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Constituency and left-sharing in coordination

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 November 2021

EMAN AL KHALAF*
Affiliation:
Department of English Language and Literature The University of Jordan Queen Rania Street Amman Jordan11942e.alkhalaf@ju.edu.jo

Abstract

A long-standing assumption in the syntactic literature is that coordination can only target constituents. This assumption has been a subject of much debate, with many authors questioning its validity. This article enters this debate by reconsidering a constraint on left-sharing in coordination which Osborne & Gross (2017) have recently introduced, namely left node blocking. To account for this constraint, Osborne & Gross propose the Principle of Full Clusivity which states that coordination cannot cut into a constituent. They couch their analysis in a Dependency Grammar, assuming that coordination does not have to conjoin constituents and that syntactic structures should be construed as flat. Given that the empirical ground on which the LNB is based is not firm, I seek to experimentally investigate it by conducting a large-scale experiment. The results of the investigation reveal that LNB is wrong; left-sharing is as permissive as right-sharing. The results of the investigation have the immediate consequence that the assumptions on which LNB is based are wrong as well, namely that syntactic structures should be construed as flat. I spell out an analysis couched in terms of left-to-right syntax to account for major cases of left-sharing in coordination.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press

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