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Parallel Merge, Multidominance and the Structure of Wh-Coordination


 Start Page 39 | End Page 58


 Wh-coordination is a descriptive term used to refer to configurations where two wh-constituents are conjoined. Wh-coordination bears descriptive resemblances to conventional coordination and multiple wh-questions. However, closer inspection of wh-coordination reveals that it is different in both semantic and syntactic respects. In terms of its semantics, wh-coordination yields a single-pair reading, as opposed to the pair-list reading forced by multiple wh-questions. As for its syntactic properties, wh-coordination violates the coordination of the Likes Law (Williams 1987), as opposed to conventional coordination. To explain such intrinsic characteristics of wh-coordination, we will advance a syntactic analysis of such constructions in terms of Parallel merge and Multidominance. Crucially, on the basis of their syntactic and semantic peculiarities, it is argued that clauses containing wh-coordination have a bi-clausal structure, with VPs and TPs parallel-merged, where each wh-constituent is merged within its respective dominating clause and consequently, the two clauses are conjoined in the CP level. Under this analysis, coordination of the wh-constituents is only apparent; the real coordination occurs at the CP level of clauses containing the wh-constituents. The superficial coordination of the wh-constituents is an epiphenomenon ensuing from the linearization of bi-clausal conjunction.


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