another coordination example
Arnold M. Zwicky
zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Thu Jul 29 05:26:10 UTC 2004
here's another intriguing coordination example, from Randy Jensen,
"City looks to keep car dealers”, Palo Alto Daily News 7/28/04, p. 2:
The concessions from the dealerships are an effort to help maintain a
sales tax base that has recently been rocked by the potential loss of
the Hyatt Rickeys, which will be demolished and the property turned
into a residential development.
ok, let's take this apart. the crucial part is the relative clause:
with its head -- (1) "Hyatt Rickeys, which will be demolished and the
property turned into a residential development". the relative clause
itself can be paraphrased as (2) "Hyatt Rickeys will be demolished and
the property turned into a residential development."
now, (2) is a pretty ordinary example of Gapping: "Hyatt Rickeys will
be demolished and the property [will be] turned into a residential
development." a coordination of two clauses, the second of which is
missing (part of) its verbal piece.
so how do we get the relative clause? by "extraction" of the NP "Hyatt
Rickeys" from one of the two clauses of (2) (the first). (excuse the
transformational terminology.) but this is a violation of the
Coordinate Structure Constraint (from Ross's 1968 dissertation). some
might think this was an insuperable problem. but i don't find (1) at
(see my Language Log posting at
for some other conflicts between theory and (my) judgments.)
what (1) feels like to me is some other well-known apparent
counterexamples to the CSC, like (3) "I'll give you some things that I
rushed downtown and bought". (not Gapping, but a more ordinary type of
reduced coordination.) the usual observation about (3) is that what
makes it ok is the unity of the event denoted by "I rushed downtown and
bought [some things]." and that kind of unity is there, i think, in
"Hyatt Rickey's will be demolished and the property [will be] turned
into a residential development."
this is a subtle point, and i'm not entirely sure what's going on. but
(1) is a good bit better than, say, "Kim, who ate sushi and Sandy ate
sashimi", where the subevents are not so easily unified.
arnold (zwicky at csli.stanford.edu)
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