This dissertation presents a study of Japanese verb ellipsis that involves the copula da. My focus is on the copula structures where a sequence of elements including a verb is missing, yet the meaning of the sequence is recoverble. I address the following questions: how is the presence of the copula accounted for; what conditions allow this phenomenon; how is the meaning recovered?
I investigate three types of verb ellipsis. (i) Structures where a DP with a marker (e.g., focus markers) is followed by the copula. (ii) Structures where an adverbial is followed by the copula. (iii) Structures where a DP without a marker is followed by the copula. The appearance of the copula suggests that clefting is involved in the ellipsis in question. Building on previous studies on Japanese Sluicing (e.g., Nishiyama 1995, Hiraiwa and Ishihara 2000), I propose that (i) and (ii) are derived from it's that-cleft (CP-focused Cleft), and that (iii) is derived from wh-cleft (DP-focused Cleft). The former type of ellipsis is referred to as CP-focused Clefted Ellipsis, the latter DP-focused Clefted Ellipsis.
In the investigation of what allows verb ellipsis, I observe that case markers, focus markers (e.g., -mo 'also/too'), at all type of adverbial Negative Polarity Items, quantificational adverbial Positive Polarity Items, and the continuation-of-state aspectual adverbial mada 'yet/still' allow elements including a verb to be elided. Building on Lopez and Winkler's (2000) proposal that affirmative/negative expressions license VP ellipsis, I propose that linguistic materials which allow ellipsis are [+AFF] or [+NEG] and license ellipsis.
Application of Hankamar and Sag's (1976) criteria of anaphora to the Japanese verb ellipsis indicates that CP-focused Clefted Ellipsis is Surface Anaphora, which requires a linguistic antecedent, and DP-focused Clefted Ellipsis is Deep Anaphora, where a linguistic antecedent is not required and the meaning is recovered pragmatically. This suggests that these two types of verb ellipsis have different structures. Based on the observation that CP-focused Clefted Sluicing is island sensitive and DP-focused Clefted Sluicing is not, I propose that elliptical sites of CP-focused Clefted Ellipsis have internal structures and those of DP-focused Clefted Ellipsis are base-generated pro.