LINGUIST List 5.136

Sun 06 Feb 1994

Disc: *These men and women

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  1. , Re: 5.123 *These man and woman
  2. , *These man and woman
  3. ROBERT A ROTHSTEIN, Re: 5.115 *These man and woman

Message 1: Re: 5.123 *These man and woman

Date: Fri, 4 Feb 1994 10:33:32 +Re: 5.123 *These man and woman
From: <j.b.johannessenilf.uio.no>
Subject: Re: 5.123 *These man and woman

I am grateful to Larry Horn for giving me the opportunity to specify my
position in more detail. My claim that adjacency does not play a syntactic
role in coordination is based on the observation that adjacency does not
seem to be the driving force.

Horn gives these examples:

(i) a. There was/*were a man and two women in the room.
 b. There were/*was two women and a man in the room.
 but:
(ii) a. A man and two women were/*was in the room.
 b. Two women and a man were/*was in the room.

If adjacency did play a decisive role, we would not know how to explain
(iib). In my view, feature conflicts between conjuncts can be solved in two
ways (if solved at all). One way is that there is some kind of resolution
in which both conjuncts are "computed" and a common feature or some feature
determined by a general rule wins (see G. Corbett 1991). This is how number
is usually determined in English, where sg and sg = pl. The other way is
that one feature wins, and this is always the one which happens to be in
the "specifier" conjunct, i.e., the first conjunct in a head-initial
language like English. In my dissertation, I have shown how several
examples of unbalanced coordination can be explained this way. (This is
also an answer to Alexis Manaster-Ramer, who wanted principled
explanations.)

The sentences (ia,b) with a preposed predicate, and several equivalent
examples from e.g. Arabic, Czech and Old Norse, are compatible with both an
adjacency and a specifier explanation. The decisive factor must therefore
be found by looking at different structures, such as that in (iib).
However, I do not have an explanation for why a predicate in a pre-subject
position triggers a different kind of solution to the feature conflict.

Janne Bondi Johannessen.
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Message 2: *These man and woman

Date: Sat, 05 Feb 1994 13:37:27 *These man and woman
From: <GFIELDERCCIT.ARIZONA.EDU>
Subject: *These man and woman

Just to throw in my two kopecks worth, Russian not only allows but strongly
prefers *These man and woman, i.e. Eti muzh i zhena (plus plural verb agree-
ment).
Grace Fielder
University of Arizona
GFIELDERCCIT.ARIZONA.EDU
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Message 3: Re: 5.115 *These man and woman

Date: Sat, 05 Feb 1994 21:28:20 Re: 5.115 *These man and woman
From: ROBERT A ROTHSTEIN <rarslavic.umass.edu>
Subject: Re: 5.115 *These man and woman

In her monograph _Agreement in Contemporary Standard Russian_ (Columbus,
Ohio: Slavica, 1976) Dina B. Crockett discusses plural attributives
modifying conjoined singular nouns, including rare examples of plural
determiners, e.g.,
 nas"i dedus"ka i babus"ka
 our [pl] grandfather and grandmother.

(See Chapter 3: "Attributives Associated with Two or More Nouns.")

Bob Rothstein
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