Syntax of "either" in "either…or…" sentences
Danfeng Wu
October 2019

I propose an analysis of "either" in "either...or..." sentences that suggests a broader generalization about the syntax of all focus-sensitive operators. I argue that "either" originates inside the disjunction phrase, c-commanding the leftmost contrastive focus. Then it is internally merged as the sister of the disjunction phrase. Either copy of "either" may be pronounced. Then I speculate that all focus-sensitive operators have what I call bipartite syntax: there are two instances of the operator in a sentence, one structurally higher than the other. The lower copy is semantically inert, and must c-command the focus from a local position. The higher copy agrees with a probe and/or marks semantic scope.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/004430
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Manuscript
keywords: syntax, either, or, disjunction, coordination, focus, focus-sensitive operator, islands, ellipsis, only, question-particle, syntax
previous versions: v2 [March 2019]
v1 [January 2019]
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