Adam Przepiorkowski (University of Warsaw)
Coordination of Unlikes: Some Minimalist Considerations
Coordination is one of the most frequent constructions of natural languages and at the same one of the most theoretically controversial, with no agreement across or even within grammatical frameworks about the basics of its syntax and semantics. One controversy concerns the extent to which coordinands (i.e., conjuncts) must be alike: do they have to bear the same cases (if any), the same grammatical categories, and the same grammatical functions? I will provide arguments from Polish that coordinands do not have to be alike in any of these respects: they may bear different cases, different categories, and different functions.
I will also give a relatively pre-theoretical explanation of the coordination of unlikes, a variant of so-called “Wasow's Generalization”. It is not difficult to see how this explanation may be translated into a formal account within Lexical Functional Grammar or Head-driven Phrase Structure Grammar, but it is much less clear how to account for it within Minimalism. Building on recent work by Neeleman et al. (2023) (in Syntax) and Zyman (to appear in Syntax), I will discuss the possibility of a Minimalist approach to coordination that takes into account not only the coordination of unlikes, but also the arbitrarily n-ary (as opposed to binary) nature of coordination.
Some of the material for this talk will be drawn from the following publications, and some will be novel: