A Closer Look on Disjunctive Coordination: The So-Called Non-Constituent Disjunctive Coordination

  • Matlotlisang Mokapane Lemohang Tjabaka National University of Lesotho, Roma. Lesotho
Keywords: Disjunctive coordination, co-ordinands, non-constituent, logico-semantic type, taxis


English disjunctive coordination is a clause complex that has two co-ordinands. Many scholars and researchers dealt with this phenomenon using different standard theories. However, there is still a controversy in literature whether non-constituent coordination exists or not; therefore, this research determines whether the disjunctive coordination constituents are non-constituents. The paper also describes the relationship between the disjunctive co-ordinands, coordinated phrases, or clauses joined by conjunction /or/. The article further aims to describe the structure of the disjunctive coordination and the category label of the disjunctive coordinator. The Systemic Functional Grammar and Minimalist Program framed this study. This qualitative paper purposively and conveniently selected from Facebook and WhatsApp groups for the National University of Lesotho's students; 13 structures were chosen from the WhatsApp group, while 15 were taken from Facebook. Results reveal that the disjunctive coordination constituents are not non-constituents. What seems prevailing or irregular at the Phonetic Form (PF) results from the movement and deletion of duplicate syntactic elements. This deletion of the syntactic features is done to satisfy the economic considerations.  It is also reflected that the disjunctive co-ordinands have taxis and logico-semantic type relations or relationships. The paper further divulges that the structure of the disjunctive coordination is the complementiser phrase (CP), and the category label of the disjunctive coordinator/or/ is the complementiser (C). That is, it belongs to the C category.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Matlotlisang Mokapane Lemohang Tjabaka, National University of Lesotho, Roma. Lesotho

Mrs Lemohang H. Tjabaka has specialised in syntax in the Department of English at the National University of Lesotho (NUL). She obtained MA in English Language and Linguistics in 2020 from the NUL. She also holds a Bachelor of Education from the National University of Lesotho, as well as a Diploma in Education Secondary from the Lesotho College of Education. She is a productive author of many articles published in several national and international journals. She has interest in various research areas including: syntax, language and language policy, culture, education, psycho-social support as well as emerging issues. Currently, she works as a part-time lecturer in the Department of English at the National University of Lesotho where she teaches Communication and Study Skills.


Aarts, B., Chalker, S., & Weiner, E. (2014). Oxford Dictionary of English Grammar. (2nd ed.). University Press.

Adger, D. (2003). Core Syntax: A Minimalist Approach. University of London.

Al-Horais, N. (2013). The Minimalist Program and its New Insight to the Concept of Universal Grammar. Journal of Universal Language, 14(2), 79-112. http://dx.doi.org/10.22425/jul.2013.14.2.79

Asante, R.K. (2018). Co-ordination in Nkami. Ghana Journal of Linguistics, 7(1), 1-31. http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/gj/.7i1.1.

Bavali, M. and Sadighi, F. (2008). Chomsky’s Universal Grammar and Halliday’s Systemic Functional Linguistics: An Appraisal and Compromise. Journal of Pan-Pacific Association of Applied Linguistics, 12(1), 11-28.

Bruening, B. (2015). Non-constituent coordination: Prosody, not movement. University of Pennsylvania working papers in linguistics, 21(1), 1-10.

Conti, C. (2018). Disjunctive Clauses with o. o ‘either. or’ in Spanish and Clausal Consubordination. Folia Linguistica, 52(1), 75-105. https://doi.org/10.1515/flin-2018-0001.

Crystal, D. (2003). English as a Global Language. (2nd ed.). Cambridge University Press.

Ekanjume-Illongo, B. (2015). The Teaching of English as a Second Language: The Case of the National University of Lesotho. Journal of Language and Research, 6(6), 1157-1164. http://dx.doi.org/10.17507/jltr.0606.01.

Ekanjume-Illongo, B. and Morato-Maleke, M. (2020). Error Analysis in the Essays of Second Year Students of the National University of Lesotho. Journal of African Languages and Literacy Studies (JoALLS), 1(1), 71-91. http://dx.doi.org/10.31920/2633-2116/2020/1n1a4

Fasold, R.W. and Connor-Linton, J. (Eds). (2006). An Introduction to Language and Linguistics. Cambridge University Press.

Halliday, M.A.K. (2004). An Introduction to Functional Grammar. (3rd ed.). Hodder Arnod.

Haspelmath, M. (2000). Coordination. In: S., Timothy. (ed.). Language Typology and Linguistic Description. (2nd ed.) CUP.

Johnson, R. B., & Christensen, L. (2019). Educational research: Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed approaches. Sage publications.

Jomaa, N.J. and Bidin, S.J. (2019). Reporting and Quoting: Functional Analyses of Logico-Semantic Relations of Clause Complex Citations. The Southeast Asian Journal of English Language Studies, 25(1), 158-178. https://doi.org/10.17576/3L-2019-2501-12.

Kamwangamalu, N., & Moyo, T. (2003). Some characteristic features of Englishes in Lesotho, Malawi and Swaziland. Per Linguam: a Journal of Language Learning= Per Linguam: Tydskrif vir Taalaanleer, 19(1_2), 39-54.

Krivochen, D.G. (2012). Internal Merge beyond Explanatory Adequacy. [s.n].

Kubota, Y. (2015). Non-Constituent Coordination in Japanese as Coordination: An Analysis in Hybrid Type-Logical Categorial Grammar. Linguistic Inquiry, 46(1), 1-42. http://dx.doi.org/10.1162/LING_a_00174

Maleke, E.M. (2011). Usage and Metalinguistic Knowledge of Subordinate Clauses among NUL. (Unpublished MA Thesis). National University of Lesotho.

Neuman, W.L. (2013). Social Research Methods: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches. (7th ed.). Pearson.

Oehrle, R.T. (1999). Intensionality in Non-Constituent Conjunction. http://www.let.rug.nl/hoeksema/oehrle.pdf

Radford, A. (2009). An introduction to English Sentence Structure. Cambridge University Press.

Razaghi, M., Rahavard, S. & Sadighi, F. (2015). Economy, Simplicity and Uniformity in Minimalist Syntax. International Journal on Studies in English Language and Literature, 3(1), 1-6.

Sailor, C., & Thoms, G. (2014). On the non-existence of non-constituent coordination and non-constituent ellipsis. In Proceedings of WCCFL (Vol. 31, pp. 361-370).

Samida, D. K., & Takahashi, J. (2011). World Englishes: What is an International Language for the World?. Journal of Hokkaido Bunkyo University, 12(3), 49-59.

Singer, B., Walsh, C. M., Gondwe, L., Reynolds, K., Lawrence, E., & Kasiya, A. (2020). WhatsApp as a medium to collect qualitative data among adolescents: lessons learned and considerations for future use. Gates Open Research, 4(130), 130. https://doi.org/10.12688/gatesopenres.13169.1

Tallerman, M. (2020). Understanding Syntax. (5th ed.). Routledge.

Tan, Y. (2016). GPU-Based Random Number Generator. In: GPU-Based Parallel Implementation of Swarm Intelligence Algorithms. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-809362-7.50010-8.

Tlebere, M. M. (2006). An investigation of feedback to secondary schools from the Cambridge Overseas School Certificate (COSC) English Language Examinations in Lesotho (Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation).

Yuniar, R. (2018). Logico-Semantic Relations of Clauses Used in Analytical Exposition Written by the Third Semester Students of English Department. Journal of Research on Applied Linguistics Language and Language Teaching, 2(1), 121-128. https://doi.org/10.31002/jrlt.v1i2.247.

How to Cite
Lemohang Tjabaka, M. M. (2021). A Closer Look on Disjunctive Coordination: The So-Called Non-Constituent Disjunctive Coordination. REiLA : Journal of Research and Innovation in Language, 3(3), 226-235. https://doi.org/10.31849/reila.v3i3.5598
Abstract viewed = 73 times
PDF downloaded = 65 times