A Radically Minimalist View on Their Ontology and Justification
Chapter 5: Dependencies and Chain Reduction. From the ECP to Radically Minimalist Minimality
In this chapter we will review some of the conditions that have ruled the relation between a moved constituent and the empty category it left behind, be it NP- trace or Wh-trace. From GB to Minimalism, we will analyze four main theories and posit one of our own, based on Radically Minimalist tenets. 5.1 The Empty Category Principle The Standard Theory and its successive extensions lacked in principle a way of limiting the power of transformational rules, beyond the stipulation of PSR and the possible outputs of the application of transformations. During the ‘70s, the current known as Generative Semantics proposed to give the transformational component of the grammar more power, at least as far as lexical derivations were concerned. The answer from the orthodoxy was to empower the base com- ponent, particularly the Lexicon, to a point in which the syntax itself was almost redundant since a whole derivation was already present in a lexical entry (see Chomsky 1970 for details). In any case, neither position proposed sound limits for transformations; and until the end of the ‘70s the transformational compo- nent was an unordered set of arbitrary and language-specific rules that applied in an unclear way (with the exception of Ross’ 1968 groundbreaking work on is- lands). The first attempt to fomulate a locality theory to rule dependencies in a principled way (that is, a theory of what the output of a transformation should look like) was outlined within the early GB model in Chomsky (1981, 1982) in...
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