Binding conditions and scrambling without A/A$\sp\prime$ distinction

Date of Completion

January 1993


Language, Linguistics




With the minimalist program proposed by Chomsky (1992) as background, this thesis explores the possibility of eliminating A/A$\sp\prime$ distinction from the whole system of Universal Grammar. Since Chomsky (1981) proposes such a distinction, it has been taken for granted that two kinds of positions should be distinguished; namely, A-positions and A$\sp\prime$-positions. The recent development of the study of phrase structures, however, makes it unclear what is the exact definition of A-position. Even though the A/A$\sp\prime$ distinction has played a central role in formulating the binding conditions and also in characterizing the nature of scrambling, the present state of affairs in which the exact definition of A-position is indecisive undermines such formulation and characterization. In this thesis, various properties that appear to be the reflexes of such a distinction are derived from independently motivated conditions. I argue that the stipulation of "A-binding" is eliminable from the formulations of the binding conditions. Further, I argue that the different properties of clause-internal and long distance scrambling are derived from economy conditions on derivations.^ Secondly, this thesis examines the interaction of the binding theory and economy conditions. It has been well-known in the literature that locality conditions are operative in movement. Recently, Chomsky and Lasnik (1991) propose an economy condition called "minimize chain links" to recapture what is captured by Rizzi (1990) under the name of Relativized Minimality, which prohibits movement from skipping a possible landing site. On the other hand, it has long been observed that anaphors are also subject to locality conditions, such as what Chomsky (1973) calls the Specified Subject Condition. Noting the similarities of movement and binding in locality, I propose an economy condition on dependency to subsume both the minimality effects of movement and the locality of anaphors.^ Thirdly, this thesis provides support to the linking theory rather than the indexing theory. Since Higginbotham (1983) proposed linking as a device for expressing dependency, it has been an important issue which device is more appropriate to express dependency, indexing or linking. I argue that configurations of strong and weak crossover violations are correctly defined in terms of linking. ^