Sluicing@50 was held at the University of Chicago from April 12-13. The conference marked and celebrated the 50th anniversary of the presentation of Guess Who by Haj Ross at the CLS meeting held in Chicago in April of 1969. Guess Who was the paper that first identified and named the ellipsis process now known as sluicing and its presentation and publication made possible a half century of investigation across many languages and language-types, one which has exposed for examination a host of issues in syntax, semantics, pragmatics, psycholinguistics and prosody.
Organized by alumnus Jason Merchant, whose 1999 UCSC dissertation and the 2001 book that emerged from it defined the landscape for the investigation of ellipsis in this millennium, the conference was a very large and very lively affair at which the UCSC community was unsurprisingly well represented. Apart from Merchant’s own presentation (Focus-marking inside Ellipsis Sites), grad student Margaret Kroll was an active participant. Jim McCloskey gave an invited talk on preliminary results emerging from the work of the Santa Cruz Ellipsis Project; Research Associate Dan Hardt presented a joint poster with alumnus Deniz Rudin (now at USC) on modal force in sluicing, and MA alumnus Matt Barros (now at Washington University in St. Louis) gave a paper (joint with Hadas Kotek of Yale) on the semantic conditioning of sluicing. Alumna Vera Gribanova of Stanford was also an invited speaker; her presentation was on the typology of V-stranding VP ellipsis. The workshop ended on Saturday with a talk by Ross himself—an emotional, humorous, and deeply felt meditation on language, linguistics, and life.