The high-temperature phase of sodium ortho-phosphate, α-Na3PO4, belongs to the class of ion conducting plastic crystals, i.e., it is characterized by a dynamic rotational disorder of its poly-atomic anions and, at the same time, by a considerable translational mobility of its cations. During the past decade, the possibility, nature, and importance of a dynamic interplay between the two kinds of motion have been a subject of continued controversy. Proponents of a strong interplay coined the expression “paddle-wheel mechanism”. In our present contribution we report, for the first time, on the results of dynamic experiments probing the elementary steps of anionic and cationic motion individually. The techniques utilized in this study are coherent quasielastic neutron scattering and high-frequency conductivity spectroscopy, respectively. The data are complemented by an ab-initio molecular-dynamics simulation. Our results provide a view of the movement of anions and cations and of correlations between them. Strong dynamic coupling is detected between the octahedrally coordinated sodium ions and nearby oxygen ions. For translational sodium-ion transport, a chain mechanism appears to be operative.