Coordination and concord in generalized categorial grammar


This dissertation investigates the interaction between coordination and agreement, including the resolution of distinct features of the individual conjuncts of a coordinated NP and the mechanism for the concord which holds between such an NP and its agreement partner, typically the subject and its verb. A wide range of phenomena in English and other languages which finely delineate the problems of these intersecting components are described, including verb-coded coordination, disagreement, and cover-class agreement. These phenomena are analyzed in terms of Generalized Categorial Grammar, as given coherence by Moortgat (1988) and van Bentham (1986, 1988, 1989), but based upon the type calculus invented by Lambek (1958), in a formulation of the implicational intuitionistic logic using sequents developed by Gentzen (1935). Various extensions to the theory are explored, along with discussions of their necessity. The thesis is proposed and defended that much of the confusion over the interaction of coordination and concord is eliminated by viewing subject/verb agreement as the result of an operation of either function composition between a type-lifted subject and the verb, or a special form of function application over the subject NP by the verb: one that is effectively a composition between the subject and a privileged argument of the verb. This privileged argument is posited to be an incorporated pronominal, itself a lexically un- or partially-specified function. Additional data are analyzed attesting to the intrinsic relationship between subject/predicate agreement, pro-drop forms, pronominal cliticization, and stressed full personal pronouns, which are seen furthermore to be linked semantically and pragmatically by issues of reference and topicality.