Binding theory

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In generative syntax, binding theory is a theory on A-binding.

Comments

Binding theory consists of the three conditions in (i).

(i)

   A An  anaphor is  bound in its  binding domain.
   B A  pronominal is  free in its binding domain.
   C An  R-expression is free.

Usually these conditions are conjoined with a characterization of anaphors, pronominals and R-expressions in terms of the features 'anaphor' and 'pronominal' as in (ii).

(ii)

    a [+anaphor, -pronominal]  =  anaphor
    b [+anaphor, +pronominal]  =   PRO
    c [-anaphor, -pronominal]  =  R-expression
    d [-anaphor, +pronominal]  =  pronominal

Link

Utrecht Lexicon of Linguistics

References

  • 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.