Linguistics 567: Grammar Engineering

Preparation for Lab 8

Explore how coordination is marked in your language. Coordination is, very informally, the sort of phrasal combination marked by "and" in English. In some languages (like English), this is simple: a single lexical item can coordinate any kind of phrase. In other languages, coordination might be marked by adding an affix, lengthening a vowel, or changing to another tense -- the variety of marking strategies is surprising. Languages also vary as to how many coordinands must be marked: all of them (and A and B and C...), just one (A B and C), or none of them (A B C...). Also, some languages have different ways of marking coordination for different phrase types.

Extracting this information from your written grammar can be challenging. Coordination is described in different sections in different grammars: in a separate section of its own, in a section that also describes subordination (often titled "Conjuctions"), or possibly spread out over the sections that describe each phrase type (i.e. nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc). Some grammars provide very little information beyond "the word for 'and' is FOO"; some are more detailed. Collect what information you can find, especially example sentences that have the word "and" in their gloss or translation. Consider doing a Google search (or other web search) based on the spelling of the morpheme for "and" to get some naturally occurring examples to supplement what you can get from your reference material. One last thing to be aware of: some languages mark coordinated meanings using a word or inflection meaning "with", but don't seem to actually form tightly bound coordinated constituents.

If you have trouble deciding what's relevant, you can send me email (sfd@u) or bring your references to class on Monday and I'll see what I can make of them.

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