The union of conjunction and disjunction: The case of and/or

Brent Woo


And/or is a coordinator in English that has virtually never been remarked on in the syntactic literature on coordination. I present a new empirical survey of and/or, supported by naturally-occurring examples from several English corpora. I examine the basic distribution of and/or, and its interaction with collective predicates, relational modifiers with an internal reading, anaphors, ‘respectively’, semantic contradiction, quantifiers, and gapping with negation. Based on the distribution across corpora and its syntactic behavior, I argue that and/or is a completely lexicalized coordinator in productive use, and conclude that the constraints on the syntactic distribution of and/or are a union of the set of constraints on and and or.


coordination; conjunction; disjunction; English

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Copyright (c) 2017 Brent Woo

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