Advertisement

Natural Language & Linguistic Theory

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 1–30 | Cite as

On null operator structures

  • Heles Contreras
Article

Abstract

This paper presents a unified account of null operator structures, based on the hypothesis that the categorial status of empty categories (ECs) in A′ positions is determined by free assignment of the features [±a(naphor)] and [±p(ronominal)], essentially as suggested by Brody (1984) for ECs in A-positions. In so-called predicational structures, the null operator is ungoverned and can only surface as [+p]. As expected, it can be locally A-bound or discourse-licensed, just like argument PRO orpro. Null operators in adjunct clauses with parasitic gaps are governed, and can surface as [−a, −p] or [−a, +p]. The properties of these structures are only compatible with the assignment of the features [−a, −p]. This suggests that even though no general principle blocks [−a, +p] as a governed null operator, there are no licensing conditions for this category.

Keywords

Artificial Intelligence General Principle Categorial Status Operator Structure License Condition 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Abney, Steven: 1987,The English Noun Phrase in Its Sentential Aspect, Doctoral dissertation, MIT.Google Scholar
  2. Aoun, Josef and Robin Clark: 1985, ‘On Non-Overt Operators’,Working Papers in Linguistics, UCLA, Los Angeles, California.Google Scholar
  3. Baltin, Mark: 1987, ‘Do Antecedent-Contained Deletions Exist?’,Linguistic Inquiry 18, 579–595.Google Scholar
  4. Bordelois, Ivonne: 1986, ‘Parasitic Gaps: Extensions of Restructuring’, in I. Bordelois, H. Contreras, and K. Zagona, (eds.),Generative Studies in Spanish Syntax, Foris, Dordrecht.Google Scholar
  5. Brody, Michael: 1984, ‘On Contextual Definitions and the Role of Chains’,Linguistic Inquiry 15, 355–381.Google Scholar
  6. Browning, M.: 1987a, ‘Null Operators and Their Antecedents,Proceedings of NELS 17, vol. 1, GLSA, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, pp. 59–78.Google Scholar
  7. Browning, M.: 1987b,Null Operator Constructions, Doctoral dissertation, MIT.Google Scholar
  8. Browning, M.: 1991, ‘Bounding Conditions on Representation’,Linguistic Inquiry 22, 541–562.Google Scholar
  9. Chomsky, Noam: 1981,Lectures on Government and Binding, Foris, Dordrecht.Google Scholar
  10. Chomsky, Noam: 1982,Some Concepts and Consequences of the Theory of Government and Binding, MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.Google Scholar
  11. Chomsky, Noam: 1986a,Knowledge of Language: Its Nature, Origin and Use, Praeger, New York.Google Scholar
  12. Chomsky, Noam: 1986b,Barriers, MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.Google Scholar
  13. Cinque, Gugiielmo: 1990,Types of A′-Dependencies. MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.Google Scholar
  14. Contreras, Heles: 1984, ‘A Note on Parasitic Gaps’,Linguistic Inquiry 15, 698–701.Google Scholar
  15. Contreras, Heles: 1987, ‘Parasitic Gaps and Binding’, in C. Neidle and R. Núñez-Cedeño (eds.),Studies in Romance Languages, Foris, Dordrecht.Google Scholar
  16. Emonds, Joseph: 1976,A Transformational Approach to English Syntax, Academic Press, New York.Google Scholar
  17. Faraci, Robert: 1974,Aspects of the Grammar of Infinitives and For-Phrases, Doctoral dissertation, MIT.Google Scholar
  18. Fukui, Naoki and Margaret Speas: 1986, ‘Features and Projection’,MIT Working Papers in Linguistics 8, pp. 128–172.Google Scholar
  19. Gamon, Michael: 1991,Locality and Anti-Locality in Parasitic Gap Constructions, M.A. thesis, University of Washington, Seattle.Google Scholar
  20. Horvath, Julia: 1981,Aspects of Hungarian Syntax and the Theory of Grammar, Doctoral dissertation, UCLA.Google Scholar
  21. Huang, James: 1982,Logical Relations in Chinese and the Theory of Grammar, Doctoral dissertation, MIT.Google Scholar
  22. Huang, James: 1989, ‘Pro-Drop in Chinese: A Generalized Control Theory’, in O. Jaeggli and K. Safir (eds.),The Null Subject Parameter, Kluwer, Dordrecht, pp. 185–214.Google Scholar
  23. Jung, Yeun-Jin: 1988,Null Operator Movement in Tough Constructions and Its Theoretical Implications, M.A. thesis, University of Washington, Seattle.Google Scholar
  24. Kirkpatrick, Charles: 1982, ‘A Note on Purpose Clause’,Proceedings of WCCFL, Stanford Linguistics Association, University, Stanford, California, pp. 268–279.Google Scholar
  25. Kitagawa, Yoshihisa: 1986,Subjects in Japanese and English, Doctoral dissertation, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.Google Scholar
  26. Koopman, Hilda and Dominique Sportiche: 1982, ‘Variables and the Bijection Principle’,The Linguistic Review 2, 139–160.Google Scholar
  27. Koopman, Hilda and Dominique Sportiche: 1988, ‘Subjects’, unpublished manuscript, UCLA.Google Scholar
  28. Kuroda, S-Y: 1988, ‘Whether We Agree or Not: A Comparative Syntax of English and Japanese’,Linguisticae Investigationes 12, 1–47.Google Scholar
  29. Larson, Richard and Robert May: 1990, ‘Antecedent Containment or Vacuous Movement: A Reply to Baltin’,Linguistic Inquiry 21, 103–122.Google Scholar
  30. Levin, Juliette: 1984, ‘Government Relations and the Distribution of Empty Categories’,Proceedings of NELS 14, GLSA, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, pp. 294–305.Google Scholar
  31. Lobeck, Anne: 1986,Syntactic Constraints on VP Ellipsis, Doctoral Dissertation, University of Washington, Seattle.Google Scholar
  32. May, Robert: 1985,Logical Form: Its Structure and Derivation, MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.Google Scholar
  33. Nanni, Deborah: 1978,The Easy Class of Adjectives in English, Doctoral dissertation, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.Google Scholar
  34. Nishigauchi, Taisake: 1984, ‘Control and the Thematic Domain’,Language 60, 215–250.Google Scholar
  35. Rizzi, Luigi: 1986, ‘Null Objects in Italian and the Theory ofpro’,Linguistic Inquiry 17, 501–557.Google Scholar
  36. Rizzi, Luigi: 1990,Relativized Minimality, MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.Google Scholar
  37. Stowell, Tim: 1981,Origins of Phrase Structure, Doctoral dissertation, MIT.Google Scholar
  38. Stowell, Tim: 1983, ‘Subjects Across Categories’,The Linguistic Review 2, 285–312.Google Scholar
  39. Stowell, Tim: 1986, ‘Null Antecedents and Proper Government’,Proceedings of NELS 16, GLSA, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, pp. 476–493.Google Scholar
  40. Stowell, Tim: 1989, ‘Subjects, Specifiers, and X-bar Theory’, in M. R. Baltin and A. S. Kroch (eds.),Alternative Concepts of Phrase Structure, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, Illinois, pp. 232–262.Google Scholar
  41. Tellier, Christine: 1988,Universal Licensing: Implications for Parasitic Gap Constructions, Doctoral dissertation, McGill University, Montreal.Google Scholar
  42. Wilder, Christopher: 1991, ‘Tough Movement Constructions’,Linguistische Berichte 132, 115–132.Google Scholar
  43. Zagona, Karen: 1982,Government and Proper Government of Verbal Projections, Doctoral dissertation, University of Washington, Seattle.Google Scholar
  44. Zagona, Karen: 1988,Verb Phrase Syntax, Kluwer, Dordrecht.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heles Contreras
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Linguistics GN-40University of WashingtonSeattle

Personalised recommendations