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THE SYNTACTIC, SEMANTIC AND USAGE STATUS OF THE COMPLEX LINKER KAO I
This paper examines coordinated structures introduced by means of the multi-word linker kao i, which can link syntactic units ranging from phrases, clause constituents and clauses to sentences and parts of discourse. We first discuss the coordinating properties of the linker – structural independence, order of conjoining, concord – as well as its usage and interchangeability with other single and multi-word linkers and correlatives. Together with the structural properties, different meanings of the linker are discussed, namely, its core meaning of addition, complemented by the meanings of comparison or gradation. When used in its comparative meaning, the linker kao i links units in parenthetic coordination and is interchangeable with the preposition poput, while its usage in the meaning of gradation is similar to the usage of the correlative coordinator ne samo... nego/već. Although most of its syntactic properties would place the linker kao i in the category of coordinators with additive meaning, its meaning does not fully correspond with the meanings of single-word coordinators i and te, multi-word coordinators a i and ali i or the correlative i... i, with which it generally bears most resemblance and is largely interchangeable. The difference is that kao i exhibits some properties typical of either subordinated or juxtaposed structures, for example, a lower degree of conceptual distance and instability in terms of concord. To further investigate these findings, we compared the multi-word linker kao i to its corresponding linker in English, as well as, and concluded that in both languages these linkers are less prototypical additive coordinators that frequently express parenthetic (additional information) coordination of comparative or gradational nature.
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