Syntactic definitions

From Icelandic Parsed Historical Corpus (IcePaHC)
Jump to: navigation, search

(Adger 2003; Hornstein, Nunes, and Grohman 2005)


An uninterpretable feature F on a syntactic object Y is checked when Y is in a c-command relation with another syntactic object Z which bears a matching feature F.

Binding Theory

(i) Principle A: If α is an anaphor, interpret it as coreferential with a c-commandin phrase in its domain.

(ii) Principle B: If β is a pronoun, interpret it as disjoint from every c-commanding phrase in its domain.

(iii) Principle C: If α is an R-expression, interpret it as disjoint from every c-commanding phrase.


α c-commands β iff

(i) α is a sister of β or

(ii) α is a sister of γ and γ dominates β.

The Checking requirement

Uninterpretable features must be checked, and once checked, they can delete.


If two positions α and β are in the same MinD, they are equidistant from any other position

Extension Condition

Application of Merge can only target root syntactic objects.

Extended Minimal Domain

The MinD of a chain formed by adjoining the head Y to the head X is the union of MinD(Y) and MinD(X), excluding projections of Y.

Inclusiveness Condition

The LF object λ must be built only from the features of the lexicals items of N.

Intermediate Projection: X'

An intermediate projection is a syntactic object that is neither an X nor an XP.

Last Resort

A movement operation is licensed only if it allows the elimination of [-interpretable] formal features.

Linear Correspondance Axiom (LCA)

A lexical item α precedes a lexical item β iff

(i) α asymmetrically c-commands β or

(ii) an XP dominating α asymmetrically c-commands β.

Maximal Projection: XP

A maximal projection is a syntactic object that doesn't project.

Minimal Domain of α (MinD(α))

The set of categories immediately contained or immediately dominated by projections of the head α, excluding projections of α.

Minimal Projection: X

A minimal projection is a lexical item selected from the numeration.

The NPI Generalization

NPIs (negative polarity items) must be c-commanded by a negative element.

Phase Impenetrability Condition (PIC)

In a phase α with head H, the domain of H is not accessible to operations outside α, only H and its edge are accessible to such operations.

Predicate-Internal Subject Hypothesis (PISH)

The thematic subject is base-generated inside the predicate.

Preference Principle

Try to minimize the restriction in the operator position.

The Reflexive Generalization

A reflexive must be coreferential with a preceding expression.

Theta-Role Assignment Principle (TRAP)

θ-roles can only be assigned under a Merge operation.

Uniformity Condition

The operations available in the covert component must be the same ones available in overt syntax.

Uniformity of θ-Assignment Hypothesis (UTAH)

Identical thematic relationships between predicates and their arguments are represented syntactically by identical structural relationships when items are Merged.