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A conjunction conspiracy at the West Germanic left periphery

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Abstract

In this analysis I consider one rather common coordinate construction and two less common ones from West Germanic that have two distinguishing properties in common: (i) all consist of conjoined verb-second (V2) clauses, and (ii) there is an ellipse at the left edge of the second conjunct. I propose that the conjunction c-commands the ellipse and that it is recovered in the semantic component through matching with a semantically parallel antecedent in a parallel syntactic position. This analysis utilizes Phase Theory to provide a derivational framework: each V2 clause must, as a phase, complete derivation before the next one is assembled. In this approach the Coordinate Structure Constraint is understood purely as a description of the semantic parallelisms required, and across-the-board movement is unnecessary; it is in fact incompatible with a phase-based approach. Finally, this approach requires three V2 positions in the functional domain of West Germanic; thus, the V2 phenomenon results from feature-checking requirements only (not positions available). Furthermore, it conspires with phase-based conjunction to create a position licensable for “deletion” (non-phonetic realization), thereby economizing the spoken form.

References

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