322 -- Definitions


anaphor: A noun phrase is an anaphor if it has no referential meaning, and it must be coindexed with an antecedent in the same clause or, in certain cases, in the next higher clause.

antecedent government: X antecedent-governs Y iff X c-commands Y, if X and Y are each a maximal or a minimal projection, if there is no intervening governor, and if X and Y are co-referential.

aspect:      Aspect has several definitions depending on the author. Here, aspect refers to the internal state of the verb and usually marks whether an action has been completed or not. Some languages like English focus on the on-going event (incomplete event) [±Progressive] and others focus on the completion of the event) [±Perfective].

axiom:    A proposition that is assumed to be true. An axiom cannot be proved.

c-command:     X c-commands Y iff the node that immediately dominates X also dominates Y, and neither X nor Y dominates the other. [Note: c-command is required for government. See also m-command.]

bound:     A feature is bound ([-Free]) if it requires a host.

Case:     A feature that is assigned to a NP through government (or directly by default in some languages) that licenses or legitimizes a NP.

Case Filter:  *NP if NP has no Case and it has phonetic content.

chain:     A chain is a set of connected links such that the head of one link functions as the tail of another link.

clausemate condition: The condition that restricts the antecedent to be in the same clause as the anaphor with which it is to be coindexed (an interpretive rule). The condition is too strong as stated. Mood [±Irrealis] seems to block coindexation. The questionable mood (?) does not. Thus an antecedent can be coindexed with PRO which occurs as the subject in the next lower clause.

coindex:     To assign the index of an antecedent to the anaphor which becomes linked to the antecedent.

contain:     A contains B if A dominates B or if B is a feature within A.

control:      A controls B if A is marked as a controller, and B is PRO in the next embedded sentence.

control predicate:     A verb or adjective that determines that one of its arguments must be coindexed with PRO in the next embedded clause. (John is eager [PRO to go].)

controller:     A NP whose theta role determines that PRO in the next embedded clause must coindexed with it.

crash:     A sentence or string crashes if any form in the string is rendered ungrammatical.

feature govern: See govern below. In feature government, a feature governs a like feature. replace b) A is a feature and B is the same feature.

govern:    A governs B iff

a)   A c-commands B,

b)   A is a head,

c)   there is no closer governor C such that A governs C, and C governs B.

e)   B is an complement of A.

[Note: a node A may govern at most only one projection or overlapping projection (conjunction).]

host:      A lexical item B is a host for a grammatical item C, iff B contains C.

Last Resort:    Don't do it until you have to.

Least Effort:    Don't do it if you don't have to.

link:     If A governs B, and B is a head, a link holds between A and B.

link, head of:     The head of a link is the end to which features are copied.

link, tail of:     The tail of a link is the end from which features are copied.

link, double-headed:     If A governs B and C, which must be conjoined, then a double headed link occurs, such that B and C are each the head of the same link with the tail A.

m-command:      X m-commands Y iff the node that immediately dominates the projection of X also dominates Y, and neither X nor Y dominates the other. [Note: m-command is required for modification. See also c-command.]

mood:     Mood deals with the reality of a situation expressed by a sentence from the perspective of the speaker.

mother node:     A is a mother node to B if A immediately dominates B.

raising:     The process of copying features upwards from the tail of a link to the head of the link. Do not not confusion simple raising with clausal raising, which is similar, but involves two clauses.

raising (clausal) [process]:     An NP in clause A is raised to the subject position of clause B if A has no Case, is the in the subject position of clause A, and B does not assign a theta-role to its subject position.

raising (clausal) [state]:    If NP does get its theta-role from the head lexical predicate which it occurs in, but it gets a theta role from the head lexical predicate of the next clause down, NP is raised.

raising predicate:   A verb or adjective that assigns the undetermined mood to its complement, which in turn subcategorizes [-Tense] and fails to assign Case to the subject NP of the complement. The raising predicate assigns no theta role to its external (subject) argument, though it may assign experiencer to an internal argument. (John seems [TRACE] to be happy.)

realization:     The basic feature of modality. [+Realized] means that an action happened (or didn't happen if negative). [-Realized] means that an action is not realized at the time of the speech event. [-Realized, +deontic] includes ability (can), permission (may, can), prediction (will), intent (will), obligation (must), promise (shall). Realization is divided into deontic and epistemic, [-Deontic], which includes possible (can, could), probable (may, might), deductive (must have), expected but unrealized (should have), consequential (would have). Modality is distinct from mood. The former deals with realization (it could rain), the latter with reality (if it had rained, if it could rain).

relevance:     Eventuality A is relevant to Eventuality B (including the speech event), if the speaker deems that A connected to B in some non-trivial way. The adverb yet requires the selection of [+Perfect] in English.

S-structure:    The structure that occurs after all the morphosyntactic rules have been applied, but before the structure passes to the phonological component deriving the surface structure.

sister: A and B are sister nodes, if the which immediately dominates A also immediately dominates B.

spell out:     The process of converting a S-structure into a surface structure (passing into the phonological component with links to the lexicon).

strong:     (1)   A feature is strong if it cannot be copied downward. [+Q] is [+strong].

strong:     (2)   The feature [+Strong] prevents a feature from being copied from the container node.

surface structure:      The final structure after all phonological rules have applied.

theta criterion:     a predicate may assign a single theta role to no more than one argument, and argument may receive its theta role from no more than one predicate. An argument position can bear no more than one theta role in a derivation.

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This page last updated 15 JA 2003