A Reduced Theory of Theta-Role and Case Assignment and Binding
University of Gdansk
This work attempts to reduce the number of mechanisms used in generative grammar to explain the design of human language. Up to now, generative linguistics has separated Binding, Case assignment and Theta-Role assignment into three separate sub-theories. Each of the sub-theories worked independently using its own set of rules and relations. In this thesis, Michael Moss shows that all three sub-theories can be reduced to one, namely binding. In order to achieve this reduction, first binding must be simplified to explain PRO phenomena without resorting to government.
Once the binding definition is simplified to c-command and co-indexation, the other two components must be shown to also comply with this definition. Using mechanisms proposed in the minimalist program, theta-role assignment is shown to accord with the above definition. Finally, using Agree as proposed in the recent literature (Chomsky 2000), Case assignment is also shown to function under the same rules as binding. In the last chapter, an attempt is made to show that Agree can be used as the driving force behind all three of these reduced relations.
ISBN 9783895867613. LINCOM Studies in Theoretical Linguistics 34. 160pp.