Deriving Condition A.
York Papers in Linguistics, 3, (series 2), .
This paper advances a reinterpretation of Condition A of the classical binding theory. This approach, based on the application of operations in the computational component of the grammar, is consistent with the methodological constraints imposed by the Minimalist Programme (Chomsky 1993, 1995b), and crucially makes use of the theory of computational operations outlined in arguably its most successful implementation to date (Chomsky 2000, 2001). It is suggested that, provided certain assumptions can be made concerning the feature specification of anaphors, Condition A is entirely reducible to an operation of feature-agreement, a conclusion
which has intriguing implications for the theory of syntactically active feature types in the current framework. Furthermore, the previously stipulated local binding domain (‘governing category’) is correctly predicted to correspond to the ‘phase’, the core syntactic domain employed in recent versions of Minimalism. The analysis is extended to capture some problematic empirical phenomena in English, including the behaviour of anaphors embedded within complex DPs (‘picture-DPs’).
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