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Coordination is the linking of two syntactic elements that play the same semantic role. The two syntactic elements are called coordinands, and the linking element is called coordinator.

  • "The term coordination refers to syntactic constructions in which two or more units of the same type are combined into a larger unit and still have the same semantic relations with other surrounding elements." (Haspelmath 2007:1)

Term properties

The corresponding relational adjective is coordinative (though coordinate is also used).


  • coordination of NPs: the moon and the sun
  • coordination of clauses: The children are playing and the grown-ups are talking.
  • coordination of adverbs: Does he play well or beautifully?



The term coordination seems to have been coined only in the 19th century. In the earlier literature, the term copulative was often used for coordination.


  • Haspelmath, Martin. 2007. Coordination. In: Shopen, Timothy (ed.) Language typology and syntactic description, vol. II. Cambridge: Cambridge university Press, 1-51.

Other languages

German Koordination
French coordination (fr)