On the Symmetry of Case in Conjunction
Philipp Weisser
August 2017

In this paper, I argue that all of the conjuncts in nominal conjunction always bear the same case. Apparent counterexamples, where conjuncts seem to differ with respect to morphological case marking, are claimed to be either due to a misanalysis of the underlying syntactic structure or due to superficial morphological processes that create the impression of a difference in case marking. Once we control for phenomena of this sort (namely &P-clitics, Suspended Affixation and Allomorphy), we find that case marking is always symmetric in nominal conjunction. This finding is in stark contrast to the phenomenon of phi-agreement which is known to exhibit asymmetry effects. Based on this observation, I show that the standard approach to case assignment according to which case arises only as a reflex of phi-agreement cannot account for this mismatch without stipulative assumptions. Under two more recent approaches to case marking, however, namely the Upward Agree approach as well as the Dependent Case Approach, the observed mismatch between case and agreement falls out as expected. Finally, I show that the generalization established in this paper can be used as a simple diagnostic to distinguish syntactic from morphological case marking alternations.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/003603
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: submitted
keywords: case marking, conjunction, coordination, agreement, case clitics, suspended affixation, allomorphy, morphology, syntax
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