Deriving Coordinate Symmetries

A phase-based approach integrating Select, Merge, Copy and Match

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This monograph proposes a minimalist, phase-based approach to the derivation of coordinate structures, utilizing the operations Copy and Match to account for both the symmetries and asymmetries of coordination. Data are drawn primarily from English, German and Dutch. The basic assumptions are that all coordinate structures are symmetric to some degree (in contrast to parasitic gap and many verb phrase ellipsis constructions), and these symmetries, especially with ellipsis, allow syntactic derivations to utilize Copy and Match in interface with active memory for economizing with gaps and assuring clarity of interpretation. With derivations operating at the feature level, troublesome properties of coordinate structures such as cross-categorial and non-constituent coordination, violations of the Coordinate Structure Constraint, as well as coordinate ellipsis (Gapping, RNR, Left-Edge Ellipsis) are accounted for without separate mechanisms or conditions applicable only to coordinate structures. The proposal provides support for central assumptions about the structure of West Germanic.

Subjects: Syntax; Generative linguistics; Germanic linguistics; Theoretical linguistics

  • Affiliations: 1: Oklahoma State University

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