The Korean Association for the Study of English Language and Linguistics
[ Article ]
Korea Journal of English Language and Linguistics - Vol. 24, No. 0, pp.52-61
ISSN: 1598-1398 (Print) 2586-7474 (Online)
Print publication date 31 Jan 2024
Received 08 Nov 2023 Revised 27 Dec 2023 Accepted 12 Jan 2024

Coordination of Unlike Categories Creates Grammaticality Illusion

Nayoun Kim ; Jiayi Lu
(first author) Sungkyunkwan University
(corresponding author) Stanford University

© 2024 KASELL All rights reserved
This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons License, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Coordinate structures with mismatched DP and CP conjuncts can occupy the complement position of a preposition (e.g., “You can depend on my friend and that she will be on time.”). Such examples pose a challenge to previously proposed syntactic generalizations including the Law of Coordination of Likes, and the Wasow’s Generalization. Attempting to resolve this problem, recent proposals analyze such DP&CP coordinate structures as underlying DP&DP coordination structures, where the CP conjuncts are contained inside silent nominal shells. Under such proposals, the DP&CP coordination does not violate the Law of Coordination of Likes or the Wasow’s Generalization. In this study, we present psycholinguistic evidence against such analyses, and suggest an alternative analysis where the DP&CP coordination is indeed ungrammatical but appears acceptable due to a grammaticality illusion.


coordination, syntactic category, DP and CP coordination, grammaticality illusion, experimental syntax


Parts of this version were presented at the LSA 2023. We would like to thank Adam Przepiórkowski, Nick Huang, the audiences at the Stanford Syntax and Morphology Circle as well at the LSA 2023, and the anonymous reviewers for their comments and feedback. This work was supported by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Korea and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2023S1A5A8079483).


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