We have just finished reading Bruening 2018 here at UW (“The Lexicalist Hypothesis: Both Wrong and Superfluous”, Language) and found an interesting bit of data in it. Consider the following (from p.28):
(1a) Paul read and annotated two linguistics books.
(1b) Paul read, and Mary annotated, two linguistics books.
The claim in the paper is that in (1a) there are exactly two books involved whereas in (1b) there could two or four — that is the books that were read and the books that were annotated might not be the same. Some, but not all, of us agreed with those judgments, but let’s take them as given for the sake of argumentation.
Bruening’s argumentation around this example turns on a misunderstanding of what V coordination means in HPSG. (Specifically, he seems to assume that the category V must be lexical, and that nothing with more than one word in it can still be a V.)
This did lead us to wonder about the current analysis of V coordination and right node raising in the ERG. My understanding is that the ERG assimilates V coordination to RNR because otherwise there would always be systematic ambiguity where both analyses are available. Given that, is there a way to capture the contrast in ambiguity in (1a,b)?