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  • Coordination in syntax by Niina Ning Zhang
  • Anna Bondaruk
Niina Ning Zhang . 2010. Coordination in syntax. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pp. xix + 273. US $105.00 (hardcover).

This book offers an in-depth study of coordination, a structure which is notorious for its esoteric nature, manifesting itself in the lack of consensus among linguists regarding even the most fundamental issues such as its structural representation or categorial label. Oten coordination is viewed in the literature as a phenomenon requiring special treatment and hence derived via special mechanisms and subject to special constraints, unattested in other structures. Zhang takes a different stance and argues that it is not necessary to posit any special syntax for coordination, but in fact any properties typical of coordination can be accommodated within the mechanisms and constraints available for non-coordinate structures. The data analysed come mainly from English and Mandarin Chinese.

Zhang addresses the following four issues concerning coordination: (1) the syntactic configuration associated with the coordinate complex, (2) the categorial label that coordinate complexes bear, (3) the status of the Coordinate Structure Constraint (CSC), and (4) the derivation of Across-the-Board (ATB) constructions. The book contains 10 chapters. Chapter 1 is an introduction. Chapters 2 and 3 focus, respectively, on the first and the second question mentioned above. Chapters 4, 5, 6, and 7 examine the third question. Chapters 8 and 9 deal with question 4, and finally, chapter 10 provides an overall conclusion.

Chapter 2, "The complementation structure of coordinate complexes", centres on the question of whether coordination requires a flat multiple-branching structure or can be handled within the binary branching configuration. Zhang provides arguments based on variable binding, possessee pronominalization, asymmetry in hosting a coordinator, as well as coordinator floating in Chinese for a hierarchical binary branching structure for coordinate complexes. In this kind of structure, the coordinator and the second (internal) conjunct form a constituent to the exclusion of the first (external) conjunct. She further argues that coordinate complexes must be associated with a complementation, not an adjunction, structure. To support this claim, she relies on the fact that external conjuncts cannot be stranded. This fact is unaccounted for within the adjunction structure, where the coordinator and the internal conjunct form a maximal projection, but follows naturally from the complementation configuration, in which the coordinator and the internal conjunct form an intermediate [End Page 127] projection and hence cannot move. She also notes that the possibility of extracting material from within both the internal and external conjunct argues against the alleged adjunction structure for coordination, as adjuncts represent typical islands. In the complementation configuration, however, the extraction from either conjunct represents extraction from either a subject or a complement; the latter is unproblematic in light of the Condition on Extraction Domains of Huang (1982), while the former is legitimate in case the subject stays in situ (cf. Takahashi 1994, Stepanov 2001, Sabel 2002).

In chapter 3, entitled "The categorial makeup of coordinate complexes", Zhang addresses the question of what categorial label is to be assigned to coordination. She first proves that coordinators such as and alone do not determine the category of coordinate complexes, and proposes that it is the external conjunct that is responsible for the label borne by the whole coordinate structure. Her major argument in favour of this claim relies on the fact that external conjuncts must satisfy the category requirements imposed on the entire coordinate complex. This is particularly visible when the conjuncts belonging to two different categories, say, a DP and a CP, are selected by a P(reposition). The structure is acceptable only if the external conjunct is a DP, not a CP, which conforms with the c-selection properties of the P. If, however, the categories of the conjuncts are reversed and the external one is realised by a CP, the whole structure violates the c-selection of the P and thus is banned. Zhang further argues that coordinators such as and lack any intrinsic categorial features and must obtain them from the external conjunct by means of category sharing. Consequently, the coordinate complex ends up with the category of the external conjunct. The analysis advanced by Zhang clearly opposes...


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