Effable Slash: An Interactive Coordinator in English and its Behavior Slash Properties
This paper presents an analysis of the synchronic distribution and syntactic behavior of the English expression slash, as in These are my cats slash best friends. First, slash is a new type of coordinator: in nominal cases it productively coordinates two bare nominals resulting in an intersective reading. Second, it is semantically similar but syntactically distinct from similar combining mechanisms: intersective and, Latin cum, N-N compounding, and orthographic slash </>. Third, slash has a unique subcategorization requirement of only coordinating bare nouns (bartender slash dentist), adjectives, and verb phrases, but not clauses or full noun phrases (*the lawyer slash the doctor). By providing a range of examples showing productive use, I argue that slash is incorporated in the grammar of English, and that it is a unique example of innovation in the 'very closed' functional category of coordinators.