Extraction from Coordinate Structures: Evidence from Language Processing


Decades of psycholinguistic research have witnessed a sustained interest in whether syntactic island constraints are active during sentence comprehension. This paper examines extraction from the pseudo-coordination construction - a systematic violation of Ross’ (1967) Coordinate Structure Constraint - and its treatment in online processing. I argue that pseudo-coordination constructions are composed via Non-Boolean conjunction, a different conjunction operator than other, seemingly identical, coordinate structures. The exceptional nature of extraction from pseudo-coordination structures is argued to result from the fact that this operator does not semantically distribute an argument across conjuncts. I also propose an interpretive constraint on Non-Boolean conjunction, that localizes it beneath Aspectual projections. Two experiments are presented, the results of which are consonant with the basic predictions of this account.

In the Proceedings from the 45th Annual Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society, 73-88