Ten men and women got married today: Noun coordination and the intersective theory of conjunction

Lucas Champollion

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The word and can be used both intersectively, as in John lies and cheats, and collectively, as in John and Mary met. Research has tried to determine which one of these two meanings is basic. Focusing on coordination of nouns (liar and cheat), this article argues that the basic meaning of and is intersective. This theory has been successfully applied to coordination of other kinds of constituents (Partee & Rooth 1983; Winter 2001). Certain cases of noun coordination (men and women) challenge this view, and have therefore been argued to favor the collective theory (Heycock & Zamparelli 2005). The main result of this article is that the intersective theory actually predicts the collective behavior of and in men and women. And leads to collectivity by interacting with silent operators involving set minimization and choice functions, which have been postulated to account for phenomena involving indefinites, collective predicates and coordinations of noun phrases (Winter 2001). This article also shows that the collective theory does not generalize to coordinations of noun phrases in the way it has been previously suggested.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)561-622
    Number of pages62
    JournalJournal of Semantics
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - Aug 1 2016

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
    • Linguistics and Language
    • Artificial Intelligence


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