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Subordination and Binary Branching

Neeleman, A; Philip, J; Tanaka, M; van de Koot, H; (2022) Subordination and Binary Branching. Syntax 10.1111/synt.12244. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Syntactic representations are overwhelmingly asymmetric and binary branching. We develop an account of this based on the notion that subordination must be licensed through the discharge of a unique selectional requirement. The resulting theory predicts that symmetric structures, if they exist, will allow n-ary branching. We argue that this prediction is borne out. (i) Core properties of coordination can be explained if coordinate structures are symmetric. (ii) There is strong evidence that coordinate structures can be n-ary branching (partly based on the interpretation of attributive modifiers in multi-termed coordinate structures). Finally, we show that a symmetric account of coordination permits a straightforward explanation of the distribution of coordinators in English.

Type: Article
Title: Subordination and Binary Branching
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/synt.12244
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/synt.12244
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third-party material in this article are included in the Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: Linguistics, Syntax, (A)symmetry, binary branching, coordination, linkers
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Linguistics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10134120
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