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Events and Economy of Coordination

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I argue that reinforcement of the conjunction and with the correlative both has a precise and consistent semantic effect on the event structure: assignment of two separate (-) roles to the conjuncts, which gives rise to the interpretation of two grammatically encoded events/states. This effect is argued not to be the property of the meaning of the lexical item both itself but a computational property of the number of overt heads associated with coordination. Roughly put, multiplicity of events is encoded syntactically, in fact iconically, by an increased number of conjunction markers. I argue that the effect eventually follows from Economy of Pronunciation, a principle independently needed in the grammar. These event considerations are argued to be encoded in the structural representation of coordination.
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Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: English Department, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, USA

Publication date: August 1, 1999

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