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Coordinating theories of coordinate structures: evidence from Thai

Since Ross’ seminal work on coordination in 1967, a great deal of attention has focused on trying to explain the patterns we see in what can – and cannot – be extracted from these structures. Attempts to explain them through a lens of either syntax (e.g. Ross, 1967, and Gazdar, 1981) or discourse (e.g. Lakoff, 1986) alone have proved to be problematic. There is, however, a promising new theory developed by Altshuler and Truswell (in press) unifies both perspectives; unfortunately, it suffers from a lack of cross-linguistic data. I will provide cross-linguistic evidence for this theory by taking evidence from Thai to show that the authors’ predictions around the status of adjuncts as weak islands and topical material can account for patterns of grammaticality and ungrammaticality when extracting from coordinate structures.

Ross, J. R. (1967). Constraints on Variables in Syntax. PhD thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Altshuler, D. and Truswell, R. (in press). Coordination and the Syntax-Discourse Interface. 
Lakoff, G. (1986). Frame Semantic Control of the Coordinate Structure Constraint. Chicago Linguistic Society.
Gazdar, G. (1981) Unbounded Dependencies and Coordinate Structure. Linguistic Inquiry, 12(2), 155 – 184.