General use coordination in Japanese and Japanese Sign Language
Davidson (2013) shows that in American Sign Language (ASL), conjunction and disjunction can be expressed by the same general use coordinator (cf. mary drink tea coord coffee ‘Mary drank tea and coffee; Mary drank tea or coffee.’). To derive these two meanings, she proposes an alternative semantic analysis whereby the two interpretations arise through universal or existential quantification over a set of alternatives licensed by (non-)linguistic cues, such as contexts and prosodic or lexical material. This paper provides supportive evidence for Davidson’s analysis from two other languages, Japanese and Japanese Sign Language. These languages are shown to employ general use coordination similar to that in ASL, but the general use coordinators in the three languages differ in one important respect: the locality of lexical elements that induce a disjunctive meaning. It is suggested that this cross-linguistic variation can be attributed to language-specific properties that concern the Q-particle discussed in Uegaki (2014, 2018).
Keywords: coordination, conjunction, disjunction, Q-particle, American Sign Language, Japanese, Japanese Sign Language
Published online: 09 October 2019
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