Coordination and How to Distinguish Categories

Coordination and How to Distinguish Categories
Author(s): Ivan A. Sag, Gerald Gazdar, Thomas Wasow, Steven Weisler
Source: Natural Language & Linguistic Theory, Vol. 3, No. 2 (May, 1985), pp. 117-171
Published by: Springer
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Most generative studies of coordinationhave assumedsomethinglike the
following generalization(from Chomsky 1957, p. 36):
If SI and S2 are grammaticalsentences, and SI differs from S2
only in that X appears in Si where Y appears in S2 (i.e.,
and S2= .. Y -), and X and Y are conSI= .. *X.
stituentsof the same type in SI and S2, respectively, then S3 iS
a sentence, where S3 is the resultof replacing X by X + and +
Y in Si (i.e., S3 = .*. X+ and+ Y. ..
Yet many have observed there are primafacie examples of coordination
not covered by this generalization,namely,exampleslike those in (2) and
(3) where the coordinate elements appear to be of distinct syntactic
Pat is either stupid or a liar.
Pat is a Republicanand proud of it.
Pat is healthy and of sound mind.
Pat is either asleep or at the office.
That was a rude remarkand in very bad
[AP or NP]
[NP and AP]
[AP and PP]
[AP or PP]
[NP and PP]
* The authors wish to acknowledge their debt to a great many individualsfor helpful
conversations,suggestions,and/or encouragementthroughoutthe usuallylong time taken
for this paper to see the light of day. Special thanksare due to Carl Pollardand Geoffrey
Pullum,who providedso muchassistanceand advice that they probablyought to have been
listed as co-authors.Our thinkingabout what the Head FeatureConvention needed to do
was considerablyclarified by conversationswith Fernando Pereira and Stuart Shieber.
Among the other people from whose comments we have benefitted are: Emmon Bach,
Robin Cooper, Elisabet Engdahl, Aryeh Faltz, Donka Farkas, Dan Flickinger,J. Mark
Gawron,GeorgiaGreen, FrankHeny, MartinKay, Ed Keenan,Ewan Klein, Bill Ladusaw,
Joan Maling, Dick Oehrle, AlmerindoOjeda, E. Anne Paulson,Jessie Pinkham,Graham
Russell,Paul Schachter,Peter Sells, Hans Uszkoreit,EdwinWilliams,and three anonymous
referees. In addition,we thank Michael Wescoat and Dan Flickingerfor valuable help in
manuscriptpreparation.Supportfor workon this paperwas providedby grantsto Stanford
Universityfrom the National Science Foundation(BNS-8102406) and the Sloan Foundation, by the Center for the Studyof Languageand Information,and by grantsfrom the
Sloan Foundationand SystemDevelopmentFoundationto the Center for Advanced Study
in the BehavioralSciences (Gazdar).
Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 3 (1985) 117-171. 0167-806X/85.10
1985 by D. Reidel Publishing Company
Sandy is either a lunatic or under the
influence of drugs.
I am hoping to get an invitationand
optimistic about my chances.
I am neither an authorityon this subject
nor trying to portraymyself as one.
I am both expecting to get the job and of
the opinion that it is a desirableone.
Pat was awardedthe Golden Fleece Award
and very upset about it.
Pat was neither recommendedfor
promotionnor under any illusions about
what that meant.
Pat has become a banker and very
I consider that a rude remarkand in very
bad taste.
[NP or PP]
[VP and AP]
[NP nor VP]
[VP and PP]
[VP and AP]
[VP nor PP]
[NP and AP]
[NP and PP]
In light of these examples, it might be suggested that (1) should be
weakened along the lines sketched in (4):
If we have two sentences Z + X + W and Z + Y+ W, and if
X and Y are actually constituentsof these sentences, we can
generally form a new sentence Z
X + and + Y - W (Chom-
sky 1957, p. 35).
Such a revision, however, is too permissive, as it fails to predict the
deviance of (5c), (6c) and many similarcases.
The scene of the movie was in Chicago.
The scene that I wrote was in Chicago.
*The scene of the movie and that I wrote was in Chicago.
(Chomsky 1957, p. 36)
John sang beautifully.
John sang a carol.
*John sang beautifullyand a carol.
(Peterson 1981, p. 449)
What then is the appropriatecondition on conjunct identity? In this
paper, we provide a simple answerto this fundamentalquestion. Taking
grammatical categories to be sets of feature-value pairs, our central
claim is the following:
If a phrase structurerule introduced a category a, then any
conjunct of a is a supersetof a.
Our thesis then is that the sentences of (2) are grammaticalprecisely
because the verb be is introducedby a rule like (8).
That is, once we adopt the view that syntactic categories are feature
bundles, then the 'archicategory'XP can be viewed as an underspecified
syntacticcategory, but a syntacticcategory nonetheless.Such a category,
if coordinated,is requiredonly to be a subset of each of its conjuncts.
XP is a subset of NP, PP, VP and AP, as will be made clear in our
Example (6c) on the other hand, is ungrammaticalbecause the verb
sing is introduced by a rule like (9).
VP-- V(NP).
Rule (9) containsno archicategorywhich could be extended to NP on the
one hand, and ADVP on the other.'
In the process of providinga formalstatementof this proposal,we will
in fact present a comprehensivegrammarof coordinationin English. Our
analysis, couched in the framework of Generalized Phrase Structure
Grammar(GPSG),will touch on several key theoreticalissues which are
of independentinterest, e.g., the theory of syntactic features, principles
of feature instantiation,and the analysis of Ross's (1967) Coordinate
StructureConstraintand-'Across-the-Board'convention, and the treatment of variouskindsof coordinatestructureellipses. Our discussionwill
thus focus on integrating the analysis of coordination into a broader
syntactic framework.The fundamentalgeneralizationswhich, we argue,
govern the syntax of coordinate constructions are naturallyexpressed
within the frameworkof GPSG, and provide an intriguingillustrationof
its explanatorypower. In particular,we will illustratehow the generalization in (7) can be deduced from a widely assumed and independently
motivated grammaticalprinciple,namelythe principlewhich governs the
percolationof features in heads.
I We are makingthe assumptionthat adverbialslike beautifullyare introducedby a rule
like (i):
Our argumentwould remain intact under the alternativeassumptionthat sing could be
introducedby a rule like (ii):
VP-*V (NP) (ADVP).
GPSGs as characterized in Gazdar, Klein, Pullum & Sag (1985 'GKPS' henceforth), differ from simple CF-PSGs of the type standardly
characterizedin mathematicaltexts in a number of ways, two of which
are relevant in the present context.
Syntactic categories are not taken to be unanalyzableobjects
representedby monadic node labels, but rather are viewed as
sets of feature-valuepairs.
The syntactic structures of a language are admitted by immediate dominance and 1inear precedence rules taken
together with markingconventions and universalprinciplesof
feature instantiation.Thus, there are no phrasestructurerules,
as such, in a grammaritself.
Both of these differencesare designed to permitschematization,in the
interests of 'capturinggeneralizations'.Thus (i) permits non-disjunctive
statements of cross-categorial parallelismsin a manner familiar since
Chomsky (1970). Similarly, the function of (ii) is to allow for the
formulationof very general rules, neutral with respect both to various
feature values and to the order of constituentson the right hand side of
the rules. Unlike many similarproposalsin previous work, however, our
general rules are employed directly in the admissionof phrase structure
trees, ratherthan being expanded into a full CF-PSG first.2
2.1. Syntactic Categories and Syntactic Features
FollowingChomsky(1970), we shall treat the traditionalcategories Noun
(N) Verb (V), Adjective (A), and Preposition/Postposition (P) as
decomposableby means of a feature system that includes a feature [+N]
which only N and A have, and a feature [+V] which only V and A have.
This enables us, for example, to refer to the class of all nouns and all
prepositions/postpositionssimply by writing [-V]. In phonology, complex symbols for phonological units are commonly taken to be sets of
(featurename, featurevalue) pairs, and it is essentiallythis conception of
syntactic features that we will maintain.Thus (N, +) is equivalent to the
GPSGs,as characterizedin GKPS, are equivalentto CF-PSGsin the sense thatone could
alwaysinterpretone as defininga large CF-PSGassociatedwith syntacticstructuresin the
standardway (in virtue of a trivialrule-to-treemappingof the sort that is seldomdiscussed,
but nonethelessimplicitin standardformulationsof CF-PSG).The constructabilityof such
a CF-PSGis relevantonly with respect to assessingthe abstractmathematicalpropertiesof
the framework.
more usual [+N]; similarly,notationslike (BAR, 2) and [BAR 2] may be
used interchangeably.Where no ambiguity will result, we use [feature
value] to abbreviate (feature name, feature value). Further, we use
[feature name] to indicate that a category is specified for the feature
We will assume without argument that the maximal bar level for
categories is two, and we follow Borsley (1983) in treating sentences as
V2s that are distinguishedfrom verb phrases solely in virtue of being
positively specified for the feature SUBJ (although we will continue to
use the symbol S to designate this category when no confusionwill arise).
The only other non-standardelaborationof the theoryof featuresthat we
shall adopt is the idea (takenfrom Bear 1981, Pollard 1982) that features
may take (certain)categories as their values. We refer to such features as
It appears to be widely assumed that grammarsemploying features
must adopt the following condition:
Only a fully specifiedcategory may label a node.
However, we shall not make this stipulation.In the present framework,
specificationslike (11) are just as much syntactic categories as those in
(1 1)a. {(SING,+)}.
b. {(SLASH,{(BAR, 2)})}.
(12)a. {(SING,+), (N, +), (V, -), (BAR, 2)}.
{(N, -), (V, +), (SUBJ,-),
(BAR, 2),
(SLASH,{(N, +), (V, -), (BAR, 2)})}.
Here, (12a) representsthe category of singular noun phrase, and (12b)
the category VP/NP, familiarfrom earlierwork in GPSG. It may seem at
first blush that such a relaxationof the theory of categories will create
wild overgeneration. Thus is not true, however. As we shall see, principles of feature instantiationwill ensure that the featurespecificationsof
lexical items, which we take to be fully specified in an appropriate
manner, are inherited by the phrasal categories of which they are the
heads. The rejection of (10) is the cornerstone of our analysis of
I See GKPS chapter 2, section 6, for a detailed mathematical specification of the theory of
features assumed in the present paper.
The notion of extension plays an importantrole in characterizingthe
relation between the underspecifiedcategories mentioned in rules and
their more fully specified counterparts in phrase structure trees. We
define this notion informallyas follows:
A category C2 is an extension of a category Cl if an only if:
(1) Every atom-valuedfeature-valuepair in Cl is in C2, and
(2) For every category-valued feature-value pair in Cl, the
value of the feature in C2 is an extension of the value of
that feature in Cl.
This recursive definition says first of all that any specification for an
atom-valued(i.e., non-categoryvalued) feature in a category is also in all
extensions of that category. It also guaranteesthat if a category specifies
a value v for some category-valued feature, then any extension of that
category specifies a value for that same feature that is an extension of v.
Note that an extension of a category C may contain a specificationfor a
category-valued feature which is unspecified in C. The notion 'is an
extension of' is thus a generalizationof the notion 'is a supersetof' which
takes proper account of category-valuedfeatures.
An importantoperationon categories is that of UNIFICATION, a notion
whose linguisticrelevance was first suggested by Kay (1979). It is closely
analogous to the operationof union on sets except that, as in the case of
extension, the resulting set must be a function. Unification is undefined
for sets containingfeature specificationsthat contradicteach other.
The UNIFICATION of a set of categories is the smallest category which is an extension of every memberof the set, if such
a category exists, otherwise the unificationis undefined.
In (15) we list features which will be employed in subsequent discussion, together with the set of possible values for each.
Boolean features (value set = {+, -}):
b. Category-valuedfeatures:AGR, RE, WH, SLASH.
c. Unary features (value set = {+}): SING, XSP, THP, NULL.
d. Other features:
BAR {0, 1, 2}
The features BAR, N, and V are used to differentiateamong the major
categories and their projections, as is standard in various versions of
X-bar theory. Our use of CASE differs from that in much recent
literaturein that we use it only for morphologicallyrealized case marking, which in English is limited to parts of the pronominal system.
Categories containing a value for SLASH are to be thought of as
dominating a 'gap' whose category is the value for SLASH; thus, for
example, as already noted, (12b) is the category VP/NP familiar from
earlier work in GPSG. The various values of VFORM serve to distinguish finite, infinitival, present participle, past (perfect) participle,
gerund, and base forms of verbs and verb phrases (as discussed by
Gazdaret al., 1982). PAST specifies a particularinflectionclass for finite
verb forms. AUX and INV are featuresthat applyto auxiliaryverbs, also
as discussed by Gazdar et al., 1982). PAS distinguishespassive verbal
forms from others. PRD distinguishes predicative categories, about
which we will have considerablymore to say later. SUBJ, as we mentioned above, is used to distinguish S from VP, since both are being
treated as V2s. RE and WH mark constituents that either are, or else
properlycontain, reflexive/reciprocalor wh elements, respectively. Note
that both these features are category-valued,as is AGR, the agreement
feature present in numerous syntactic categories; verbs and VPs will
contain (AGR, N2); DETs contain (AGR, N'). AGR plays a central role
in the theory of semantically-basedagreementoutlined in Sag and Klein
(1982). SING is used to mark singularnouns: the only permissiblevalue
for SING is +. We assume that pluralnouns are distinguishedby lacking
a specification for SING. XSP and THP are person features whose
semantic correlates are 'excluding the speaker' and 'third person', respectively. We will explain the functioning of these unary features in
section 4.2 below.
It should be noted that we do not impose a hierarchicalstructureon
categories, of the sort presented in Gazdarand Pullum(1982). However,
we presume that categories are classifiedin ways that allow grammatical
principlesto make reference to certain subsets. In particular,we want to
make reference to the subset of a given category C that involves all the
HEAD features present in the domain of C. Likewise, we want to
distinguishsubsetsof categories that involve all and only FOOT features.
These two classes will play an importantrole in the feature distribution
principles we formulate in section 2.4, their members are listed in (16)
and (17).
2.2. MarkingConventions
Our theory of syntactic categories will employ both FEATURE CORESTRICTIONS (FCRs) and FEATURE SPECIFICATION
DEFAULTS (FSDs). However the two kindsof markingconvention have a
rather different formal status: FCRs are substantive constraintson the
sets of feature-valuepairswhich constitutewell-formedcategories. Some
FCRs will be universaland thus be part of a characterizationof 'possible
natural language syntactic category', and some will be language-particular, and thus be part of a characterizationof, for example, 'possible
syntactic category in English.'
A generalization such as 'only nominals inflect for case' would be
stated as an FCR, notated as in (18).
FCR: [CASE] = [+N] & [-V].
The interpretationof (18) is that any category containing a value for
CASE will also contain the values + and - for N and V, respectively.
This ensures that something of the form of, for example, {[+V], [-N],
[NOM]}is simply not a well-formedsyntactic category.
Another example of an FCR is (19):
FCR: [+INV] v [+AUX] & [FIN].
This says that a category which carriesthe feature [+INV] will also carry
the features [+AUX] and [VFORM FIN]. [+INV] is a feature that
appearson sentences which include a subject but begin with a verb (see
Gazdaret al., 1982), and also appearson that sentence's initialverb. This
FCR thus has as a consequence that such a verb will alwaysbe a tensed
Let us turn our attention now to the second type of marking convention, namelyFSDs. These form an importantpart of the link between
the highly schematicrules listed in the grammar,and the trees they admit
(as outlined in the next two sections). As the firstillustration,consider the
phrasestructurerules in (20) and (21) in relation to the feature INV.
VP-* V S.
S[+INV]-). V[+AUX] NP VP[BSE].
We will use the expression treefragmentto refer to fragmentsof a tree
which consist simplyof a mother node and all of its daughternodes. Two
of the tree fragmentsthat we might expect to get from (20) are displayed
in (22).
S [-INV]
S [+INV]
That is, there is no particularreason for having [-INV] rather than
[+INV] on the S daughter. But if we allow the grammarto admit tree
fragmentslike (22b), then we will end up generatingexamples like *Lee
believes will the children be late. So INV needs to have a default
specification,namely [-INV]. We can state this default as follows:
FSD: [-INV].
Since there is no reason for INV not to have that specificationon S, it
must have it, accordingto the approachto defaultsthat we assumein this
paper (see GKPS, chapter 5, section 5 for a precise formal theory of
FSDs). There is, of course, one class of structuresin which [+INV] is
obliged to be present, namely those arisingfrom rules such as (21). But,
since this rule stipulatesthe presence of [+INV], the default will not be
In general a feature is exempt from assumingits defaultspecificationif
it has been assigned a differentvalue in virtue of some ID rule or some
principle of feature instantiation. Oversimplifyingsomewhat, suppose
that in every tree fragment legitimated by rule r, the instantiatedcategories C' that correspondto some category C in r, always agree on the
feature f. Then we can conclude that the value of f is indeed the way it is
as a result of some phrase structure rule or principle of feature instantiation:such a feature specificationis privileged.By contrast, if the
categories in the various tree fragmentsresultingfrom r assign different
values to f, values which vary independently of anything else in the
fragments, then we want to exclude those in which f fails to take its
default value.
It will be helpful to illustratethis fundamentalpoint with an example.
FSD: - [CONJ].
Consider (24). Sometimesthe default situationfor a given feature is for
it not to be present at all, i.e., for it to be absent from the domain of a
given category. In such cases, we will speak of a feature as being
'default-absent'.Loosely speaking, (24) says that the default specification
for CONJ is to have no specificationat all. We interpretthis to mean that
if it is possible for a category in a candidate projection to lack a CONJ
specification, then that category must lack a CONJ specification.Or, in
other words, a CONJ specification is only permissibleif it is explicitly
required by a rule. Defaults excluded, nothing prevents (9) from being
instantiatedas the tree fragmentin (25).
V [CONJ or]
NP [CONJ and]
On the other hand, we can easily see that there are candidate tree
fragments induced by (9) which lack these CONJ specifications. Since
CONJ is not requiredby the rule to have anythingother than its default
specification,our convention for defaults says that CONJ must have its
default specification, i.e., must be absent altogether. Consequently,we
will not generate strings like *Lee or sang and "Rule Brittania".
So far, we have not said anythingabout defaults occurring on mother
categories. Suppose that we allowed a CONJ specificationto freely occur
on the root of a tree fragmentarisingfrom (9):
VP [CONJ and]
If this were permissible,it would allow us to generate stringssuch as *Lee
both plays piano sings "Rule Brittania"where there is a coordinating
conjunction missing from the position between piano and sings. Examples like these show that FSDs must apply to mother categories in a rule
as well as to daughters.Once again, the principleof defaultsthat we have
suggested will exclude the feature specificationillustratedon the mother
of (26), since nothing obliges [CONJ and] to be there. In fact, the only
way in which a CONJ specificationis ever present is by virtue of a rule
(such as (49a), below) which explicitly requiresthe presence of a CONJ
Although this treatment of defaults gives the right results in most
cases, there is an importantclass of cases for which it is still inadequate,
namely those in which a given feature is found in two distinct categories
in the tree fragment, and the values of the two occurrences covary.
Feature instantiationprinciples such as the Head Feature Convention
give rise to instances of such covariation. For example, the situation
occurs whenever the grammarpermits recursion via a head category:
rules introducing adverbial modifiers typically have this form, as do
coordinationrules. This leads us to define a more liberalnotion of default
satisfactionthan that presupposedin our discussionso far.
Under this more liberal notion, a tree fragment meets the defaults if
and only if for every category and default, (i) the default is true of the
category, or (ii) no candidate tree fragmentsexist in which the default is
true of that category, or (iii) the default is false of the category but
making it true would necessitate changing some other category in the
tree fragment.4
2.3. Rules
A phrasestructurerule of the familiarsort specifies two distinctrelations:
(i) immediate dominance relations, and (ii) linear precedence relations
among sisters. Consider,for example, the rules shown in (27):
Inspectionshows that a generalizationcan be made about the set of trees
admitted by this grammar, namely that the sister constituents always
appearin an order that happensto correspondto the order of the letters
A, B, C, D in the Roman alphabet.This generalizationis not expressed
by the grammarshown in (27).
Following Gazdarand Pullum(1981), we adopt a mode of analysisthat
factors out the two relations of immediatedominance and linear precedence which are conflated in phrase structurerules of the familiarsort.'
For immediate dominance, we use the format shown in (28), which we
shall call an immediatedominance(ID) rule.
A -B, C, D.
This rule specifies part of the conditions that must hold of a structure
rooted in A: namely, that it consist of exactly three daughters whose
categories are B, C and D, respectively.However, it does not in itself say
anything about the linear order in which B, C and D must occur under
A. For linear precedence, we introduce the antisymmetric,transitive
4 See GKPS chapter 5, section 5, for a detailed mathematicaltreatment of default
' Falk (1993) presentsa similarproposal,developed independentlyof Gazdarand Pullum.
relation "<", where "A < B" is to be read as "A must precede B if they
share the same mother".
The structures admitted by a set of ID rules are constrained by a
further set of rules, which we refer to as Linear Precedence (LP) rules.
The structuresadmittedby an ID rule grammarare just those which are
consistent with some ID rule and all LP rules.
B, C, D
A, B, C.
Taken together (29) and (30) are extensionally equivalent to grammar
(27), i.e., the two admit exactly the same set of tree fragments.But the
ID/LP grammarin (29)-(30) does what (27) does not do: it expressesthe
generalizationabout sister constituentorder.
We adopt the essential insight, but not the exact practice of Gazdar
and Pullum (1981) in allowing general feature instantiationprinciplesto
ensure that major category features, as well as other syntactic features,
are identical on mothers and heads in ID rules. We use the symbol H to
refer to daughtersthat are designatedas heads in ID rules, and adopt the
obvious usage of referring to an element of a syntactic structure as a
head just in case its correspondingelement is a head in the ID rule used
to admit that structure.Thus we will have ID rules like those in (3 1):6
(3 1)a.
S ->NP, H[-SUBJ].
S[+INV] -* Ho, NP, VP[BSE].
VP-- H,NP.
VP-) H0, NP, VP[INF].
And feature instantiationprinciples (such as the Head Feature Convention, discussed below) taken together with the LP rules in (32),
guarantee that these admit tree fragments whose form is shown in (33)
(irrelevantdetails not shown).
We use the symbols X, Y, and Z to designate underspecified categories. X' stands for
{(BAR, 1)}, XI[+INV] for {(BAR, 0), (INV, +)}, and so forth. Abbreviations such as H',
H'1+INV], etc., are no different from these, apart from the further information conveyed
that a given element is a head in its ID rule. We reserve the symbols C, C", etc., for use as
variables ranging over arbitrary syntactic categories in the statement of metagrammatical
principles. See GKPS, chapter 3, section 4, for a technical reconstruction of the theory of
heads presupposed here.
X0 < X2.
b. N2<V2.
S [+INV, +AUX]
V0 [+INV, +AUX]
2.4. The Head Feature Convention
The Head Feature Convention (HFC, hereafter)is part of the mapping
from ID rules to structures.That is, it imposes certain conditionson how
categories may be assigned to nodes in a tree fragment. Like other
feature instantiation principles, the HFC narrows down the class of
structureswhich are compatiblewith a given ID rule. In order to give an
informalaccount of what it means for a structureto meet the HFC, we
will firststate an oversimplifiedversion, and then progressivelyrefine it.7
To begin with, we will assume that every rule introduces exactly one
head. Then the simplestconceivable version of the HFC will just require
identity between the HEAD features on the mother and those on the
head daughter.
' What follows is an informal discussion of the HFC as presupposed in the present paper.
Full technical details and an extended formal development of the issues treated here can be
found in GKPS, chapter 5, section 4.
HFC: version 1
The HEAD features on the mother are identical to those on
the head.
The problem with this definitionis that it enforces an absolute identity,
and makes no allowance for the fact that the daughter may be independently required to carry (or not to carry) a HEAD feature
specificationwhich (or whose absence) is incompatiblewith those on the
mother (i.e., no legal extension of the mother carries (fails to carry)such
a specification)or the mothermay be requiredto carry(or not to carry)a
HEAD feature specificationwhich (or whose absence) is incompatible
with the daughter. These requirements can arise either because the
'problematic'feature specificationis stipulatedin the rule, or because its
presence or absence is required by FCRs, or because its presence or
absence is required by the other principles. If we leave the HFC as a
simple identity statement, then rules that give rise to 'problematic'
feature specificationswill simply not play any role in the admissionof
To avoid this consequence we need to modify the HFC so that it only
seeks to equate those HEAD feature specificationswhich can be freely
equated. In looking at the head we must restrict attention to those
feature specificationswhich can appearon the mother, and in looking at
the mother we must restrict attention to those feature specificationsthat
can appearon the head. In order to restrictour attention in this way, we
need a notion of 'free' feature specifications, i.e., the set of feature
specificationsthat can be instantiatedon the category in the context of
the rule in which it finds itself. Intuitively,the free feature specifications
on a category are the featurespecificationswhich can legitimatelyappear
on extensions of that category: feature specificationswhich conflict with
what is alreadypart of the category, either directly, or in virtue of other
feature principlesof FCRs, are not free on that category.
Given this notion of free features, our revised definition needs to run
as follows.
HFC: version 2
(i) The HEAD feature specificationson the head are an extension of the HEAD features of the category created by taking
the intersection of the mother with the free feature
specificationson the head.
(ii) The HEAD feature specifications on the mother are an
extension of the HEAD features of the category created by
taking the intersection of the head with the free feature
specificationson the mother.
This achieves the result we want.
Unfortunately,such a definitiononly caters for the situationin which a
rule has a single head. Catering for the possibility of multiple heads
complicates matters considerably. If we ignore the issue that 'problematic'feature specificationsgive rise to, then a multi-headedversion of
the HFC has a straightforwarddefinition.
HFC: version 3
The HEAD features on the mother are identical to the
HEAD features on the category that results from taking the
intersectionof all the head daughters.
Notice that in the single-headed case, this definition simply reduces to
the one we started out with (since the intersection of a singleton whose
only memberis a category is that category itself). But, as we have said, it
makes no allowance for 'problematic' feature specifications. A
definitionwhich does make the appropriateallowance is given below.
HFC: version 4 (final version)
(i) The HEAD feature specificationson each head are an extension of the HEAD features of the category created by taking
the intersection of the mother with the free feature
specificationson that head.
(ii) The HEAD feature specifications on the mother are an
extension of the HEAD features of the category created by
taking the intersection of the heads with the free feature
specificationson the mother.
This definition reduces to version 3 in the case of multiheaded constructionwhich does not involve 'problematic'features, and it reduces to
version 2 in the case of single-headed constructions.In the special case
of a single-headed construction that does not involve 'problematic'
features, the definition reduces to version 1. The possibility of these
reductions shows that the definition maintains the advantages of the
simplerformulations.However, it also overcomes their limitations.
In order to illustrate the HFC, we will confine our attention for the
moment to single-headedconstructions.Considerthe pair of rules in (38)
and (39):
VP-- Ho,S[BSE].
S -- NP, H[-SUBJ].
Rule (38) is the ID rule which introduces verbs like insist that take a
complement clause whose head is in base form (cf. I insist that they be
here by noon), while (39) is the familiar S expansion rule. Two of the
structurescompatiblewith (38) are the following:
Both of these trees fail to meet the HFC with respect to rule (38). The set
of free HEAD featureson the mother category in (40) is {(N, -), (V, +),
(VFORM, FIN)}. Note that (BAR, 2), though a HEAD feature and
present on the mother, is not a free HEAD feature in this example, since
the lexical head already contains (BAR, 0). Example (40) fails to meet
the HFC on rule (38) because none of the free HEAD featuresfrom the
mother have been instantiatedon the head daughter.On the other hand,
(41) fails because the set of free HEAD featureson the mother category
is {(N, -), (V, +), (VFORM,FIN), (-PLUR)} whereas the instantiated
free HEAD featureson the head daughterare {(N, -), (V, +), (VFORM,
FIN), (+PLUR)}. These two sets intersect, but neither is an extension of
the other, and (41) fails to meet the HFC with respect to the rule in (38).
Next, examine the tree fragmentsin (42) and (43).
Example (42).does meet the HFC on rule (38), and (43) meets the HFC
on rule (39). Consequently, the rules together will admit the tree (44),
because each tree fragmentin (44) is compatiblewith the rules.
Imaginewe were randomlygeneratingall the tree fragmentsadmittedby
the two ID rules just discussed. There is nothing to guarantee that the
mother in any given tree fragmentcompatiblewith the S expansionrule
will match the complementdaughterin a given tree fragmentcompatible
with the VP expansionrule. And indeed none of the feature instantiation
principlesin our grammaris intended to ensure such a matching. But in
order for the grammarto admit the tree (44), it is quite sufficientif each
of its component tree fragments turns out to be one of the many such
structurescompatiblewith the relevant ID rules, and this we can see to
be true. What the HFC ensures in these cases is that we get a [VFORM
FIN] specification on the VP category if and only if we get the same
specification on the V category, and that we get a [VFORM BSE]
specification on the S category if and only if we get it on the VP
category. What happens in this example is that the subcategorization
requirementfor a bare infinitive demanded by verbs of this class gets
transmitteddown to the VP head of the S complement in the way just
described. Analogous reasoning shows that the requirementwould also
be transmitteddown to the lexical head of any VP that sproutedfrom the
appropriatenode in (44).
Traditionalgrammariansrefer to a constructioncalled "coordinateconjunction" or simply "coordination".All languages, as far as we know,
make use of constructionsof this type.8 This apparentlyinnocent claim
' We include here not only languageslike English,Japanese,and Latinin which there are
specific morphemesreservedfor logical conjoining and disjoiningof statements,but also
languages like Dyirbal (Dixon 1972; see e.g., p. 154) in which coordinate constructions
appear without overt conjunction morphemes like English and. Note also that some
languages use an overt coordinatingmorphemefor NPs but not for clauses; Hausa is an
example: see Abraham (1941, p. 92), Kraft and Kraft (1973, p. 330). Realization of
coordinatingmorphemes is a highly parochial matter. This paper concerns itself with
mattersthat we take to be much less parochial,and in manycases probablyuniversal.
implicitly embodies an important metatheoretical assumption to the
effect that there is a unitary notion of coordination,one that abstracts
away from the evident differencesbetween the coordinate constructions
of, say, English, Japanese, and Latin. In this section, we give an outline
of our theory of the coordinateconstruction.
It is worth observing that transformationalgrammarhas never been
able to capture a unitary notion of coordination,for reasons that were
fundamentalto the nature of the theory. Consider the following examples.
Kim sang and Sandydanced.
Kim and Sandymet.
Kim sang and was accompaniedby Sandy.
Examples (45) and (46) would have been, and could only have been,
generateddirectly by base rules. But example (47) had to be derived in a
completely different way, via a transformationof Conjunction Reduction, in any grammarthat handledpassive constructionstransformationally. Analogous triads of examples can be constructed for almost every
transformationever proposed, so the problemis not specific to passives.
Conjunction Reduction, though more often assumed than formulatedin
the transformationalliterature,had to be formulatedin such a way as to
produce structuresthat were isomorphicto those that would have been
produced if everything had been base-generatedin the first place. Thus
obvious generalizations,such as that VPs participatein coordinate constructionsof just the same sort as NPs and Ss (and precedes the last VP
in the coordinatestructure,for instance, ratherthan following it or being
infixed into it) fail to be expressed. The structures needed can be
generated by brute force adjustments,but similarityof coordinatestructures across categories is not therebyexplained.
Recent transformationalgrammarhas largely abandonedcoordination
as a topic of study, and what work there is bears a marginalrelationship
to the mainstreamof work in that paradigm.Thus George (1980) offers a
highly problematic approach in which everything but sentential coordination is derived by deletion from larger paraphrases.9More recently,
Goodall (1983) has proposed a treatment of coordination involving
sentence (actually phrase marker) unions that he claims are not two' For example, George is forced to invoke a transderivational constraint, though not eo
nomine,in order to get the subject-verb agreement right in a sentence like Kim and Lee
like Koreanfood.
dimensionallyexpressible.On his account, conjuncts get realized linearly
in the phonological component (see p. 146: 'the question of how the
phonology interprets union of sentences'). Since at least the syntax of
constituent order and the syntax of agreement interact with the
linearizationof conjuncts, it is clear that much of contemporarysyntax is
in fact a branch of phonology from Goodall's perspective."' Williams
(1978, 1981) defends another transformationaltheory of coordination
which abandons tree-representablephrase markers in favor of objects
whose precise character is left open. We have discussed Williams'proposals at length elsewhere (Gazdar et al., 1982) and will not repeat
ourselves here.
What strikes us most about these three proposals,and that of Pesetsky
(1982) which we consider below, is (i) the way in which their authors
embrace formal devices that have little or no precedent within the
framework within which they work, and (ii) the extent to which the
formaldetails of their proposalsand their consequencesfor other aspects
of the grammarsimply have not been worked out in a serious way.
3.1. Coordination Schemata
The theory of coordinationwe present is able to locate all the parochial
aspects of coordinate constructionsin two components of the grammar
that constitute natural repositories for parochial facts, namely (i) rules
responsible for realizationof specific morphosyntacticfeatures, and (ii)
principlesdetermininglinearprecedence among constituents.Everything
else, including the rule schemata that define the internal structure of
coordinate constituents, is handled by mechanisms that we claim are
We begin with a terminologicalclarification.Informally,we shall use
the word conjunct to refer to a constituentparticipatingin a coordinate
construction,and we shall refer to items like and, or, but, either, neither,
nor as conjunctions.Despite the fact that, for example, or correspondsto
logical disjunctionrather than conjunction, there seems little chance of
confusion arising throughthis usage.
Our syntax of coordination makes use of a feature CONJ, whose
values (in English) are membersof the set in (48).
{and, both, but, NIL, neither, nor, or}.
Goodall derives John drinks beer and Mary whiskey from the same source as John and
Mary drinkbeerand whiskeyas alternativephonologicalinterpretations;see his examples
(9a), (9b), and (9').
The rationalefor including NIL will become apparentin the discussion
Categories whose domain includes CONJ are expanded by the following rules:
X[CONJ a] -a, H
where a e {and, both, but, either, neither,nor, or}.
These rules spell out a value of CONJ as the appropriateconjunction.
The fact that CONJ is default-absentwill ensure that no category that is
an instantiationof the second daughterin (49b) will contain CONJ in its
domain, hence blocking unwanted iteration of conjunctions. As noted
above, this default guarantees that instantiated categories contain
specifications for CONJ only when CONJ is mentioned in the preinstantiationID rule. Note that a structurecorrespondingto the second
daughter in (49b) is an unspecified head daughter of a mother which is
also unspecified for HEAD features and hence must agree with its
mother vis a vis all HEAD features (includingBAR level).
We distinguishtwo sorts of coordinate construction.In one, there can
be only two conjuncts. In the other, there is no limit to the number of
conjuncts permitted.We postulate two rule schemata, one for each type
of coordination.These schemata are exhibited in (50a) and (51a). The
first is for the arbitrary-lengthcoordinate structures,and the second for
the binary ones. In (SOb)and (51b) we list the values that the CONJ
feature has in English for the two constructions (actual occurrence of
coordinationmorphemesbeing a highly parochialmatter).'
Iterating CoordinationSchema (CS')
aE{(and, NIL), (NIL, and), (neither, nor), (or, NIL), (NIL,
H[CONJ ao], H[CONJ al]l.
Binary CoordinationSchema (CS2)
a. X -H[CONJ ao], H[CONJ al].
b. a is in {(both, and), (either, or), (NIL, but)}.
Among the possible values for CONJ mentioned in these schemata is
NIL. Whereas NP[CONJ and] dominates terminal strings such as and
theirdog, NP[CONJ NIL] dominates strings like theirdog. In English,
this is reserved for nonfinal conjuncts but there are languages, as
l l We use a0 and a, to designate the first and second membersof an ordered pair a. '+'
designatespositive Kleene closure on multisets,as definedin GKPS chapter 3, section 4.
mentioned above in footnote 8, in which all conjuncts take [CONJ NIL]
in a coordinatestructure.
Notice that the variables a0 and a1 here range only over the lists of
specific morphemes that can mark pairs or sets of conjuncts. In all
previous proposals for coordination schemata that we know of, coordination was stated on variablesranging over categories which enforced
categorial identity across the conjuncts, by means of an implicit uniform
substitution principle. For instance, there is some discussion of the
semanticsfor coordinationschematain Keenan and Faltz (1978), Gazdar
(1980), Cooper (1979), Partee and Rooth (1983), and Rooth and Partee
(1982), and all of them, as far as we can tell, assume variables across
categories. The present proposal does not: X is here, as before, not a
variable over the set of categories, but a category - albeit a minimally
specified one. In effect, if we abstractaway from the details concerning
the values for the CONJ feature, all that (50a) and (51a) say is that the
mother is a category, and that the daughtersare all heads. If completely
free feature instantiationwere permitted(which of course it is not), then
(Sla) would in principle be consistent with, for example, a coordinate
structurein which a prepositionexpandedas an NP conjoined with a VP.
The only informationthat the two schemata contain concerns the distributionof CONJ and the possibilityof iteration.A consequence of this
is that the schema in (51a) collapses exactly three English coordination
rules, namely those arrived at by substitutingin the tree possible value
pairs for a0 and a,. These three rules will correspond to numerous
distinct instantiationsdefined by feature instantiation,but they are not
schemataover those instantiations.We are stressingthis point because it
has importantempirical consequences to which attention will be drawn
subsequently. In particular, the approach we have adopted, abjuring
variables over fully specified categories, does not entail that every
conjunct be categorially identical to each of its sisters, although nearidentityusuallyfollows as a consequence of the interactionof the various
principlesof feature instantiation.This point is pursued in detail below.
One further parochial component to our analysis of coordination is
needed in order for us to be able to explore the claims it makes
concerning the structureof English. We need LP statements to express
the ordering constraints that hold across the various types of conjunct
characterizedby distinct values for the feature CONJ. These LP statements can be collapsed into a single schema.
[CONJ ao] < [CONJ aJ]
where a0 E {both, NIL, either, neither}, and a1 E {and, but,
nor, or}.
Our three coordinationschematainteractto make a very wide range of
detailed predictions concerning possible and impossible coordinate
structuresin English. We will illustratethese predictionsby reference to
examples involving coordinateVPs, and concern ourselves only with the
predictions made with respect to iterability and choice of conjunction
morpheme,since these are the issues that (50) through(52) address.The
categorial identity, or lack of it, between mother and conjunct, and
between conjunct and conjunct, is a topic that we leave to the next
section. Here we will simply assume that constituents of the same
category can conjoin to form a coordinate constituent of that category.
Since there are eight distinct values for CONJ in English, it follows
that there are 64 logically possible two-conjunct coordinate structures.
However, only six of these 64 possibilities are, in fact, grammatical,
namely the six illustratedin (53).
made a speech and stuttered
made a speech or stuttered
neither made a speech nor stuttered
both made a speech and stuttered
either made a speech or stuttered
made a speech but stuttered
The CS' and the LP-schema in (52) interact to generate the structures
illustratedby (53a, b, c) and no others. The CS2 and (52) interact to
generate the structuresillustratedby (53d, e, f) and no others. Thus the
schematawe have given induce all and only the six grammaticalEnglish
We now turn our attention to three-conjunct examples with flat constituent structure.'3Here there are 512 logical possibilities. Of these,
only five are grammatical.They are illustratedin (54).
But cannot be used to coordinate{[+N], [-VJ} categories (*Kim but Sandy stuttered),
and bothcannotbe used to coordinatefull sentencesthat lack complementizers(*BothKim
sang and Sandy danced).There are other such idiosyncraticfacts. As far as we can see,
they can readilybe handledby meansof FCRs insofaras they do not follow from anything
semantic,but we do not dwell on them here because they appearnot to illustrateanything
interestingabout the principlesunderlyingcoordinationin English.
Obviouslythere are three-conjunctexamplesthat involve a two-conjunctstructurewith
a furtherconstituentconjoined to it, and so on. To some extent semanticand intonational
tests can be used to determinewhich structurewe would want to assumefor a given string
used in a given context. The question we are addressingis how to account for multiconjunctcases that do not show any signs of being groupedhierarchicallyinto pairs.
whimpered,shouted, and screamed
whimperedand shouted and screamed
whimpered,shouted or screamed
whimperedor shouted or screamed
neitherwhimperednor shouted nor screamed
The CS2 is irrelevantfor the flat structuresof these examples. However,
the CS' interactswith the LP-schema in (52) to give us these five types
of coordinateconstituent,but not any of the other 507 possibilities.
Consider now flat four-conjunct constructions.Here there are 4096
logical possibilitiesfor assigningconjunctionsto the conjuncts, but again
only five are grammatical,and just those five are legitimated by the
interactionof the CS' and the LP-schema.
moaned, whimpered,shouted and screamed
moaned and whimperedand shouted and screamed
moaned, whimpered,shouted or screamed
moaned or whimperedor shouted or screamed
neither moaned nor whimperednor shouted nor screamed
There is some variationamong speakersof English with respect to either
and neither.More liberal varieties than our own allow the examples in
(56)a. either whimperedor shouted or screamed
b. either moaned or whimperedor shouted or screamed
That is, they flout the familiar prescriptive injunction not to use
either.., or with more than two disjuncts.14There may also be people
who are less liberal than us with respect to neither... nor, and are not
prepared to use it iteratively. Such varieties are straightforwardlydescribed by makingminorchanges to the parochialcomponentsof the CS'
and the CS2. Thus, to increase liberalitywith respect to either. . . or, one
simply mentionsit in the value specificationsfor the CS' ratherthan the
CS2, and to decrease liberalitywith neither... nor, one makes the relevant move in the opposite direction.
Finally, we wish to comment on the semantic interpretationof the
'4 As pointed out to us by Ed Keenan, there appearto be varieties of English in which
exampleslike (i) and (ii) are used.
either whimpered,shoutedor screamed
neitherwhimpered,shouted nor screamed
The rules we have given do not take these possibilitiesinto account.
coordination schemata we have introduced. Without dwelling on the
topic here, let it be made clear that a familiar Boolean semantics for
coordinate conjunctionsis available for and entirely consistent with our
syntactic proposal. The proposals made by Keenan and Faltz (1978),
Gazdar(1980), Cooper (1979), Partee and Rooth (1983) and Rooth and
Partee (1982) are all adaptable to our syntax. The one unfamiliar
assumptionthat must be made is that features play a role in the semantic
interpretationprocess. Thus it is the value of the feature pair a used in
generating the coordinate structure that contributes the appropriate
Boolean meaning to the interpretationof that structure.
An analysisalong these lines is motivatedby the fact, noted by Carlson
(1983), that it is often the case in languages that a single Boolean
conjunction meaning is signalled by multiple occurrences of given conjunction. Indeed our analysisof English has just this property(e.g., in a
"flat"structurewhere two or more conjuncts are markedwith and). The
apparentproblemis solved once we assume that it is the value of a that
contributesthe conjunctionmeaning,ratherthan each occurrence of the
3.2. Featuresin Coordination
The coordination schemata just introduced deal only with the distribution of the coordination morphemes and with the possibility of
iteration of conjuncts. Nothing was said about the categorial status of
conjuncts, or about the category of the mother given the categories of
conjunct daughters. The conventional wisdom on this topic has it that
conjunctsmust all be of the same category, say a, and that the motherof
these conjuncts will also be of category a. But the conventional wisdom
is wrong, or at best, seriously incomplete, for reasons that are fairly
widely known. However, in the absence of any other candidate analyses,
it has not so far been replaced.
There are at least two classes of phenomena that show that the
conventionalwisdom is wrong. First, the person, number,and gender of
coordinated NPs do not behave in the manner it would lead one to
expect. Thus, for example, a singularNP can conjoin with a pluralNP (or
with another singular NP) to form a plural NP. We postpone our
discussionof this puzzling,long-standingproblem until section 4.
The second class of phenomenaincludes examples like those we noted
in the introductorysection, all of which involve what one might call
predicativeexpressions,as in the following examples:
We walked slowly and with great care. [Adv and PP]
Terry turnedout to be longwindedand a bully. [AP and NP]
Two questions immediatelyarise: what is the category of the mother of
the conjuncts in each case? And why is the coordinationof AP with NP
seen in (58) not possible in (59)?
(59)a. *The longwindedand a bully man was my brother.
b. *Soon longwindedand a bully startedshouting again.
It is questions of this sort that our theory of coordinationaddresses.
We assume that the verb be is introducedby the following ID rule:15
VP__ HO,X2[+PRD].
PRD is the feature mentioned earlier whose existence is presupposedin
Bresnan (1973). X2[+PRD] may be realized as N2[+PRD], A2[+PRD],
P2[+PRD], or V2[+PRD]. We assume that an FCR guarantees that all
predicativeV2s are either passive or present participialin form (see FCR
14 in chapter 6, section 2, of GKPS). Hence the rule in (60) plays a role
in the syntactic analysisof all the examples in (61):
Kim was a banker.
Dana was quite competent.
Leslie was in the flood zone.
Ronnie was talking to Lou.
Jean was given a prize.
The verb becomeis introducedby the rule in (62).
H?, X2{[+PRD], [+N]}.
(62) requiresthat the complementof becomesbe a predicativeN2 or A2.
Pat has become a Republican.
Gerry became quite conservative.
(65)a. *Connie has become of the opinion that we should get out.
b. *Tracy became awardeda prize.
c. *Chriswill become talking to colleagues.
Given the rules and feature instantiationprinciplesdeveloped so far, it
is now clear why the coordinationof unlike categories that we noted in
the introduction is possible. In both coordination schemata we have
presented, every conjunct is a head of the mother of the coordinate
'5 We follow our earliernotationalconventions:X2[+PRD] standsfor {[BAR.2],[+PRDD.
structure(cf., Farkaset al., 1983). The HFC guaranteesthat the HEAD
features of each conjunct will be a supersetof those of the mother of the
coordinatestructurein any structureadmittedin virtue of either the CS'
or the CS2. This in turn guaranteesthat in the most common case, where
a verb takes a complement that is fully specified with respect to major
features,e.g., a NP or an AP, then if such a complementis expandedinto
a coordinate structure,each conjunct will have to contain all the major
features of the coordinatemother, and will hence be of exactly the same
major category as that mother. In the case of the rules just given for be,
become,and consider,however, no such conclusion can be drawn.Since
we allow partially-specifiedcategories, an X2[+PRD] introducedas the
complement of be, for example, can be expanded into a coordinate
structurewhere the conjuncts are of different major categories, as long
as each such conjunct contains X2[+PRD]. Thus structuresof the sort
sketched in (66) are allowed:
X2 [+PRD]
N2 [+PRD]
a republican
[CONJ and]}
A2 [+PRD]
proud of it
The coordinate structure in (66) satisfies the HFC because the intersection of the HEAD feature specificationsof the N2 and the A2, both of
which are heads of the X2, is exactly the set of HEAD feature
specifications of the partially specified X2 mother, namely {[BAR2],
[+PRD], [+N]}.
And because the rule in (62) specifies that the complementof become
is X2{[+PRD],[+N]}, any conjunct of such a complement must contain
X2{[+PRD],[+N]}. This explains such contrastsas those in (67):
(67)a. Pat became a republicanand quite conservative. [N2 and A2]
b. *Tracy has become a republican and of the opinion that we
must place nuclear weapons in Europe. [N2 and p2]
c. *Chris became quite conservative and trying to change their
minds. [A2 and V2[PRP]]
d. *Gerry became a republican and awarded a prize. [N2 and
Similarfacts can be constructedfor all verbs which subcategorizefor less
than the full range of X2[+PRD]s.
Consider again examples like (57) [repeated here]:
We walked slowly and with great care.
Coordinationof unlike categories here is predicted by our theory under
either of two plausible analyses of such adverbials. If the grammar
contains a rule like (68),
ADV2 __ p2
then examples like (57) are analyzableas coordinationof like category,
namelyADV2. However, as suggested to us by Donka Farkas,there is an
alternativeapproachto adverbials,consistent with our syntactic analysis
of coordination, that eliminates the need for rules like (68). One need
assume only that there are adverbial features like MANNER which
cooccur with various combinations of major features, and that syntax
rules introducingmanner adverbialsintroduce X2[+MANNER]. Such a
constituent may then be expanded in such a way as to generate
ADV2[+MANNER] as one conjunct, and P2[+MANNER] as the other,
as in (57). A similar analysis of temporal adverbials is possible, which
treats expressions like yesterday, the next time I see you, every chance they
get, and the like, as instances of N2[+TEMP], and phrases like on
Tuesday, in time, etc., as P2[+TEMP]s. This treatment of temporal
adverbials, taken together with our coordination analysis, would explain
the grammaticalityof exampleslike those in (69):
(69)a. They wanted to leave tomorrowor on Tuesday.
b. We are open Saturdays,any nationalholiday, and on alternate
As for exampleslike (59), repeatedhere, there is now a simple account
of their deviance:
(59)a. *The longwindedand a bully man was my brother.
b. *Soon longwindedand a bully started shouting again.
Neither the rule introducingprenominalAdjactive Phrases nor the one
introducingsubject N2s introducesan underspecifiedcategory of the sort
we have been discussing.Hence the featurescontained within A2[-PRD]
must be in any conjoined prenominalmodifier, and the feature of N2
must be in any conjoined subject. This accounts for facts like those in
Finite VPs provide another illustrationof the scope and power of the
theory of coordinationwe have advanced. We admit tree fragments of
the form shown in (70).
VP{[FIN],[-PAST], [CONJand]}
VP{[FIN],[+PAST], [CONJand}
VP{[FIN],[-PAST], [CONJand}
VP{[FIN],[+PAST], [CONJand]
Since the present framework treats partially specified categories in
exactly the same was as fully specified categories, namelyjust as possible
node labels in the structuraldescriptionof a sentence, there is nothing to
stop any of the four tree fragmentsexhibited above from formingpart of
a well-formed structuraldescription. In particular,the structuressketched in (70a, b, c, and d) will be responsiblefor admittingthe examples
in (71a, b, c, and d) respectively.
Kim alienates cats and beats his dog.
Kim alienates cats and beat his dog.
Kim alienated cats and beats his dog.
Kim alienatedcats and beat his dog.
But none of the four structures allowed by our analysis will permit
examples like (72).16
16 Nor can any of these examples be produced by an instantiationof diverse VFORM
values on daughterswith no VFORM value at all on the mother. Every rule of grammar
introducinga complementV2 introducessome VFORM value, which hence would have to
be contained in all conjunctsof a coordinationof such a complement.And wheneverS is
introduced,some VFORM value is specified,either by a particularrule, or in the case of
FIN, in the list of categories that can stand as independent utterances in discourse.
Structuresderived from a coordinationschema which lacked VFORM in the V2 mother
could never be utilizedin the syntacticanalysisof any usable sentence of the language.
*Kim alienatedcats and beating his dog.
*Kim alienatedcats and to beat his dog.
*Kim alienatedcats and beaten his dog.
*Kim beating his dog and alienates cats.
*Kim to beat his dog and alienatedcats.
*Kim beaten his dog and alienates cats.
It is perhaps not obvious that the principles we have outlined are
successful in dealing with agreement between subject NPs and each of a
number of coordinate VPs. We comment on this only in passing. A
subject NP must be fully specifiedfor HEAD features and for agreement
features. This follows from the assumptionthat lexical entries are fully
specifiedand from the definitionwe have given of the HFC. Hence a VP
with which a subject NP combines is marked (AGR, NP[a]), where
NP[a] includes all the agreement features of the subject NP, by the
Control Agreement Principle discussed in GKPS, chapter 5, section 3.
Thus if such a VP is coordinated, it follows that each conjunct also
contains (AGR, NP[a]) (since AGR is a HEAD feature). This in turn
guaranteesthat the V? withineach conjunct also contains(AGR, NP[a]).
Assuming finite verb forms are the result of a productive morphological
component which creates verbal forms assigned to the appropriatecategories whose definitioninvolves the feature AGR, this has the effect of
ensuring agreement of the desired sort between a subject NP and each
verb in a coordinate VP (or V1, or V?) structure.
3.3. Coordination and 'Extraction'
We turn now to the interactionof our syntax for coordinationand the
analysis of unbounded dependency phenomena. As we shall show, the
theory of coordinationthat we have outlined capturesRoss's Coordinate
Structure Constraint and 'Across-the-Board' facts automatically.
Nothing special has to be said about them. Before this can be demonstrated, however, we must recapitulate essential details of the GPSG
analysisof unboundeddependencies.
The category-valued feature SLASH signals the presence of a gap
within a given constituent.Thus a VP containing an NP-gap belongs to
the category VP[SLASHNP], an S containing a PP gap belongs to the
category S[SLASHPP], and so forth. Various rules which we will not
discuss in detail here introduce 'slashed' constituents and cause gaps to
be realized at appropriateplaces within them in the mannerdescribedin
GKPS and earlier work. For example we assume rules providing for
structures like (73), and these provide the basis for the analysis of
structureslike (74).
[WH NP]}
What principles govern the inheritance of SLASH in feature instantiation? It is our view that a single general principle governs the
inheritanceof all FOOT features: the FOOT FEATURE PRINCIPLE given
informallyin (75).
Foot Feature Principle (FFP):
The FOOT features instantiated on the mother in a tree
fragmentare identical to the unificationof the FOOT features
instantiatedon the daughters.
In additionto providingfor the SLASH instantiationillustratedin a tree
such as (74), the FFP also allows the featuresWH and RE to be inherited
in such a way as to provide an analysisof the feature passing requiredby
such examples as those in (76).
17 The rules responsiblefor structureslike (73b) are not basic ID rules; rather they are
derived by a metarulesuch as that given in Sag (1982). Note that an FCR prevents the
HFC copying SLASH onto the lexical head in (73b) and (74) - see GKPS, chapter 2,
section 3, for the formulationof such an FCR. Structure(73a) is sanctionedby the same
rule utilizedin the analysisof topicalizedsentences.
A student whose teacher was out of town ...
Which student'sgrades went unreported?
They found pictures of themselves.
They knew that picturesof each other would be on sale.
For more detailed discussionof this last point, see Pollardand Sag (1983)
and GKPS, chapters6 and 7.
Note that because SLASH is a HEAD feature, as well as a FOOT
feature, SLASH-specificationsare always to be found on the phrasal
head of a mother category instantiated with a SLASH specification,
though not on a lexical head, thanks to the FCR mentioned above. The
case for treating SLASH as a HEAD feature was first developed by
Flickinger(1983) who showed that it provided an explanationfor a wide
range of island phenomena.Subsequently,Sells (1983) was able to show
that the same requirementon SLASH was able to explain a numberof
otherwise puzzling minimal pairs involving parasitic gaps. From the
interaction of the HFC and the FFP it follows that SLASH can be
instantiatedon the sister of a nonlexicalhead just in case it has also been
instantiated(with identical value) on that head. This fact provides an
immediateaccount of the data in (77) noted by Engdahl (1983).
*Who did you say [[my talking to-] [would bother Hilary]]?
Who did you say [[my talking to -] [would bother ]]?
*Whicharticle did Terry [[file papers][withoutreading_]]?
Which article did Terry [[file -] [withoutreading_]]?
This inclusion of SLASH in HEAD is thus motivated by a range of
considerationshaving nothing to do with coordination.
However, an importantconsequence follows from the dual membership of SLASH in HEAD and FOOT: all categories in a coordinate
structure have identical SLASH specifications. Consider the following
informal demonstration of this proposition. Suppose we instantiate
(SLASH, NP{[+XSP], [+THP], [+SING]}) onto any phrasal conjunct.
The mother of the coordinate structure must also contain the
specification (SLASH, NP{[+XSP], [+THP], [+SING]}), in accordance
with the FFP. But every conjunct is a head of the mother and hence, by
the HFC, must include all HEAD feature specificationsof the mother.
Thus any instantiated specification of a FOOT feature that is also a
HEAD feature must be instantiatedon all conjuncts. This consequence,
taken together with the independentlymotivated requirementthat the
feature NULL be default absent, provides a correct account of the
deviance of the following examplesdiscussed by Sag (1982) and Gazdar
et al. (1982):
Which books did Robin read-and hate-?
*Whichbooks did Robin talk to Chris and read-?
*Whichbooks did Robin read-and talk to Chris?
*Who did Robin visitL and-?
And finally,since the features RE and WH (which mark the presence
of reflexive and reciprocal pronouns, and of interrogative and relative
elements, respectively) are FOOT features, but not HEAD features,
conjuncts need not agree on specifications for these features. This
correctly accounts for the possibilityof exampleslike those in (79):
They talked to Kim and to each other.
He hated himself and his friends.
They were wary of themselves and (of) each other.
?They asked which student and Lee could get along together.
They asked which students and which teachers would get
along together.
f. ?We called up every man whose father and Sandy had played
on the same team.
g. We called up every man whose father and whose mother had
played on the team.
The examplesin (79a)-(79c) were pointed out independentlyby Elisabet
Engdahl and by Paul Schachter as problematic for the analysis of
coordinatestructuresdeveloped in Gazdar et al. (1982)18.
We will conclude this section by briefly considering a recent transformationalaccount of coordination that purportsto explain the CSC
and ATB facts we have been considering.Pesetsky (1982) introducesthe
notion of PATH (essentiallya set of adjacent connected nodes in a tree)
into grammaticaltheory, and allows various constructionsto induce such
paths. He then proposes a principle which legislates against structures
which contain distinct paths such that one path is not contained within
the other. Coordinate structuresand unboundeddependency constructions both give rise to paths, and it turns out that CSC-violations are
associatedwith pairs of paths that show overlap but not containment.
However, Pesetsky provides no serious underlying theory of coordinationitself, and he is inexplicitabout how one is supposed to arriveat
such constructions(pp. 439-440). For example, he gives no hint what18 See Engdahl (1983b) and Schachter(1983). The present account differs from that of
Gazdar et al. (1982) in two respects: (i) it deals with a wider range of data, and (ii) it
eliminatesthe need for any principlesthat specificallymention coordinatestructures:the
ConjunctRealizationPrinciplehas been eliminatedin favor of the HFC.
soever as to how the very basic facts illustrated in (53) through (55)
above might be captured in the grammarof English. He does assume
that coordinateconstructionsare multiplyheaded, but this claim, instead
of playing a crucial explanatoryrole as it does in the theory outlined
here, appearsto be independentof his other claims. Thus it plays no part
in his descriptionof the ATB/CSC facts, nor even in the transmissionof
informationabout tense between a sentence and its main verb (p. 462),
and he is forced to specify that conjunctshave the same bar level as their
mother, althoughhe claims that "nothingimportantseems to follow from
this stipulation"(p. 440).
More seriously, his analysis of the ATB/CSC facts depends on two
furtherstipulationswhich make crucial reference to coordinate structure
itself. In the first of these, conjunctions are required to theta-mark
conjuncts in order to induce the uncontained paths needed by the
analysis (p. 440). No independent motivation is provided for this new
kind of theta-marking. In the second coordinate-specific stipulation,
'sisterhood'is redefinedso that the aunt of a conjunct counts as a sister
for all grammaticalpurposes(p. 569). This surprisingmove calls, in turn,
for a special 'relativized' version of the theta-criterion, and a novel
definitionof 'subject'.`
Even with all these additional devices, Pesetsky's analysis, as he
himself admits, is unable to account for CSC violations involving the
coordinationof non-maximalprojections (p. 566), and he has to "retain
the A/A conduction to prevent extraction of an entire conjunct" (p.
In this section we discuss four furtherissues in the theory of coordination
which are not covered by the analysispresentedso far. These are issues
which, to the best of our knowledge, present problemsfor every existing
theory of coordination.20Our proposalsin respect of the last two problems we consider are somewhatspeculative.
4.1. Asymmetric Conjunction
Ross (1967, pp. 93-94) pointed out that not every English sentence
'9 Essentially: "sister of tensed VP". This definition, unlike the one it replaces ("daughter
of tensed S"), entails a rather abstract analysis of VSO structures.
20) For another issue of this kind, one not considered here, see Browne (1972) and Grosu (in
containing and instances a coordinate structure.Three of his examples
are shown in (80), below.
I went to the store and bought some whiskey.
She's gone and ruined her dress now.
I've got to try and find that screw.
We deal with such cases by means of the ID rules in (81).
(81)a. VP-* Ho, (PP),H[CONJ and].
b. VP-- H[BSE], H[CONJ and].
At least come and go belong to the class of verbs admittedby (81a) and
at least try belongs to the class admittedby (81b).
There are two heads in these rules, hence both will be realizedas [+V]
and [-N] in accordance with the HFC. The second heads will also be
realized as {[-SUBJ], [BAR 2]} since these HEAD features appear on
the mothersand are not inconsistentwith the features specified on these
heads in the rule. Note that [BAR 2] will not be forced onto the lexical
heads by the HFC since this would result in the latter no longer being a
category (BAR would have two values). In instantiationsof (81b), the
VFORM value BSE will be forced onto the mother (by the HFC) and,
hence, onto the VP complement (also thanks to the HFC). And in
instantiationsof (81a), the HFC will ensure that the mother, the lexical
head, and the VP complement all share the same value for VFORM.
Thus the two rules we have given predict the grammaticalitydistribution
shown in (82) and (83).
She goes and buys some whiskey.
I have gone and bought some whiskey.
Going and buying whiskey is not the solution to your problems.
I will go and buy some whiskey.
I will try and buy some whiskey.
I want to try and buy some whiskey.
(83)a. *She goes and buying some whiskey.
b. *1 have gone and buys some whiskey.
c. *To go and buying whiskey is not the solution to your problems.
d. *1 will go and bought some whiskey.
e. *I tried and buy some whiskey.
f. *1 was trying and buying some whiskey.
Our present analysis(in contrastto that proposedin Gazdaret al., (1982)
does not provide a syntactic account of the unacceptability of the
following examples:
(84)a. *Whatdid you say I went and get?
b. *Whatdid you say I go and got?
However, the HFC will not allow the structures that legitimate these
strings to have a tense specification of the mother VP (since the intersection of {[+PAST]}with {[-PAST]} is the empty set). If tense has to be
interpretedsemanticallyat VP or S nodes, rather than at V nodes, as
scope facts might lead one to propose, then there is an independently
motivated semantic explanationfor the anomalyevident in these examples.
The rules we have given lead us to expect that the semantics of
sentences induced by them will not turn out to be identical to the
semantics of sentences containing genuine coordinate phrases. Any
standard cross-categorial semantics for the latter will predict that,
modulo quantified subjects, sentences involving coordinate VPs are
synonymouswith correspondingsentences containingcoordinateSs. But,
as Schmerling (1975, p. 220) has pointed out, this synonymy does not
manifest itself when we consider the putative sentential counterpartsof
the examples in (80).
(85)a. I went to the store and I bought some whiskey.
b. ?She's gone and she's ruined her dress now.
c. I've got to try and I've got to find that screw.
Schmerling notes that none of these sentences "can be understood as
equivalent to the 'reduced' versions given earlier .., the 'extra' informationconveyed in the 'reduced'versions in simplynot present here"
(1975, pp. 220-221).
Recall that CS2 permits an initial conjunct in a genuine binary coordinate constructionto be markedwith both. But the rules in (81) do not
make provision for the lexical heads to be markedwith both. Thus our
analysisleads us to expect that inserting bothin the examples in (80) will
force them to be interpreted as genuine VP-coordinations, rather instances of the verb + complements structure that the rules in (81) deal
with. As Schmerlinghas demonstrated,this indeed turns out to be the
case. Her examples (1975, p. 222) are shown in (86).
(86)a. I both went to the store and bought some whiskey.
b. ?She's both gone and ruined her dress now.
c. I've got to both try and find that screw.
She points out that these examples are interpreted as paraphrasesof
those in (85), not those in (80).
Both rules in (81) may undergo feature instantiationin such a fashion
that [SLASH NP] is instantiatedon the VP[CONJ and] daughterand on
the VP mother (in accordance with the HFC and FFP). Note that the
presence of the SLASH specification on the head VP complement
satisfies the requirements of the FFP: the FFP does not require its
presence on any of the other daughters. The HFC likewise does not
require (or indeed permit) the presence of the SLASH on the lexical
head, in view of the FCR alluded to above. Thus a grammarwhich
includes the rules shown in (81) will automaticallygenerate the examples
shown in (87) (from Ross 1967, pp. 93-94) without any extra provision
having to be made.
(87)a. Here's the whiskey which I went to the store and bought.
b. Which dress has she gone and ruined now?
c. The screw which I've got to try and find holds the frammisto
the myolator.
Bever et al. (1975) argued that examples such as those in (80) and (82)
entailed a choice between (i) a position in which one claimed that they
were grammatical and invoked global and transderivationalrules to
handle them, or (ii) a position in which one claimed that they were
ungrammatical,but acceptable for processing reasons. They opted for
position (ii). However, as we have shown, the present analysis is not
impaledon either of the horns of their dilemma.
4.2. Noun Phrase Coordination
We have so far said nothing about the person and numberof coordinated
NPs, a long-standingsyntactic problem that to our knowledge has never
received a precise formal treatment.Partof the difficultyin providingan
account of NP coordinationis that it is somewhat unclear what generalizations are to be expressed. Our analysispresupposesa set of generalizationsthat may not be valid for all varietiesof English, but which seem
to us to closely approximatethe facts of many speakers whose judgements we have consulted.
Let us begin with the observation that the 'person' of NPs coordinated with either and or or is as indicatedin (88).
This observationis illustratedby the sentences in (89), where we rely on
the overtly expressed person of a direct object reflexive pronoun to
indicate the person of the coordinatesubject NP.
Either we Americansor I myself will get ourselves in trouble.
Either you or I will perjureourselves.
You and I may perjureourselves.
We Americansand the Britishpamperourselves.
You Britishand you Americanspamperyourselves.
You Britishor you Americanswill get yourselvesin trouble.
You and Kerry have outdone yourselves.
You or Kerry have perjuredyourselves.
The facts of (88) are symmetric:permutingthe coordinatedNPs in the
examples of (89) does not alter the person of the coordinateNP subject,
as the readermay verify.2'The generalizationwe may extractfrom these
data then, if we make the traditionalassumptionsthat the proper categories to distinguish within NPs are 1st person, 2nd person and 3rd
person, is that the personof a coordinateNP structureis the minimumof
the persons of the conjuncts.
If, however, we make certain different assumptionsabout the categories involved, we can explain the observed generalization.As noted in
section 2.11, we analyze person in terms of the features XSP (for
'eXcluding the SPeaker') and THP (for 'THird Person'). These features have only '+' as their value and are hence unspecifiedin certain
instances, rather than being negatively specified. These assumptions
allow us to replace the traditionalperson categories with the following
feature specifications:
1st Person:{ }.
2nd Person:{[+XSPI}.
3rd Person:{[+THP], [+XSP]}.
Althoughother factors may interfereto make such permutationsless acceptable.
The HFC, as formulatedearlier, correctly predicts the person of coordinate NPs without further stipulation. XSP and THP are both HEAD
features, and hence the person feature specificationsof coordinate NPs
must be the intersectionof the person feature specificationsinstantiated
onto the NP conjuncts, all of which are heads. In the present case, this is
equivalent to a requirementthat the set of person feature specifications
of a coordinateNP is the intersectionof the person feature specifications
of the conjuncts. The HFC thus correctly predicts the facts of (88), as
illustratedin (91).22
{[+XSP], [+THP]}
{[+XSP], [+THP}
{[+XSP], [+THP]}
The basic observations to be made about the number of coordinate
NPs appear to be the following: (1) the coordinationof two (or more)
plural NPs is always plural; (2) the coordination of a plural NP and a
singular NP is always plural; (3) the coordination of two singular NPs
with or is either singular or plural; and (4) the coordination of two
singular NPs with and is always plural.23These observations are illustrated in (92).
(92)a. The boys and the girls seem/*seems happy.
b. Either the boys or the girls are/*is going to be there.
c. The students and Professor Swansong are/*is meeting in the
d. Either Professor Swansong or the graduate students are/*is
going to invigilate the exam.
22 Our analysisis thus in the spiritof Farkasand Ojeda (in press),but makes no use of
ancillaryfunction, as theirs does, to predict the agreement features of coordinate NPs.
Karttunen(1984, p. 32) finds our feature system "counterintuitive"in that it assigns 3rd
person categories the most feature specifications,whereas, traditionally,3rd person is
regarded as the unmarkedform. We are unclear as to the status of such intuitionsand
suspect that the notion 'marked'is an equivocal one. Karttunen'sown analysis,which is
closely relatedto that presentedhere, employs additionalfeaturalmachinerynot available
withinthe versionof GPSG assumedin the presentpaper.
23 We assumethat whatevermechanismis responsiblefor the acceptabilityof exampleslike
(i) is a mechanismthat permitsmorphologicallypluralNPs to appearas singularNPs, as
illustratedby the acceptabilityof (ii).
Ham and eggs is my favorite breakfast.
Flapjacksis my favorite breakfast.
Hence there is nothing idiosyncraticabout coordinationto be consideredin the face of
exampleslike (i). Cf. Hoeksema 1983, pp. 71-72.
Either Dana or Lee is/are going to lead the parade.
Kim and Terry are/*is happy.
Our analysis of NP number makes use of the feature SING which, like
the person features, has only the single value '+'. Note that if nothing
more is said, the HFC predicts that the number of a coordinate NP will
be as indicated in (93).
This is the correct result for all cases, except when both NPa and NPb are
singular, where we obtain different results, depending on the choice of
conjunction, as we have noted.
We can account for the remaining data if we introduce a minor
modification to the analysis we have put forth. We modify the rule we
presented in (49b) to expand elements specified for CONJ in the fashion
shown in (94).
X[CONJ a]-- a, H([+SING]),
where a E {and, both, but, either,neither,nor, or}.
This rule now optionally introduces the specification [+SING] on the
head daughter. To ensure that the coordination of two singular NPs with
and is always plural, we need only add an FCR stating that an NP[CONJ
and] must be unspecified for [+SING], i.e., must be plural. This has the
effect of ruling out any structures resulting from (94) which involve
instantiation of [+SING] onto mother and head when the mother is an
NP and a is and. However, (94) will permit the head daughter to be
[+SING] and this will be tolerated by the HFC even though the NP
mother is prevented from being [+SING] by the FCR just mentioned.
The very general 'default-like' character of the HFC can thus sometimes
permit a plural mother to immediately dominate a singular head, just as it
can sometimes permit a [BAR 2] or [BAR 1] mother to dominate a
lexical category. The observations made above are now all correctly
predicted by the HFC.24
The English NP coordination facts discussed in this section are but the tip of an
interesting iceberg. For enlightening discussion of related facts in a range of other
languages,see Corbett(1983) and Schwartz(1984).
4.3. Non-constituent Coordination
The analysis developed in section 3 deals with conditions on the coordinationof constituents.It is well-known, however, that English exhibits
constructionswhich appearto involve the coordinationof stringsthat are
not constituents.Typical cases of non-constituentcoordination,familiar
from the recent literature,are illustratedin (95)-(98):
Kim likes Sandy,and Lee Leslie.
to try to go to Rome.
Pat wanted to try to go to Berne, and Chris to go to Rome.
to Rome.
Kim gave a dollar to Bobbie and a dime to Jean.
Kim went to the store, and (then) Lou.
These examples have been analyzed in terms of such transformationsas
Gapping ((95) and (96)), Conjunction Reduction ((97)), and Stripping
Are these examples to be analyzed in terms of distinct grammatical
processes as the transformationalliteraturehas implied?In our view, the
best theory of such examples would be one which unified their account,
treating each kind of example as a variation of a single general
phenomenon.After arguingfor this view, we will offer a tentative sketch
of such a unifiedanalysis.25
Hudson (1982) argues against any unifiedtreatmentof these examples.
Hudson suggests that there is an isolable phenomenonof Gappingwhich
must be given an account unrelated to that of examples (97) and (98).
We find his argumentsfor this a priori undesirableconclusion unconvincing.26
Hudson claims, for example, that Gapping, but not Conjunction
Reduction (which he takes to be a distinct grammaticalprocess involved
in the derivation of (95) but not (97) or (98)), is blocked if the conjunction in question is but. Although the observation is often made that
examples like (99) are deviant,
?Jean likes Lou, but Rene, Dominique.
the explanationfor this deviance need not be grammaticalin nature, as
many examples of Gapping with but are contextualizable,as noted by
Neijt (1979).27
Cf. Schachterand Mordechai(1983).
Russell (1983) has independentlyprovideda detailed rebuttalof Hudson'sarguments.
27 Perhapsthe reason that exampleslike (i) (cited by Hudson) are easier to contextualize
has to do with the usage conditionsassociatedwith but.
(100)a. Some people go by car, but others by bike.
b. Some people like bagels, but others cream cheese.
[Neijt 1979, p. 59]
(101)a. Fourteen-year-oldslike punk and new wave, but sixteen-yearolds, only punk.
b. On weekdays, Terry eats meat and vegetables, but on
weekends, only vegetables.
Hudson also argues that Gapping is distinctfrom ConjunctionReduction in that the former,but not the latter, is restrictedto allow only two
constituents in the elliptical conjunct. In support of this claim, he cites
contrastslike the following:
[ = Hudson's (5a), (7)]
a. *Johndrinkscoffee at 11, and Mary,tea at 10:30.
b. John gave the books to Maryat Christmas,and the records to
Sue for her birthday.
But this claim (advanced earlier by Stillings (1975)) is known to be
incorrect. Examples like the following are noted in Sag (1976), Ross
(1976), and elsewhere:
(103)a. Peter talked to his boss on Tuesday, and Betsy to her supervisor on Wednesday.
b. John talked to his supervisorabout his thesis, and Erich to the
dean about departmentpolitics.
It appearsthat whateverdeviance inheresin exampleslike (102a) is more
properly explained by appealing to the processing difficultyassociated
with sequences of NPs found in ellipsis contexts. Note that single-word
NPs appear to be particularlyconfusing. Acceptability increases when
the NPs are more contentful, as in (104).
A businessmanwill drink a martinito relax, and a health nut,
a glass of wine, just to remain healthy.
On the basis of these facts, we can conclude that the grammarof both
John gave the books to Mary, but the records to Sue.
But-coordination requires that the second conjunct convey a message that contrasts in
some fashion with that conveyed by the first conjunct. Yet the two messages must share a
common topic, and subjects are the most unmarked indicator of topic. Hence the appropriateness conditions for 'Gapped' examples like (100), where the subject is retained
within the second conjunct are complex and highly marked. The presence of only in the
examples in (101), however, eases the burden of constructing an appropriate context.
the 'Gapping' and 'Conjunction Reduction' constructionsshould allow
multipleellipsis 'remnants'.
A third argumentmade by Hudson is based on contrastslike (105).
(105)a. ?*Johnleft at 11 and at 12, Bill.
b. John left his office at 11 and at 12, the library.
Gapping, but not ConjunctionReduction, it is claimed, requiresthat the
order of elements in the second conjunct parallel the order of the
correspondingelements in the first conjunct.
This contrastseems dubiousto us; (106), for example, appearsto have
about the same degree of acceptabilityas (105b):
A policemanwalked in at 11, and at 12, a fireman.
These examples,which we returnto brieflyin a moment, are counterexamples to all analysesof coordinateellipsis that we are familiarwith.
Hudson also contends that the first remnant in a gapped clause must
always be a subject. However, as Kuno (1976 p. 307, n.11) notes, this
contention is false. Exampleslike the following illustratethis point:
(107)a. Two days ago, we went out to dinner, and this afternoon, to
the movies.
b. On this table, they put a lamp, and on that table, a radio.
Here again, there is no reason to assume that 'Gapping' and 'Conjunction Reduction' are distinct grammaticalconstructions subject to
differentsyntactic restrictions.
Finally, Hudson notes the contrastin (108):
(108)a. *Johndidn't see Maryand Bill Sue.
b. John didn't give the books to Mary and the papers to Sue.
The fact that the 'Gapping'constructiondoes not occur with and if the
first conjunct contains a negated main verb was noted first by Ross
(1967). Below we will suggest that (108a) is a case of sentence-level
ellipsis, and (108b) is a case of VP-level ellipsis. We conjecture that this
distinctionwill play a central role in the analysisof such contrasts.
In sum, we have examined Hudson's arguments for the a priori
undesirableposition of distinguishingmultiple grammaticalprocesses in
the analysisof ellipsis phenomena, and found them to be unconvincing.
We now sketch the outlines of a unifiedaccount of the various instances
of coordinateellipsis illustratedearlier in (95)-(98) [repeated here].
Kim likes Sandy, and Lee Leslie.
Pat wanted to try to go to Berne,
to try to go to Rome.
and Chris to go to Rome.
to Rome.
Kim gave a dollar to Bobbie and a dime to Jean.
Kim went to the store, and (then) Lou.
In each of these examples there is a non-initial conjoined element that
contains a sequence of phrases which is not generated freely as such
elsewhere in the grammar. Moreover, there is a dependency between the
form of these phrases and the presence of appropriate elements in the
relevant positions in the preceding conjoined clause.
Consider the examples in (109):
(109)a. *Kim likes Sandy, and Lee to Leslie.
b. *Pat wanted to go to Berne, and Chris going to Rome.
c. *Kim gave a dollar to Bobbie and a dime into his pocket.
d. *Kim likes Lee, and to Ronnie.
Previous analyses of this data have by and large dealt with this discrepancy indirectly. The Gapping transformation, for example, was formulated roughly as in (110) [adapted from Sag 1976, Chapter 3]:
(110) SD: XPI-WI-XP2W2-CXP3-W3XP4- W4
SC: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 0, 8, 0
conditions: 2 = 7, 4 = 9, and C E {and, or, but}.
The pre-deletion structures had to satisfy the identity conditions in (110);
hence an example like (109a) would have been derived from the same
structure as that underlying (111):
*Kim likes Sandy and Lee likes to Leslie.
The deviance of this structure was predicted by subcategorization
mechanisms, in consequence of which (109a) was also blocked.
In purely interpretive analyses such as that developed by Stump
(1978), no account is provided of the dependency just illustrated.
Presumably, an adherent of this approach is committed to a theory
wherein all subcategorization dependencies preserved under Gapping are
reanalyzed as purely semantic dependencies. Alternatively, one might
supplement the rule which assigns interpretations to Gapped structures
with something much like the structural description in (110). This con-
dition would require that each Gapping remnant match in syntactic
category some element within the preceding conjoined clause.
But such a requirement would be too strong. As the examples in (1 12)
show, the predicative Gapped 'remnants' need not agree totally with the
syntactic features of the corresponding element in the left conjunct.
(112)a. Leslie is rather foolish, and Lou a complete idiot.
b. Kim seems to be just surviving, and Terry in dire need of our
c. We consider Leslie rather foolish, and Lou a complete idiot.
Rather, it seems that Gapped structures, as well as the related structures
illustrated in (95)-(98) that have been treated as instances of unrelated
phenomena, all obey a substitutional generalization. If the result of
substituting the remnant for the corresponding element in the preceding
conjunct is well-formed, then the Gapping structure is well-formed as
well. It seems that any 'surface-based' account of this phenomenon must
involve this notion of substitution.
Further support for a substitutional treatment is provided by examples
like (113):
( 13)a. Pat has become crazy, and Chris depressed.
b. Pat has become crazy, and Chris an incredible bore.
c. *Pat has become crazy, and Chris in good spirits.
Such contrasts further illustrate the point that syntactic subcategorization
dependencies hold into Gapped constituents, and provide further evidence that purely semantic analyses like Stump's are untenable.
The idea that the Gapping phenomenon should be handled by a
sentence grammar mechanism, such as a transformational rule, is curious,
As Hankamer and Sag (1976) show, Gapping can occur across speakers
in discourse, as in ( 14).
(I 14)
SPEAKER A: I shall miss you.
SPEAKER B: And I you.
Note that the shift in (first person singular) deixis in such examples
renders implausible the suggestion that it should be regarded as a
peculiar kind of two-speaker collaboration on a single sentence. Gapping
is a discourse anaphoric process, not a rule of sentence grammar, despite
claims to the contrary made by Williams (1977) and Neijt (1979). The
rules of sentence grammar thus have only to generate structures consisting of a conjunction followed by any number of X2 phrases, and a rule
of discourse must be employed to predict the interpretation of the
sequence of phrases from the preceding, directly juxtaposed linguistic
This rule will presumably need to make reference to the fact that the
phrases are focused constituents, typically bearing contrastive accent.
Notice, in this connection, the unacceptability of unstressed pronouns in
examples like those under discussion.
(1 15)a. *You talked to John's mother, and I him.
[him unstressed]
b. *I gave a book to John's mother and a magazine to him.
[him unstressed]
In the absence of any formal theory of discourse rules and focus, it is
impossible to provide any explicit analysis of the phenomena under
discussion. It is, moreover, clearly beyond the scope of this paper to
attempt to develop such a theory. Instead, we will informally offer a very
tentative proposal, without committing ourselves on a number of important details.
First, we will need an ID rule to generate the sequence of phrases.
Something along the lines of ( 116) will do this, though presumably
additional features will have to be stipulated to indicate that this is an
elliptical construction whose constituents must be focussed.
V2[CONJ a]-- a, X2+
where a E {and, but, nor, or}.
Note that the category V2 includes both sentences and VPs, which are
distinguished in virtue of the feature SUBJ, as noted earlier. (116) says
that a coordinate elliptical sentence or verb phrase can consist of any
number of phrasal constituents.
The rule in (116) will give rise to structures like those in (117) and
S[CONJ and]
VP [CONJ or]
a book
to Kerry
These structures must be assigned interpretations by substituting the
phrases for the appropriate corresponding elements in a preceding
directly juxtaposed structure.28 Thus if the result of substituting a remnant in for a constituent within a prior structure is a structure not
analyzable by the grammar, i.e., not independently generable, then no
interpretation is obtained for the elliptical V2.
The semantic interpretation for structures admitted by ( 16) may be
given by the rule informally stated in (119):
The interpretation of an elliptical construction is obtained by
uniformly substituting its immediate constituents into some
immediately preceding structure, and computing the interpretation of the results.29
This rule may be applied to a conjunct of a coordinate structure
(though as we have seen, this need not be the case), in which case the
immediately preceding structure used to compute its interpretation must
be a preceding sister conjunct. Thus the semantic interpretation for a
structure like (120) is obtained by interpreting the result of substituting
the circled elements for the boxed elements in the fashion illustrated.
We simplifythe discussionhere by ignoringellipsis when more than two conjunctsare
involved. The proposal made here is not unlike the idea of assigning interpretationsto
quantifiedsentencesof predicatelogic by consideringvarious'substitutioninstances'of the
formulasto which the quantifiersare prefixed.
29 One of the refereespointedout an interestingdifferencebetween an approachlike ours,
which interpretsthe resultsof substituting,versus an approachlike that of Stump(1978),
which substitutesinterpretations.Considera sentence like (i):
Pat is looking for a piece of paper,and Chris, a pencil.
On Stump's analysis, if a piece of paper is interpreted de re, then a pencil must be
interpretedde re as well. Our approachcorrectlypermitsone object to be interpretedde re
and the other de dicto.
the book
to Lee
te records
to Kim
The interpretations that result are those shown in (122):
(122)a and'(like'(Stacy*)(Terry*),
b. [andl(give'(Lee*)(the'(bookI)), giveF(Kim*)(the'(record')))]
Note that nothing said so far requires that the phrases occur in the
same order as their corresponding elements within the leftmost constituent. A further condition would have to be imposed to block the
examples discussed earlier [see (105) and (106)] which Hudson argues
should be regarded as ungrammatical. Additional constraints should
perhaps be placed on the substitution operation formulated in (119) to
avoid unwanted interpretations. It seems, however, that the majority of
constraints on the interpretation of elliptical constructions should be
regarded as extra-syntactic in nature, as suggested by Hankamer (1973).
Kuno (1976) and Sag (1976). Processing strategies in all likelihood play a
primary role in the explanation of the numerous preferences for certain
We are thus proposing to unify the account of Gapping phenomena
(where two or more phrases are involved) and coordinate structure
instances of Stripping phenomena (where there is only one phrase), thus
accounting for their shared properties [noted in Hankamer (1971)]. Our
intended analysis would allow all the examples in (95)-(98) to be
generated, but no interpretations would result for the examples in (109),
as substitution of the Gapped phrases for any elements of the leftmost
constituent would produce a structure that was not analyzable by rules of
the grammar, and which would hence not be assigned any interpretation.
Note further that the examples in ( 11) would be correctly permitted, as
substitution of, for example, N2 for A2 would yield a structure that is
analyzable by our rule for be in (50) above, and hence is interpretable.
Our analysis would also allow more than two post-conjunction phrases,
though examples of this sort quickly become unintelligible, as we have
We emphasize again that the treatment of verbal ellipsis sketched
above is highly tentative and incomplete. This is unavoidable, given the
rudimentary state of current understanding of the sorts of discourse
factors which play such a central role in these phenomena. Moreover,
many further factors may be involved in the explanation of the full range
of judgements about sentences of the sort under discussion. Given the
arguably extragrammatical character of such factors, however, the very
general syntactic substitution operation we have suggested is a plausible
candidate for the grammtatical part of that explanaition.
4.4. Embedded Clauses and NPs
Many speakers permit NPs to be conjoined with embedded clauses in
certain environments:3"
(123)a. Pat remembered the appointment and that it was important to
be on time.
b. That Himmier appointed Heydrich and the implications
thereof frightened many observers.
An obvious idea is to handle these examples along the same lines as those
in (2) and (3), that is by positing a set of features common to both N2s
and that-clauses31, and assuming that the rules introducing the coordinate nodes in (123) mention only those features. However this suggestion would fail to explain the fact that, although embedded clauses
can appear coordinated with NP objects of prepositions, they cannot
appear as objects of prepositions alone:
(124)a. We talked about Mr. Colson and that he had worked at the
White House.
b. You can depend on my assistant and that he will be on time.
c. Pat was annoyed by the children's noise and that their parents
did nothing to stop it.
(125)a. *We talked about that he had worked at the White House.
b. *You can depend on that he will be on time.
c. *Pat was annoyed by that their parents did nothing to stop it.
These examples are apparent counterexamples to our theory of coordination, since that theory predicts that each conjunct of a coordinate
construction should be able to appear alone in place of the entire
coordinate structure.
Our solution to this dilemma presupposes the following rule:12
N2[NFORM a]-- a, where a E {S[COMP that], S[COMP
NFORM is a HEAD feature which distinguishes sentential NPs from
other NPs.33 The default for the feature NFORM is essentially one which
3" The intuitionsof speakerswho uniformlyreject these examples could be handled by
eliminatingNFORMfrom the HEAD features.This would have the effect of ensuringthat
only the default value could be instantiatedon conjuncts.
31 Although for-to clauses seem to also allow coordination with NPs under certain
circumstances,we will here confine our discussionto finite clauses.
32 See Weisler(1982) for a defense of a rule along these lines, pace Koster (1978).
33 This analysisis simplifiedin inessentialrespects. In Sag and Klein (1982) and GKPS,
chapter6, section 2, the NFORManalysisis generalizedto providean analysisof 'dummy'
pronounsas well.
requires NFORM to be unspecified, and this situation characterizes
non-sentential NPs. We could formalize such a default as (127a), given
the GKPS notation for representing defaults introduced in section 2.2,
above. It would follow from (127a), that it is in general the case that
sentential NPs occur only when sanctioned by a rule that specifically
mentions them, and overrides the default assignment. But, as the data
above suggests, this is not exactly what we want. Rather, we need a
restriction on NFORM that is, in effect, suspended in conjuncts. Accordingly, the default we actually need is that shown in (127b).
(1 27)a. FSD: - [NFORM].
b. FSD: [NFORM] v [CONJ].
Here, (127b) says that NFORM can only be (freely) instantiated on
The following rule expands P':
P'-+H(', NP.
Since this rule does not mention NFORM on the object NP it introduces,
the object must be unspecified for NFORM. This guarantees that in
general the objects of prepositions are 'ordinary' NPs, rather than sentential ones. But if a prepositional object is coordinated, then (I 27b) will
permit a sentential NP to appear as a conjunct. As a result, coordinate
prepositional objects may have the form of (129):
NP{NFORM S[that], [CONJ and]}
And this will give rise to examples like those in (124), but not those in
There is an order asymmetry in this kind of coordination. Thus we find
contrasts like these:
(1330)a. We talked about the issues we had worked on as students and
that our perspectives had changed over the years.
b.*We talked about that our perspectives had changed over the
years and the issues we had worked on as students.
This asymmetry is not manifest in subject position, as evidenced by
examples like ( 131 ):
That our prespectives had changed over the years and the
issues we had worked on as students were the topics of
These puzzling facts can be accounted for if we adopt the following LP
[ACC] < [NFORM S].
The LP rule in (132) says that sentential NPs always follow their
non-subject sisters.:
Thus the peculiar distribution of data involving coordinated NPs and
embedded clauses can be fairly straightforwardly described in the present
framework. It remains without any analysis in all the other accounts of
coordination that we are familiar with.
In this paper we have presented a detailed treatment of key problems in
the syntax of coordination in English which goes well beyond previous
treatments in the breadth of its coverage.
The separation of immediate dominance rules from linear precedence
rules had played an essential role in our analysis. It is this aspect of
Generalized Phrase Structure Grammar that allows the full range of
conjunctions in English to be treated in a unified manner using a small
34 Notice that the LP rule in (132) maintains that the asymmetry between
sentential and non-sentential NPs holds not only for prepositional objects, but in all
non-nominative positions. Example (ii) appears to contradict this prediction.
I didn't remember until it was too late John's inability to get along with Pat,
and that he had no background in logic.
I didn't remember until it was too late that John had no background in logic,
and his inability to get along with Pat.
Although (ii) looks like a violation of (132), it in fact has another possible analysis, namely
via the ellipsis mechanism discussed in section 4.3. Under this latter analysis, the sentential
and non-sentential NPs do not form a constituent; hence it should be impossible to
topicalize them together. This treatment would therefore predict a contrast between (iii)
and (iv):
John's inability to get along with Pat and that he had no background in logic,
I didn't remember until it was too late.
?That John had no background in logic and his inability to get along with Pat, I
didn't remember until it was too late.
Readers may assess for themselves the accuracy of this prediction.
set of constructs. This same factoring of dominance and ordering information is what allows us to account for such problems as the peculiar
properties of the coordination of embedded clauses and NPs, as we have
shown. In addition, it is the interplay of various independently motivated
principles in GPSG, such as the Head Feature Convention and the Foot
Feature Principle, that enable one to derive, rather than stipulate, a
solution to such long-standing problems as the facts commonly discussed
in terms of the Coordinate Structure Constraint and the Across-theBoard Convention.
Over twenty years ago, the syntax of coordination was a key topic in
the discussions that led to the widespread acceptance of transformational
grammar. It is curious, then, that even today no version of transformational grammar has succeeded in explaining, and often not even in
describing, well-known and very basic facts about coordination (e.g., the
fact that arbitrary tensed VPs can coordinate with each other).
Moreover, the various instances of coordination of unlike categories,
which we have provided an account of without appeal to any ancillary
devices or ad hoc principles, have received no serious analysis within the
transformational tradition.
Of course, much remains to be done on the grammar of coordinate
constructions. Among the problems we have addressed insufficiently or
not at all are the precise formulation of the syntax and semantics of
non-constituent ellipsis, the treatment of 'right node raising' constructions, and the semantic peculiarities of N'-coordination discussed by
Bergmann (1982). Nevertheless, the present paper improves on earlier
generative treatments of coordination by broadening the coverage while
at the same time stipulating less.
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Received 17 January 1984
Revised 5 November 1984
Dept. of Linguistics
Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305