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Published December 1, 2021 | Version v1.0 (Original version, as deposited with university for degree)
Thesis Open

Pseudocoordination, Serial Verb Constructions and Multi-Verb Predicates: The relationship between form and structure


  • 1. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • 1. Chair and Director of Research, Professor Emeritus, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • 2. Professor, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • 3. Professor Emeritus, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign


What is pseudocoordination? What are the implications for syntactic theory? This dissertation approaches these questions from the perspective of linguistic typology and syntactic theory. Verbal pseudocoordination like go and get or try and do is an under-studied phenomenon even in English but especially in languages around the world. In some ways resembling coordination, in others subordination, the mixed properties of these constructions introduce substantive questions for language comparison and theoretical analysis, given the variety of ways in which languages render similar structural relationships and dependencies.
This dissertation makes three broad contributions to linguistic research. First, the results of a worldwide, balanced sample of 325 languages, as well as smaller samples of creoles and signed languages, provide the distribution and typology of pseudocoordination, serial verb and other multi-verb constructions, supplemented by the appendix listing these features for each language and a comprehensive bibliography; these features are also studied in relation to the cross-linguistic expression of Associated Motion. Second, the unusual morphosyntactic restrictions of the English try and construction are documented in detail, along with parallels in Faroese, and shown to require augmented methods for syntactic analysis. Third, the diversity of multi-verb constructions and other theoretically challenging constructions support the proposal of an approach to syntactic theory mixing insights from Generative Grammar and Construction Grammar. [See attached document for complete abstract.]

This is the original version of the document, as deposited with the university for degree. This version is also available at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign institutional repository here:

Updates to this project are planned and will be posted here on Zenodo. For that reason, please cite this work with the "concept" DOI, which will always redirect to the newest version, if citing the work in general. If, however, you are citing specific pages or including quotations, then the DOI specific to this version,, would be appropriate. Example citation format:

Ross, Daniel. 2021. Pseudocoordination, Serial Verb Constructions and Multi-Verb Predicates: The relationship between form and structure. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Ph.D. dissertation.

I welcome feedback from other researchers related to any of the topics discussed in this dissertation. Please see my website for contact information and more information about my research.

For an online bibliography of pseudocoordination corresponding to the references in this dissertation, see



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