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A-position is a position that in D-structure can be occupied by an argument. A-positions are positions to which a theta-role can be assigned (subject and object positions). A-positions are also known as Argument positions. A position which is not an A-position is called an A'-position (A-bar-position).


The NPs John and apples in the sentence John eats apples are in A-positions (in D-structure).

The position occupied by operators such as who in e.g. who does he see? is an A'-position. Another term for A'-position is Non-Argument position.


Utrecht Lexicon of Linguistics


  • Chomsky, Noam A. 1981. Lectures on Government and Binding. Dordrecht:Foris.
  • Chomsky, Noam A. 1986. Knowledge of language: its nature, origin and use. Praeger, New York.
  • Chomsky, Noam A. 1993. A Minimalist Program for Linguistic Theory. MIT occasional papers in linguistics, 1-67.