Constituency and left-sharing in coordination
Eman Al-Khalaf
September 2019

A long-standing assumption in the syntactic literature is that coordination can only target constituents. This assumption has been the subject of much debate, especially in the last two decades, with many authors questioning its validity, often to criticize assumptions about constituency and structure in frameworks like Generative Syntax. This paper enters this debate by reconsidering a constraint on left-sharing in coordination which Osborne and Gross (2017) have recently introduced (*The merchant of [Venice was broke] and [Verona was rich]), and which they call left node blocking (LNB). To account for LNB, O&G propose the Principle of Full Clusivity (PFC) which states that coordination cannot cut into a constituent, assuming that coordination does not have to conjoin constituents and that syntactic structures should be flat. Presenting evidence that coordination must target constituents, I argue that LNB is captured by general constraints on movement, ellipsis, or selection; thus, a construction-specific principle such as the PFC is redundant, and the claim that LNB argues for flat syntactic structures becomes untenable. LNB can be perfectly captured by a grammar that assumes binary-branching structures, and it provides evidence for the generalization that coordination can only operate on constituents.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/004751
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: submitted
keywords: coordination, constituency, structure, left node blocking, ellipsis, movement
previous versions: v1 [May 2019]
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