Traces and Their Antecedents

Traces and Their Antecedents

Traces and Their Antecedents

Traces and Their Antecedents

Synopsis

This study investigates the distribution of traces and their antecedents. The first chapter outlines the Government and Binding theory, enabling those unfamiliar with this framework to understand the ensuing discussion. The second chapter concerns the Empty Category Principle. Argument/adjunct asymmetries are shown to follow from an independently motivated indexing algorithm, which entails that adjuncts display an impoverished indexing. The third chapter deduces the properties of A-chains from independently motivated principles, offering a thorough examination of Super-Raising, Improper Movement, and the Local Binding Condition. The final chapter challenges the standard assumptions regarding Case requirements on traces.

Excerpt

This book is a revised version of Epstein (1987). It is primarily concerned with determining those principles of Universal Grammar that directly govern the distribution of traces. Throughout, I use the term "trace" in its standard sense to mean an empty category created by movement. (For a detailed discussion of the concept "trace" see Chomsky, 1981, 2.4.5.) the book consists of four chapters. the first is introductory in which the fundamental concepts of the Government and Binding theory are presented. Chapter 2 concerns the Empty Category Principle (ECP), Chapter 3 explores conditions on A-chains, and Chapter 4 discusses Case requirements on traces. the first chapter is intended for those not completely familiar with the Government and Binding framework. the intent is to provide enough background to enable the reader to understand the ensuing discussion. It should be noted that some of the rudimentary definitions presented in this chapter may be slightly modified in subsequent chapters. Throughout, I will indicate the particular definitions being assumed. Those familiar with the theory can, of course, omit this introductory chapter. the investigation of the ecp conducted in Chapter 2 assumes, in large part, the formulation of this principle proposed in Lasnik andSaito (1984) (L&S); it also investigates certain modifications of this analysis advocated in Chomsky (1986b). the chapter concerning the ecp is entitled "Deriving Asymmetries in Gamma Assignment." Gamma assignment, as it is proposed by L&S, is simply the assignment of an abstract feature, arbitrarily called "gamma," to traces occurring in syntactic representations. Under the application of the gamma assignment algorithm, traces are assigned either [ + g] of [ - g], with the particular value depending entirely on the configuration in which the trace occurs. If a trace is assigned [ - g], the representation con-

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