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Folia Linguistica

Acta Societatis Linguisticae Europaeae

Editor-in-Chief: Fischer, Olga / Norde, Muriel

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Volume 41, Issue 1-2


The syntax of English comitative constructions

Niina Ning Zhang
Published Online: 2007-08-24 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/flin.41.1-2.135


This paper argues that in comitative constructions, two Determiner Phrases (DPs) and the word with form a complex nominal [DP1 with DP2] in their base-positions. Moreover, it establishes a distinction between two types of comitative constructions: symmetrical and asymmetrical. Unlike symmetrical comitatives, DP2 in asymmetrical comitatives denotes an appurtenance of the referent of DP1. Other differences between the two types are that symmetrical comitatives always contain a plural feature and that in asymmetrical comitatives the cluster [with DP2] is optional and the cluster [DP1 with DP2] may occur in preverbal subject positions and A-bar positions. My proposal is that in symmetrical comitatives the word with has features of [D, Plural, Case assigning], and takes DP2 as its complement and DP1 as its Specifier. In asymmetrical comitatives, by contrast, the word with is a regular preposition and the cluster [with DP2] is a Prepositional Phrase and an adjunct to DP1. Finally, the paper also argues against an extraposition analysis of discontinuous surface word orders in comitative constructions.

Keywords: comitative constructions; coordination; extraposition; Case; plural; categorial features

About the article

*Institute of Linguistics, National Chung Cheng University, Min-Hsiung, Chia-Yi 621, Taiwan

Received: 2006-08-29

Revised: 2006-11-28

Accepted: 2007-03-05

Published Online: 2007-08-24

Published in Print: 2007-06-19

Citation Information: Folia Linguistica, Volume 41, Issue 1-2, Pages 135–169, ISSN (Online) 1614-7308, ISSN (Print) 0165-4004, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/flin.41.1-2.135.

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