Proper Government of VP

  • Karen Zagona
Part of the Studies in Natural Language and Linguistic Theory book series (SNLT, volume 13)


In this chapter, I will analyze constructions with null VP in English, arguing that the temporal features associated with subcategorization licensing of VP are crucial to proper government of the empty category. The core of the analysis is based on arguments of Zagona (1988), which show that VP is properly governed only when INFL satisfies requirements for theta government of VP. The analysis of Chapter 3, according to which VP functions as an internal argument of IP with respect to temporal argument structure, provides a basis for recasting the relevant form of government in terms which specifically concern temporal argument structure. I will call this Tense-government, which thus constitutes an independent type of relation within IP, so that VP may be governed as an argument relative to its Tense-governor, while retaining its status as a nonargument relative to other types of clausal relations, such as predication and antecedent government of non-VP categories. I will then examine constructions with ‘contracted’ forms of auxiliaries, arguing that the interaction of Tense-government and agreement processes provide an account of the restricted distribution of null VP following those forms.


Extended Chain Embed Clause Feature Assignment Small Clause Rightward Movement 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karen Zagona
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Romance Languages and LiteratureUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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