Coconstrual and narrow syntax

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This essay argues that antecedent-anaphor and bound-variable relations (coconstrual relations) are formed outside of narrow syntax by an interpretive component that exploits the structures built by minimalist architecture. It is demonstrated that attempts to reduce coconstrual to the tree-building operations of narrow syntax (Agree, feature theory, Merge and its subcase, Remerge) do not succeed in dispensing with conditions that evaluate constructed trees and thus such accounts offer no conceptual advantage. Instead it is established that syntactically sensitive coconstrual relations must be interpreted from the output of narrow syntax, but are not expressed within narrow syntax at all. This result unburdens narrow syntax of a class of relations that bring theoretical and empirical complications, while providing a more elegant account of coconstrual in a broader conception of the interpretive interface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)330-355
Number of pages26
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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