There are at least four cases in which an NP in DP can be elided or reduced. Bare genitives, most quantifiers, the deictics, and adjectives are able to act as DPs, without the presence of an actual noun within the DP.
The observation that one of these structures, the bare genitive, is somewhat parallel to VP Ellipsis goes back at least as far as a paper by Jackendoff (1971) which notices that both VP Ellipsis and Gapping have nominal parallels. However, despite the extensive exploration of the nuances of VP Ellipsis, Sluicing, Gapping, and other ellipsis processes, this observation remains largely uninvestigated.
This paper will determine to what extent these structures have anything in common with ellipsis in the clausal domain. I will argue several points: that the type of reduced DP in (1), which I will call NP Ellipsis, is parallel to VP Ellipsis, that the type of reduced DP in (2) is not, perhaps instead being parallel to Null-Complement Anaphora, or another ``pragmatically controlled'' ellipsis, and finally that the same identity condition on VP Ellipsis applies to NP Ellipsis. I leave the reduced DPs in (3)1 and (4) for later research.
After presenting an overview of previous work bearing on my analysis, and briefly sketching its import in larger theoretical contexts, I will cover the following points. The pragmatic/syntactic control distinctions of Hankamer & Sag (1976) will be revisited in section 3. I will show evidence in section 4 that NP Ellipsis has internal structure and the bare quantifier constructions do not, by showing that pronominal antecedents can be found inside the NP Ellipsis sites. Section 5 introduces the identity condition of Merchant (1999), and shows that it accounts for the facts of NP Ellipsis. I will cover the relation between deaccenting and these ellipsis processes, a parallel to the insensitivity to morphological form and to negation that VP Ellipsis displays, strict/sloppy ambiguity, and several other patterns. Lobeck's (1995) account covering NP Ellipsis is presented and argued against in Section 6. Finally, section 7 concludes.