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In generative syntax, gamma-marking is a mechanism which assigns the feature [+gamma] to empty categories that are properly governed. For chains terminating in an argument position, it is assumed that gamma-marking takes place at S-structure, while for chains terminating in a non-argument position it is assumed to take place at LF. Empty categories that are not properly governed receive the feature [-gamma] by default. In this way, applying the ECP means checking whether an empty category has the feature [+gamma] at LF.


Utrecht Lexicon of Linguistics


  • Chomsky, N. 1986b. Barriers, MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass.
  • Lasnik, H. and M. Saito 1984. On the nature of proper government, Linguistic Inquiry 15, pp. 235-289