Frozen Structure Constraint

From Glottopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Frozen Structure Constraint is a constraint formulated in Ross (1967) which says that if a clause has been extraposed from a NP whose head noun is lexical, this NP may not be moved, nor may any element of the clause be moved out of that clause. The first part is illustrated in (i), the second part in (ii).

(i)  * [NP Which packages ti ]j didn't Sam pick up tj  until it had
        stopped raining [which are to be mailed tomorrow]i
(ii) * The coat [whichi a girl tj came in [Sj who had worn ti]] was torn

The second part of the constraint can now be subsumed under the Adjunct Condition, given that extraposition is an adjunction operation.


Utrecht Lexicon of Linguistics


  • Ross, J.R. 1967. Constraints on variables in syntax, doctoral dissertation, MIT (published as 'Infinite syntax!' Ablex, Norwood (1986)).