The theme of the present article is the nature of short answers. On this analysis, short answers are derived from the result of focus movement, followed by deletion of everything except the focus.
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Various aspects of connectivity associated with short answers are captured in terms of focus movement. This analysis also shows that the derivation of short answers involve ellipsis. On the other hand, not all short answers exhibit properties related with movement and ellipsis: We show that short answers have another source, which we will call the bare-copular frame. However, functional answers and pair-list answers cannot be derived from the latter source and exhibit connectivity and diagnostics of ellipsis, MaxElide in particular. Also, a syntactic analysis of pair-list answers will be presented utilizing the mechanism of oblique movement.
Issues of wh-questions involving (apparent) violations of the relative clause island constraint (RCIC) will be re-examined at length. It is shown that short answers to such wh-questions derive from focus constructions which indeed involve the relevant violations but are saved by island-repair due to ellipsis. Functional answers provide compelling evidence for this analysis.
However, the examination of pair-list answers involving RCIC violations indicates that their derivation in the covert syntax is subject to strict constraints imposed on oblique movement and clusters of wh-phrases formed thereby. This makes the LF-pied-piping (LFPP) mechanism proposed in Nishigauchi (1990) the sole viable option. Therefore the LFPP mechanism is motivated independent of the RCIC at LF.
Finally we show that scrambling inside the relative clause yields the edge effect, thereby making short pair-list answers in RCIC-violation environment possible. This delimits the applicability of the LFPP mechanism.