at the moment?'
b. De zòndvloed van Jeroen Brouwers.
independent
  De zondvloed by Jeroen Brouwers
b'. Ik vermoed De zòndvloed van Jeroen Brouwers.
dependent
  suppose  De zondvloed by Jeroen Brouwers

The list in (301) gives a small sample of verbs that may take such fragment answers as their complement; these are all verbs that may take a declarative clause as their complement.

Example 301
Verbs that may take a fragment answer: denken'to think/believe', hopen'to hope', vermoeden'to suppose', vertellen'to tell', vrezen'to fear', zeggen'to say'

Verbs taking a fragment answer as their complement are always non-factive; see Barbiers (2000:194). This is illustrated in example (302b): whereas the non-factive verb vrezen'to fear' gives rise to a fully acceptable result, the factive verb betreuren does not.

Example 302
a. Wat koopt Marie voor Peter?
  what buys  Marie  for Peter
  'What will Marie buy for Peter?'
b. Ik vrees/*betreur een drumstel.
  fear/regret  a drum.set

The (visible) constituent in the fragment answer can be a nominal argument, like in the two earlier examples, but it can also be of a different category and have a different function. In example (303b), for instance, we are dealing with a temporal adverbial phrase, which can appear in the form of an AP like vroeg'early' or a PP like in de ochtend'in the morning'

Example 303
a. Wanneer vertrek je morgen?
  when  leave  you  tomorrow
  'When will you leave tomorrow?'
b. Ik geloof vroeg/in de ochtend.
  believe  early/in the morning

The following two subsections will argue that fragment answers are clauses and suggest a potential analysis for them, which, like in the case of fragment wh-phrases, raises a number of non-trivial questions.

[+]  A.  Fragment answers are clauses

That fragment answers are clausal in nature can be established on the basis of their syntactic distribution, even though we will see that the argument is not as straightforward as in the case of fragment wh-questions discussed in Subsection I. The basic insight is the following: if fragment answers are indeed clauses, we predict that they normally follow the verbs in clause-final position and that they are excluded in the middle field of the clause; if fragment answers are not clauses but phrases of some other category, we would predict that they must occur in front of the verbs in clause-final position if the phrase constituting the fragment answer is nominal in nature. Testing these predictions is not easy given that dependent fragment answers do not readily occur in embedded clauses or clauses including a non-main verb. Nevertheless, most speakers feel the contrast between the two examples in (304b&c): whereas (304b) is generally judged as marked but acceptable, example (304c) is generally considered to be degraded.

Example 304
a. Wat geeft Marie Peter voor zijn verjaardag?
  what  gives  Marie  Peter for his birthday
  'What will Marie give Peter for his birthday?'
b. (?) Ik weet het niet zeker, maar ik heb steeds vermoed een boek.
  know  it  not  for.sure  but  have  all.the.time  supposed  a book
  'Iʼm not absolutely sure but my suspicion has been all along: a book.'
c. *? Ik weet het niet zeker, maar ik heb steeds een boek vermoed.
  know  it  not  for.sure  but  have  all.the.time  a book  supposed

The contrast between the (b)- and (c)-examples is perhaps clearer when we replace the verb vermoeden by a verb of saying/thinking, as in (305). Example (305b) is generally judged as acceptable, whereas judgments on (305c) vary from very marked to unacceptable.

Example 305
a. Wat geeft Marie Peter voor zijn verjaardag?
  what  gives  Marie  Peter for his birthday
  'What will Marie give Peter get for his birthday?'
b. Ik weet het niet zeker, maar Marie heeft steeds gezegd een boek.
  know  it  not  for.sure  but  Marie has  all.the.time  said  a book
  'Iʼm not absolutely sure but Marie has always said: a book.'
c. *? Ik weet het niet zeker, maar Marie heeft steeds een boek gezegd.
  know  it  not  for.sure  but  Marie has  all.the.time  a book said

Given the subtlety of the judgments, we have also asked our informants to evaluate examples involving manner adverbials, which like nominal arguments generally precede the verbs in clause-final position. The net result is the same: the contrast between the two (b)-examples in (306) shows again that fragment answers must follow the verbs in clause-final position.

Example 306
a. Hoe heeft Peter dat boek gelezen: globaal of nauwkeurig?
  how  has  Peter that book  read globally  or meticulously
  'How did Peter read that book: cursorily or thoroughly?'
b. Ik weet het niet zeker, maar ik zou zeggen globaal.
  know  it  not  for.sure  but  would  say  globally
  'Iʼm not absolutely sure, but Iʼd say: cursorily.'
c. *? Ik weet het niet zeker, maar ik zou globaal zeggen.
  know  it  not  for.sure  but  would  cursorily say

The contrasts between the (b)- and (c)-examples strongly suggest that fragment answers are clausal in nature. Additional evidence is provided by examples such as (307), where the wh-phrase in (307a) pertains to a contextually determined set of options: a novel, a collection of stories, a volume of poems, etc. The fact that the neutral demonstrative pronoun dat is used in (307b) suggests that the fragment answer is not clausal: the neutral pronoun can refer to clauses but not to non-neuter noun phrases.

Example 307
a. Wat ga je morgen lezen?
  what  go  you  tomorrow  read
  'What are you going to read tomorrow?'
b. Ik denk de roman, want dat is het gemakkelijkst.
  think  the novel  because  that  is  the easiest

However, before we can confidently adopt the claim that fragments answers are clauses, we have to discuss two complications. The first is that verbs of saying/thinking may also be used in (semi-)direct reported speech constructions; see Section 5.1.2.4, sub II. Before we can draw any conclusion from the (b)-examples in (305) and (306), we have to establish that we are in fact dealing with fragment answers, and not with (semi-)direct quotes. A first argument in favor of the first option is provided by the meaning of example (305b): it does not express that Marie literally said "Een boek", but that Marie has said various things from which the speaker has drawn the conclusion that she would give Peter a book. The same thing is even clearer for (306b), in which the speaker does not quote himself but provides an opinion. A second argument can be based on example (308b) below. The fact that the pronoun zij'she' can be used to refer to Marie and the pronoun ik'I' must refer to the speaker of this sentence shows that we cannot be dealing with a direct quote. The fact established in Section 5.1.2.4, sub II, that the choice between direct and semi-direct quotes is normally free (in narratives at least) therefore suggests that (308b) cannot be interpreted as a semi-direct reported speech construction either.

Example 308
a. Wie koopt er een boek voor Peter?
  who buys  there  a book  for Peter
  'Who will buy a book for Peter?'
b. Ik weet het niet zeker, maar Marie heeft steeds gezegd zij/ik.
  know  it  not  for.sure  but  Marie has  all.the.time  said  she/I
  'Iʼm not absolutely sure, but Marie has said all the time: she/I.'
c. * Ik weet het niet zeker, maar Marie heeft steeds zij/ik gezegd.
  know  it  not  for.sure  but  Marie has  all.the.time  she/I  said

A final argument for claiming that we are dealing with fragment answers, and not with (semi-)direct quotes, is provided by the examples in (309). If we were dealing with a reported speech construction, we would expect that we could use any quote as the fragment answer: this wrongly predicts that (309b) would be a felicitous answer to the question in (309a).

Example 309
a. Komt Marie morgen dat boek halen?
  comes  Marie tomorrow  that book  fetch
  'Will Marie come to fetch that book tomorrow?'
b. # Marie heeft gezegd ja.
  Marie  has  said  yes

      The second complication that must be discussed before we adopt the claim that fragment answers are clausal is that Barbiers (2000:197-8) considers examples such as (310) fully acceptable, provided that the displaced constituent is marked with contrastive accent. Although these judgments are actually shared by many (but not all) Dutch speakers, it is not immediately clear whether examples of this type are relevant for our present discussion; Given the somewhat unclear status of these examples, we will not discuss them in detail here and refer the reader to Temmerman (2013) for an attempt to show that the primed examples are indeed fragment clauses, albeit of a somewhat different sort than fragment clauses that follow the verbs in clause-final position.

Example 310
a. % Ik had morgeni gedacht [CP dat Jan ti zou komen].
  had  tomorrow  thought  that  Jan  would  come
  'Iʼd thought that Jan would come tomorrow.'
a'. % Ik had morgeni gedacht.
  had  tomorrow  thought
b. % Ik had in de tuini gehoopt [CP dat het feest ti zou zijn].
  had  in the garden  hoped  that  the party  would  be
  'Iʼd hoped that the party would be in the garden.'
b'. % Ik had in de tuini gehoopt.
  had  in the garden  hoped

      From the discussion above we can safely conclude that fragment answers are clausal in nature. More support for this position can be found in the fact that pronouns may appear in their subject form when they constitute (the visible part of) a fragment answer; the examples in (311) show that the form of the pronoun is not determined by the verb denken, but by the grammatical function of its wh-correlate in the antecedent clause; cf. Barbiers (2000).

Example 311
a. A. Wie komt er vandaag? B. Ik denk Jan/hij.
subject pronoun
  A. who  comes  there  today B. I  think  Jan/he
  'Who is coming today? I think Jan/he.'
b. A. Wie heeft hij bezocht? B. Ik denk Marie/haar.
object pronoun
  A. who  has  he  visited  B. I  think  Marie/her
  'Who did he visit? I think Marie/her.'
[+]  B.  The derivation of fragment clauses

Since fragment wh-questions and fragment answers are both clausal in nature, it seems natural to assume that the two have a more or lesss similar derivation, subsection I has shown that fragment wh-questions are derived by postulating that the TP of the fragment clause is deleted or pronominalized; see the (b)-examples in (312), repeated from Subsection IB, in which strikethrough stands for deletion of the phonetic content of the TP and e for an empty pro-form replacing the TP.

Example 312
a. Ik weet niet [CP wati C [TP Jan gekocht ti heeft]].
  I know not  what  Jan bought  has
  'I donʼt know what Jan has bought.'
b. Ik weet niet [CP wati C [TPJan gekocht ti heeft]].
b'. Ik weet niet [CP wat C [TP e ]].

It seems that in the case of fragment answers, there is good reason to prefer the deletion over the pronominalization approach; see also Temmerman (2013). First consider the examples in (313a&b), which show that reflexive pronouns like zichzelf'himself' differ from referential pronouns like hem'him': the former must but the latter cannot have a syntactically realized antecedent in its own clause; see N5.2.1.5 on binding theory for more detailed discussion. The indices indicate (lack of) coreference.

Example 313
a. Ik denk dat Peteri zichzelfi/*hemi het meest bewondert.
  think  that  Peter  himself/him  the most  admires
  'I think that Peter admires himself the most.'
b. Peteri denkt dat ikj hemi/*zichzelfi het meest bewonder.
  Peter  thinks  that  him/himself  the most  admire
  'Peter thinks that I admire him the most.'

The distribution of the pronouns in the fragment answers in (314) show that these are dependent on the subject in the antecedent wh-clause. This would follow immediately under the TP ellipsis approach: although their phonetic content is erased under TP ellipsis, subjects of fragment answers are nevertheless syntactically present and can therefore function as antecedents of pronouns; the fact that the pronouns in (314) have a similar distribution as the pronouns in (313) is therefore expected. An account of this sort is not available if the TP is replaced by a pro-form, as this would entirely remove the subject from the fragment question.

Example 314
a. A. Wie bewondert Jani het meest? B. Ik denk zichzelfi/*hemi.
  A. who  admires  Jan  the most  B. I  think  himself/him
  'Who does Jan admire the most? I think himself.'
b. A. Wie bewonder jijj het meest? B. Ik denk hemi/*zichzelfi.
  A. who  admire  you  the most  B. I  think  him/himself
  'Who do you admire the most? I think him.'

For completeness' sake, the examples in (315) provide similar instances with a bound-variable reading of the possessive pronoun zijn'his'; given that the bound variable reading of pronouns only arises if the quantifier c-commands the pronoun, the availability of this reading in the question-answer pair in (315) again supports the TP-ellipsis approach; cf. Temmerman (2013).

Example 315
a. Ik denk dat iedereeni zijni moeder het meest bewondert.
  think  that  everyone  his mother  the most  admires
  'I think that everyone admires his mother the most.'
b. A. Wie bewondert iedereeni het meest? B. Ik denk zijni moeder.
  A.  who  admires  everyone  the most  B. I  think  his mother
  'Who does everyone admire the most? I think his mother.'
[+]  C.  Two problems

Adopting a TP-deletion analysis for fragment answers is not wholly unproblematical: it raises the non-trivial question as to what structure serves as the input of the deletion operation. If we adopt a similar analysis as suggested in Subsection IC, for fragment wh-questions, we should assume that the non- wh-correlate of the wh-phrase in the antecedent (= zichzelf in (316)) is topicalized before deletion. An example such as (314a) with zichzelf would then have the syntactic representation in (316a). The problem of this analysis is, however, that the first position in embedded clauses is normally only accessible to wh-phrases and relative pronouns; topicalization of any other material is categorically excluded. This means that the unacceptable structure in (316b) would be the input for TP deletion in order to derive the acceptable fragment question in (316a).

Example 316
a. Ik denk [CP zichzelfi C [TP Janti het meest bewondert]].
  think  himself  Jan  the most  admires
b. * Ik denk [CP zichzelfi dat/Ø [TP Jan ti het meest bewondert]].
  think  himself  Jan  the most  admires

For completeness' sake, the examples in (317) show that this problem does not occur in independent fragment answers, although these of course raise the question as to why the finite verb cannot be overtly expressed; see the discussion of the same problem for independent fragment questions in Subsection IB.

Example 317
a. [CP Zichzelfi C [TP Janti het meest bewondert]].
  himself  Jan  the most  admires
b. [CP Zichzelfi bewondert [TP Jan ti het meest tbewondert]].
  himself  admires Jan  the most

Barbiers (2000) suggested that dependent fragment clauses can be derived from the structures in the primeless examples in (310), repeated here as (318), by deletion of the postverbal CPs. This proposal runs into two problems, however: it wrongly predicts that fragment clauses must precede the verbs in clause-final position, and it leaves unexplained that fragment answers can also occur as independent utterances.

Example 318
a. % Ik had morgeni gedacht [CP dat Jan ti zou komen].
  had  tomorrow  thought  that  Jan  would  come
b. % Ik had in de tuini gehoopt [CP dat het feest ti zou zijn].
  had  in the garden  hoped  that  the party  would  be

No further attempts will be made here to provide an answer to the question pertaining to the derivation of fragment answers, but we refer to Temmerman (2013) for a number of suggestions of a more theory-internal nature.
      Merchant (2004) claims that fragment answers differ from fragment questions in that the presumed topicalization operation preceding TP-deletion is island-sensitive. This is not so easy to demonstrate, however, because wh-movement in antecedent wh-questions is island-sensitive itself; consequently, fragment answers will obey the relevant island restrictions more or lesss by definition. Merchant therefore demonstrates his claim by means of yes/no-questions of the type in (319a&b), which have a focus accent on an embedded constituent and can be seen as implicit wh-questions; if the answers in the primed examples in (319) can be analyzed in the same way as run-of-the-mill fragment answers, the unacceptability of the answers in the primed examples shows that topicalization in fragment answers is island-sensitive in its own right.

Example 319
a. Does Abby speak [Island the same Balkan language that Ben speaks]?
a'. * No, Charlie.
b. Did Ben leave the party [Island because Abby wouldnʼt dance with him]?
b'. * No, Beth.

The status of the answers in the comparable Dutch question-answer pairs in (320) is somewhat unclear to us, which we have indicated by a percentage sign. Temmerman (2013) gives these pairs as fully acceptable, but our informants seem to be less positive about it.

Example 320
a. Zoeken ze [Island iemand die Grieks spreekt]?
  look.for  they  someone  that  Greek  speaks
  'Are they looking for someone who can speak Greek?'
a'. % Nee, (ik zou denken) Albanees.
  no   I  would think  Albanian
b. Vertrok Jan [Island omdat Marie niet met hem wou dansen]?
  left  Jan  because  Marie  not  with him  wanted  dance
  'Did Jan leave because Marie didnʼt want to dance with him?'
b'. % Nee, (ik zou denken) Els.
  no   I  would think  Els

If the answers in the primed examples in (320) are indeed felicitous and if these answers ought to be analyzed as fragment answers, it would show that Dutch fragment answers differ from their English counterparts in that they are island-insensitive (just like fragment questions). For completeness' sake, we want to point out that Temmerman claims that the (postverbal) fragment answers in (320) differ markedly from the (preverbal) fragment answers in (321), which are undisputedly infelicitous as responses to the questions in the primeless examples in (320).

Example 321
a. # Nee, ik zou Albanees denken.
  no  would  Albanian  think
b. # Nee, ik zou Els denken.
  no  would  Els  think
[+]  D.  Conclusion

The previous subsections have discussed two types of fragment clauses: fragment wh-questions and fragment answers. It has been shown that fragment clauses have the distribution of regular finite clauses, which suggests that these fragment clauses are CPs with a phonetically empty TP. For instance, the fact that the overt part of fragment answers may consist of a sole reflexive pronoun may favor a TP-deletion over a TP-pronominalization approach. However, the TP-deletion approach also raises a number of non-trivial questions concerning the lack of isomorphism between the presumed empty TP of fragment clauses and the TP of their antecedent clauses. These questions are discussed at length for fragment questions in Merchant (2001/2006) and much subsequent work, but they will no doubt remain part of the research agenda for some time to come.

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