Sentence-phrase coordination in Hebrew and the syntax-pragmatics interface

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The coordination of a sentence and a phrase (Sentence-Phrase coordination, henceforth SPC) is a very widespread, though marked, construction in Modern Hebrew. It is characterized by special prosody in that it carries two sentential stresses, and is perceived as more forceful or emphatic than its non-conjoined counterpart. A full account of the properties and distribution of the construction involves both a syntactic and a pragmatic component. The analysis presented in the paper proposes that: (a) The conjunction imposes a propositional interpretation on the phrasal coordinand, thus enabling the speaker to convey two pieces of new information in one sentence. (b) Syntactically, the phrasal coordinand is best analyzed as an adjunct to the sentential coordinand. (c) The special discourse effect of the construction is to be analyzed as a case of independent strengthening (following Sperber & Wilson 1986, Blakemore & Carston 2005), whereby each coordinand leads independently to the same conclusion, thus providing cumulative evidence to the same purpose. (d) Although syntactically non-parallel, the two coordinands play a parallel inferential role in deriving cognitive effects of the utterance. Hence the use of the conjunction is taken as an instruction to the hearer to look for pragmatic parallelism between two constituents which are clearly non-like syntactically.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalStudies in Language
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2008


  • Coordination
  • Incidentals
  • Information structure
  • Law of Coordination of Likes
  • Relevance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication
  • Linguistics and Language


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