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Determiner agreement and noun conjunction


Determiner-noun agreement in English and many other languages appears to be straightforwardly describable; singular determiners go with singular nouns, and plural determiners go with plural nouns. The situation is more complicated with coordinated nouns, however, since unexpected agreement patterns often result. Our theory makes the correct predictions for English and other languages by combining two crucial insights: the dual nature of agreement features inside the noun phrase (Kathol 1999; Sadler 1999, 2003; Wechsler & Zlatić 2000, 2003) and the distinction between distributive and nondistributive features in coordination (Dalrymple & Kaplan 2000).

Corresponding author
(King) Palo Alto Research Center, 3333 Coyote Hill Road, Palo Alto, CA 94304, U.S.A. E-mail:
(Dalrymple) Department of Computer Science, King's College London, London WC2R 2LS, U.K. E-mail:
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Our interest in this topic began with a discussion on the Linguist List in 1994 under the heading ‘*These man and woman’, initiated by Alexis Manaster-Ramer. We're grateful to those who have discussed these issues with us over the years: Albert Badalian, Rens Bod, Cleo Condoravdi, Mark Donohue, Helge Dyvik, Yehuda Falk, Danièle Godard, Irene Hayrapetian, Ron Kaplan, Lauri Karttunen, Will Leben, Jean-Philippe Marcotte, Stella Markantonatou, Lutz Marten, Manana Mgeladze, Tara Mohanan, Paul Newman, María-Eugenia Niño, Almerindo Ojeda, Valeria de Paiva, Mike Polyakov, Stefan Riezler, Hinrich Schütze, Hadar Shemtov, Julie Solomon, Paolo Chagas de Souza, Alex Vasserman, Steve Wechsler, Annie Zaenen, Sasha Jacob Zamler, the audience of the LFG-2002 conference, Athens, and two anonymous JL referees. We would particularly like to thank Lutz Marten and Paul Newman, who provided data crucial in formulating the analysis we present in this paper.
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Journal of Linguistics
  • ISSN: 0022-2267
  • EISSN: 1469-7742
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-linguistics
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