The topic of this project is dislocation of clausal and phrasal coordinators, i.e., elements such as 'and', 'or', or 'but' which do not surface in the linear position in between the two coordinands they connect but rather inside one of their conjuncts. The goal of this project is to investigate the consequences of this process for theories of clitic placement and the syntax-prosody interface.

The topic of this project is phonologically determined dislocation of clitics, a process where an element is dislocated for phonological or prosodic reasons to a position where it syntactically does not belong. This process has immediate consequences for our theories about the interaction of syntactic structure and prosody as it teaches us in what way prosodic structure can influence the ordering of syntactic elements. The empirical domain of this project are instances of clausal and phrasal coordinators which do not surface in the linear position in between the two coordinands they connect. Even though one instance of this pattern often serves as a poster child for instances of phonologically determined dislocation (i.e., the case of the Latin conjunction que, see Embick & Noyer 2001), no crosslinguistic investigation of this phenomenon has been undertaken so far. Patterns of what I call shifting coordinators constitute an ideal testing ground for theories of cliticization in general and for prosodically determined dislocation in particular since we can straightforwardly determine their syntactic base position and rule out syntactic movement as the source of the dislocation. Further, we can investigate the syntactic and the prosodic properties of the construction in question with and without the clitics. The theoretical hypothesis pursued in this project is the following: A coherent theory that can account for the attested variation of instances of prosodically determined dislocation of coordinators and cliticization more generally requires (i) a system that cyclically maps syntactic structures to prosodic ones and (ii) an optimizing component which weighs lexical specifications of certain clitics against general prosodic requirements of a language.

enlarge the image: On the photo you can see the figure of a black knight from a chess game
Prosodically Determined Dislocation (symbolic picture); Photo: Colourbox