On The Necessity of Binding Conditions 1986

  • Howard Lasnik
Part of the Studies in Natural Language and Linguistic Theory book series (SNLT, volume 16)


I will be concerned in this paper with the binding conditions — the structural requirements governing certain anaphoric relations. I will give particular attention to “Condition C” effects, and will argue that, contrary to a currently popular view, something like Condition C does indeed exist. That is, I will display a wide variety of facts motivating Condition C which cannot be handled by, for example, independently motivated pragmatic constraints (see Reinhart (1983) for extensive discussion of such constraints) or by core properties of the theory of “Linking” (Higginbotham (1983)). A number of the arguments will be seen to carry over to Condition B as well. [It is on these grounds, of course, rather than on logical or biological grounds, that I will attempt to motivate the “necessity” of binding conditions, as one can surely conceive of an organism, even an evolutionarily successful one, whose linguistic system allows, say, the binding of a pronoun within its governing category.] In the course of the discssion, it will become evident that a partial reformulation of Condition C is in order, but its basic nature as a structural constraint on binding will remain intact.


Binding Condition Open Sentence Nominal Expression Referential Expression Overt Pronoun 
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  1. 2.
    See the Appendix above for discussion of an indexing approach to this phenomenon in the spirit of Chomsky (1981)Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    This assumers, as is standard, that all nominal expressions are specified for features. For a possible alternative, see Barss (1986).Google Scholar

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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989

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  • Howard Lasnik

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