A Timing Analysis of Right Node Raising Identity

Symon Stevens-Guille


The proper analysis of Right Node Raising (RNR), like other cases of non-standard coordination, has deep repercussions for syntactic theory in general, and the notion of constituency in particular. Such structures are typified by a coordinate structure in which some element shared by both coordinates--the pivot--is only realized once, usually in the right periphery of the coordinate structure, even while it may be simultaneously interpreted in a gap internal to each coordinate.  I advocate a hybrid analysis of RNR, motivating it on the basis of a heuristic I call \textit{pivot-gap identity}. I argue that when the pivot is identical to its in-situ representation in both gaps or the rightmost gap, it is derived via rightward movement from the rightmost conjunction to a conjunct-external position, followed by ellipsis in all other conjuncts. When the pivot is unique with respect to its gaps, it is derived by means of unstructured feature sets in each conjunct being cashed out by the later merger of a genuine lexical item external to the conjunction. The resulting theory is capable of capturing the difference in pivot-gap identity conditions and reconstruction possibilities that characterize different RNR variants.

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Copyright (c) 2016 Symon Stevens-Guille