FLoP Is Now Right-Node Wrapping
Posted by Neal on November 28, 2006
I’ve finally come up with a more suitably linguisticky-sounding name for what I’ve been calling “Friends in Low Places” coordinations, or FLoP coordinations for short. But first I have to mention the term given to coordinations like this one:
Adam likes, but Doug dislikes, peanut-butter-and-banana sandwiches.
Instead of coordinating two noun phrases, or two verb phrases, or two of some other nice, neat category, this sentence coordinates two sequences of noun phrase plus partial verb phrase: Adam likes, Doug dislikes. The direct object that completes each verb phrase, peanut-butter-and-banana sandwiches, is factored out and put at the end. For historical reasons, this kind of coordination is referred to as right-node raising (RNR). The original example of a FLoP coordination, as you will no doubt recall, is:
The whiskey drowns and the beer chases my blues away.
It resembles RNR in that here, too, two sequences of noun phrase plus partial verb phrase are coordinated (the whiskey drowns, the beer chases), followed by a direct object (my blues). The difference is that the second verb is a phrasal verb, chase away, which wraps around the direct object and produces the unusual lack of parallelism. Hence, my new name for the FLoP coordination: right-node wrapping (RNW).
I’ve written a short paper on RNW, which anyone who’s interested can access here. (In fact, even those who aren’t interested can access it there. Not that I’m expecting them to, but, you know, they could.) The analysis I lay out (in the categorial grammar framework) handles the RNW example mentioned above, as well as examples such as
wash, dry, and put the dishes away
upended and nearly tore a Suburban in half
but not examples such as
unwilling or unable to perform the tasks without injury
the uncle and coach of Rafael Nadal since he started playing tennis
all of which have been discussed here in the past. Should an analysis of RNW cover these cases, too? Or are they (or some of them, at least) a different phenomenon that looks like RNW on the surface? That, as we academics like to say, is beyond the scope of this paper!