From Andrew Radford, Minimalist Syntax: Exploring the structure of English (Cambridge University Press, 2004). © Andrew Radford 2003.

Glossary and List of Abbreviations

Bold print is used to indicate technical terms, and to cross-refer to entries elsewhere in the glossary. Abbreviations used here are: ch. = chapter; § = section number; ex. = exercise.

A: See Adjective, A-head, A-position, Binding.

AAE: African American English

A-bar: An A-bar position is a position which can be occupied by arguments or adjuncts alike. For example, the specifier position within CP is said to be an A-bar position because it can contain not only an argument like the italicised wh-phrase in 'Which car did he fix?' but also an adjunct like the italicised adverbial phrase in 'How did he fix the car?' A-bar movement is a movement operation (like wh-movement) which moves an argument or adjunct expression to an A-bar position. On A-bar head, see A-head.

Acc(usative): See Case.

ACP: See Attract Closest Principle.

Acquisition: The process by which people acquire their first language (= L1 acquisition) or a second language which is not their mother tongue (= L2 acquisition).

Active: A contrast is traditionally drawn between sentence pairs such as (i) and (ii) below:

  1. The thieves stole the jewels
  2. The jewels were stolen by the thieves

(i) is said to be an active clause (or sentence), and (ii) to be its passive counterpart; similarly, the verb stole is said to be an active verb (or a verb in the active voice) in (i), whereas the verb stolen is said to be a passive verb (or a verb in the passive voice -- more specifically, a passive participle) in (ii); likewise, the auxiliary were in (ii) is said to be a passive auxiliary. In a different use, a probe or goal is said to be active for movement/agreement if it carries an (unvalued) uninterpretable feature: see §8.4.

Adequacy, criteria of: These are the criteria which an adequate grammar or linguistic theory must meet. See §1.3.

Adjacency condition: a condition requiring that two expressions must be immediately adjacent (i.e. there must be no constituent intervening between the two) in order for some operation to apply. For example, have must be immediately adjacent to they in order to cliticise onto it in structures such as They've gone home.

Adjective: This is a category of word (abbreviated to A) which often denotes states (e.g. happy, sad), which typically has an adverb counterpart in -ly (cf. sad/sadly), which typically has comparative/ superlative forms in -er/-est (cf. sadder/saddest), which can often take the prefix un- (cf. unhappy), which can often form a noun by the addition of the suffix -ness (cf. sadness), etc. See §2.2 and §2.3.

Adjoin: See Adjunction.

Adjunct: One way in which this term is used is to denote an optional constituent typically used to specify e.g. the time, place or manner in which an event takes place. Another way in which it is used is to denote a constituent which has been attached to another to form a larger constituent of the same type. (See Adjunction).

Adjunction: This is a process by which one constituent is adjoined (= attached) to another to form a larger constituent of the same type. For example, we could say that in a sentence like 'He should not go', the negative particle not (in the guise of its contracted form n't) can be adjoined to the auxiliary should to form the negative auxiliary shouldn't. In a sentence such as He gently rolled the ball down the hill, the adverb gently can be taken to be an adverb which adjoins to an verbal projection, extending it into a larger projection of the same kind: see §9.4.

Adposition: A cover term subsuming preposition and postposition. For example, the English word in is a preposition since it is positioned before its complement (cf. in Tokyo), whereas its Japanese counterpart is a postposition because it is positioned after its complement Tokyo. Both words are adpositions.

ADV/Adverb: This is a category of word which typically indicates manner (e.g. 'wait patiently') or degree (e.g. 'exceedingly patient'). In English, most (but not all) adverbs end in -ly (cf. quickly -- but also almost). See §2.2 and 2.3.

AFF: See Affix

Affective: An affective constituent is an (e.g. negative, interrogative or conditional) expression which can have a polarity expression like (partitive) any in its scope. So, for example, interrogative if is an affective constituent as we see from the fact that an interrogative if-clause can contain partitive any in a sentence such as 'I wonder if he has any news about Jim.'

Affix/Affixal: The term affix typically used to describe a grammatical morpheme which cannot stand on its own as an independent word, but which must be attached to a host word of an appropriate kind. An affix which attaches to the beginning of a word (e.g. un- in unhappy) is called a prefix: an affix which attaches to the end of a word (e.g. -s in chases) is called a suffix. An affixal head is one which behaves like an affix in needing to attach to a particular kind of host word. See also Clitic. Affix Hopping is an operation by which an unattached affix in T is lowered onto a verb: see §4.4. Affix Attachment is an operation whereby an unattached tense affix lowers onto a verb where possible, but is otherwise supported by use of the dummy auxiliary do: see §5.8.

Agent: This is a term used to describe the semantic (= thematic) role which a particular type of argument plays in a given sentence. It typically denotes a person who deliberately causes some state of affairs to come about -- hence e.g. John plays the thematic role of agent in a sentence such as 'John smashed the bottle'. See §7.5.

Agreement: An operation by which (e.g. in a sentence like They are lying) the person/number features of the T-constituent are get assigned the same values as those of its subject they, so that the present-tense auxiliary are is third person plural because it agrees in person and number with its third person plural subject they. See ch.8.

A-head: An A-head is the kind of head (like T) which allows as its specifier an argument expression but not an adjunct expression. An A-bar head is the kind of head (like C) which allows as its specifier either an argument or an adjunct expression.

Allomorphs: variant phonetic forms of a single morpheme. For example, the noun plural morpheme {s} in English has the three allomorphs /s/ (e.g. in cats) /z/ (e.g. in dogs) and /Iz/ (e.g. in horses).

A-movement: Movement from one A position to another (typically, from a subject or complement position into another subject position). See ch.7.

A-position: A position which can be occupied by an argument, but not by a nonargument expression (e.g. not by an adjunct). In practice, the term denotes a subject position, or a lexical complement position (i.e. a position occupied by a constituent which is the complement of a lexical/substantive head).

Anaphor: This is an expression (like himself) which cannot have independent reference, but which must take its reference from an appropriate antecedent (i.e. expression which it refers to) within the same phrase or sentence. Hence, while we can say 'John is deluding himself' (where himself refers back to John), we cannot say *'Himself is waiting', since the anaphor himself here has no antecedent. A traditional distinction is drawn between reflexive anaphors (i.e. self forms like myself/ourselves/yourself/ yourselves/himself/ herself/itself/themselves) and the reciprocal anaphors each other/one another (cf. 'They help each other/one another'). See §3.7 and ex.VI.

Animate: The term animate is used to denote (the gender of) an expression which denotes a living being (e.g. a human being or animal), while the term inanimate is used in relation to an expression which denotes lifeless entities. For example, the relative pronoun who could be said to be animate in gender and the relative pronoun which inanimate -- hence we say someone who upsets people and something which upsets people.

Antecedent: An expression which is referred to by a pronoun or anaphor of some kind. For example, in 'John cut himself shaving', John is the antecedent of the anaphor himself, since himself refers back to John. In a sentence such as 'He is someone who we respect', the antecedent of the relative pronoun who is someone.

AP: adjectival phrase -- i.e. a phrase headed by an adjective, such as fond of chocolate, keen on sport, good at syntax, etc.

Appositive relative clause: A relative clause which is used as a parenthetical comment, as with the parenthesised relative clause in 'John (who you met last week) is a good friend of mine'. See Relative.

Arbitrary: When we say that an expression has 'arbitrary reference', we mean that it can denote an unspecified set of individuals, and hence have much the same meaning as English one/people or French on. In a sentence such as 'It is difficult [PRO to learn Japanese]', the bracketed clause is said to have an abstract pronoun subject PRO which can have arbitrary reference, in which case the sentence is paraphraseable as 'It's difficult for people to learn Japanese.' See §4.2.

Argument: This is a term borrowed by linguists from philosophy (more specifically, from predicate calculus) to describe the role played by particular types of expression in the semantic structure of sentences. In a sentence such as 'John hit Fred', the overall sentence is said to be a proposition (a term used to describe the semantic content of a clause), and to consist of the predicate hit and its two arguments John and Fred. The two arguments represent the two participants in the act of hitting, and the predicate is the expression (in this case the verb hit) which describes the activity in which they are engaged. By extension, in a sentence such as 'John says he hates syntax' the predicate in the main clause is the verb says, and its two arguments are John and the clause he hates syntax; the argument he hates syntax is in turn a proposition whose predicate is hates, and whose two arguments are he and syntax. Since the complement of a verb is positioned internally within V-bar whereas the subject of a verb is positioned outside V-bar, complements are also referred to as internal arguments, and subjects as external arguments. Expressions which do not function as arguments are non-arguments. The argument structure of a predicate provides a description of the set of arguments associated with the predicate, and the thematic role which each fulfils in relation to the predicate. See §7.4 and §7.5.

Array: The lexical array for a given expression denotes the set of lexical items out of which the expression is formed. The term lexical subarray denotes the particular subset of items from the lexical array out of which a particular phase is formed. See §10.8.

Article: A term used in traditional grammar to describe a particular subclass of determiners: the determiner the is traditionally called the definite article, and the determiner a the indefinite article.

Asp/AspP: Aspect/Aspect Phrase. See §7.3.

Aspect: A term typically used to denote the duration of the activity described by a verb (e.g. whether the activity is ongoing or completed). In sentences such as:

  1. He has taken the medicine
  2. He is taking the medicine

the auxiliary has is said to be an auxiliary which marks perfect aspect, in that it marks the perfection (in the sense of 'completion' or 'termination') of the activity of taking the medecine; for analogous reasons, taken is said to be a perfect participle verb form in (i) (though is referred to in traditional grammars as a 'past participle'). Similarly, is functions as an auxiliary which marks progressive aspect in (ii), because it relates to an activity which is ongoing or in progress (for this reason, is in (ii) is also referred to as a progressive auxiliary); in the same way, the verb taking in (ii) is said to be the progressive participle form of the verb (though is sometimes known in traditional grammars as a 'present participle').

Aspectual auxiliaries: Auxiliaries which mark Aspect -- e.g. perfect have and progressive be. See Aspect.

Associate: An expression which represents the thematic argument in an expletive there construction, and which is associated with the expletive subject there: e.g. several prizes in There were awarded several prizes.

Asymmetric c-command: See c-command.

Attract: To say that a head H attracts a constituent C is to say that H triggers movement of C to some position on the edge of HP (so that C may move to adjoin to H, or to become the specifier of H).

Attract Closest Principle: A principle of grammar requiring that a head H which attracts a particular type of constituent attracts the closest constituent of the relevant type which it c-commands.

Attribute: See Value.

Attributive adjectives: These are adjectives which are used to modify a following noun expression -- e.g. red in 'John has a red Ferrari', where red attributes the property of being red to the noun Ferrari. Attributive adjectives contrast with predicative adjectives, which are adjectives used in structures such as 'The house was red' or 'They painted the house red', (where the property of being red is said to be predicated of the expression the house).

AUX/Auxiliary: A term used to categorise items such as will/would/can/could/ shall/should/may/might/ must/ought and some uses of have/be/do/need/dare. Such items have a number of idiosyncratic properties, including the fact that they can undergo inversion (e.g. in questions like 'Can you speak French?'). By contrast, main verbs (i.e. verbs which are not auxiliaries) cannot undergo inversion -- as we see from the ungrammaticality *'Speak you French?' See §2.7.

AUXP: Auxiliary projection/Auxiliary phrase -- i.e. a phrase headed by an auxiliary which does not occupy the head T position of TP. See §5.6.

Auxiliary copying: A phenomenon whereby a moved auxiliary leaves behind an overt copy of itself when it moves -- as with can in a Child English question like What can I can have for dinner?

Auxiliary inversion: See Inversion.

Auxiliary selection: This term relates to the type of expression which a given auxiliary selects as its complement: e.g. in many languages (the counterpart of) be when used as a perfect auxiliary selects only a complement headed by a verb with no external argument, whereas (the counterpart of) have selects a complement headed by a verb with an external argument.

B: On Principle B of Binding Theory, see exercise VI.

bar: When used as a suffix attached to a category label such as N, V, P etc (as in N-bar, V-bar, P-bar, T-bar etc.), it denotes an intermediate projection which is larger than a word but smaller than a phrase. Hence, in a phrase such as university policy on drugs, we might say that the string policy on drugs is an N-bar, since it is a projection of the head noun policy, but is an intermediate projection in that it has a larger projection into the NP university policy on drugs. The term bar notation refers to a system of representing projection levels which posits that (first-) merge of a head H with its complement forms an H-bar constituent, (second-) merge of a head with a specifier forms an H-double-bar constituent, (third-) merge of a head with a further specifier forms an H-treble-bar constituent, and so on (with the maximal projection of H being labelled HP). On A-bar position, see A-position.

Bare: a bare infinitive structure is one which contains a verb in the infinitive form, but does not contain the infinitive particle to (e.g. the italicised clause in 'He won't let you help him'). A bare noun is a noun used without any determiner to modify it (e.g. fish in 'Fish is expensive'). A bare clause is one not introduced by an overt complementiser (e.g. he was tired in 'John said he was tired'. A theory of bare phrase structure is one in which there are no category labels or projection levels associated with constituents: see §3.8.

Base form: The base form of a verb is the simplest, uninflected form of the verb (the form under which the relevant verb would be listed in an English dictionary) -- hence forms like go/be/have/see/want/love are the base forms of the relevant verbs. The base form can typically function either as an infinitive (cf. 'Try to stay'), an imperative (cf. 'Stay with me tonight!'), a present tense indicative form ('They sometimes stay with me'), or a subjunctive form (cf. 'I demand that he stay with me').

Binarity Principle: A principle of Universal Grammar specifying that all nonterminal nodes in syntactic structures (i.e. tree-diagrams) are binary-branching. See §3.2.

Binary: A term relating to a two-way contrast. For example, number is a binary property in English, in that we have a two-way contrast between singular forms like cat and plural forms like cats. It is widely assumed that parameters have binary settings, that features have binary values, and that all branching in syntactic structure is binary.

Binary-branching: A tree diagram in which every nonterminal node has two daughters is binary-branching; a category/node which has two daughters is also binary-branching. See 3.2.

Bind/Binder/Binding: To say that one constituent X binds (or serves as the binder for) another constituent Y (and conversely that Y is bound by X) is to say that X determines properties (usually, referential properties) of Y. For example, in a sentence such as 'John blamed himself', the reflexive anaphor himself is bound by John in the sense that the referential properties of himself are determined by John (so that the two refer to the same individual). The C-command condition on binding says that a bound form must be c-commanded by its antecedent. On principles A, B and C of Binding Theory, see exercise VI.

Bottom-up: To say that a syntactic structure is derived in a bottom-up fashion is to say that the structure is built up from bottom to top, with lower parts of the structure being formed before higher parts.

Bound: In a traditional use of this term, a bound form is one which cannot stand alone and be used as an independent word, but rather must be attached to some other morpheme (e.g. negative n't, which has to attach to some auxiliary such as could). In a completely different use of the term, a bound constituent is one which has a binder (i.e. antecedent) within the structure containing it (See Bind).

Bracketing: A technique for representing the categorial status of an expression, whereby the expression is enclosed in square brackets, and the lefthand bracket is labelled with an appropriate category symbol -- e.g. [D the]. See §2.10.

Branch: A term used to represent a solid line linking a pair of nodes in a tree diagram, marking a mother/daughter (i.e. containment) relation between them.

C: See Complementiser.

Canonical: A term used to mean 'usual', 'typical' or 'normal', as in 'The canonical word order in English is specifier+head+complement.'

Case: The different case forms of a pronoun are the different forms which the pronoun has in different sentence positions. It is traditionally said that English has three cases -- nominative (sometimes abbreviated to Nom), accusative (= Acc, sometimes referred to as objective), and genitive (= Gen). Personal pronouns typically inflect overtly for all three cases, whereas noun expressions inflect only for genitive case. The different case forms of typical pronouns and noun expressions are given below:

nominativeIweyouhesheittheywhothe king
accusativemeusyouhimheritthemwho(m)the king
whosethe king's

As is apparent, some pronouns have two distinct genitive forms: a weak (shorter) form used when they are immediately followed by a noun (as in 'This is my car'), and a strong (longer) form used when they are not immediately followed by a noun (as in 'This car is mine'). In Chomsky and Lasnik (1995), it is suggested that the null subject PRO found in control constructions carries null case. In languages like English where certain types of expression are assigned case by virtue of the structural position they occupy in a given clause (e.g. accusative if c-commanded by a transitive head, nominative if c-commanded by finite intransitive head), the relevant expressions are said to receive structural case. Where a constituent is assigned case by virtue of its semantic function (e.g. a goal complement of certain types of verb is assigned dative case in German), it is said to receive inherent case. In languages like Icelandic where subjects can be assigned a variety of cases (e.g. of some are accusative and others dative, depending on the choice of verb and its semantic properties), subjects are said to have quirky case. In the Italian counterpart of a structure like 'She gave him them' the direct object corresponding to English 'them' is assigned accusative case, and the indirect object corresponding to English 'him' is assigned a distinct case, traditionally called dative case. (On direct and indirect objects, see Object). On nominative case assignment, see §4.9 and §8.3; on accusative case assignment, see §4.9, §9.7 and §9.8; on null case assignment, see §4.9 and §8.8; and on genitive case assignment, see §6.7 and §9.9.

Case particle: Some linguists take of in structures like destruction of the city or fond of pasta to be a genitive case particle in the sense that the of-phrase (e.g. of the city) is taken to have genitive case, and of is said to be the morpheme which marks genitive case.

Categorial: Categorial information is information about the grammatical category that an item belongs to. A categorial property is one associated with members of a particular grammatical category.

Categorise/Categorisation: Assign(ing) an expression to a (grammatical) category.

Category: A term used to denote a set of expressions which share a common set of linguistic properties. In syntax, the term is used for expressions which share a common set of grammatical properties. For example, boy and girl belong to the (grammatical) category noun because they both inflect for plural number (cf. boys/girls), and can both be used to end a sentence such as 'The police haven't yet found the missing ---'. In traditional grammar, the term parts of speech was used in place of categories.

Causative verb: A verb which has much the same sense as 'cause'. For example, the verb have in sentences such as 'He had them expelled' or 'He had them review the case' might be said to be causative in sense (hence to be a causative verb).

C-command: A structural relation between two constituents. To say that one constituent X c-commands another constituent Y is (informally) to say that X is no lower than Y in the structure (i.e. either X is higher up in the structure than Y, or the two are at the same height). More formally, a constituent X c-commands its sister constituent Y and any constituent Z that is contained within Y. A constituent X asymmetrically c-commands another constituent Y if X c-commands Y but Y does not c-command X. See §3.7.

C-command condition on binding: a condition to the effect that a bound constituent (e.g. a reflexive anaphor like himself or the trace of a moved constituent) must be c-commanded by its antecedent (i.e. by the expression which binds it). See 3.7 and exercise VI.

CED: See Condition on Extraction Domains.

Chain: A set of constituents comprising an expression and any trace copies associated with it. Where a constituent does not undergo movement, it forms a single-membered chain.

Citation: The citation form of a word is the form under which the word is listed in traditional dictionaries.

Clause: A clause is defined in traditional grammar as an expression which contains (at least) a subject and a predicate, and which may contain other types of expression as well (e.g. one or more complements and/or adjuncts). In most cases, the predicate in a clause is a lexical (= main) verb, so that there will be as many different clauses in a sentence as there are different lexical verbs. For example, in a sentence such as 'She may think that you are cheating on her', there are two lexical verbs (think and cheating), and hence two clauses. The cheating clause is that you are cheating on her, and the think clause is She may think that you are cheating on her, so that the cheating clause is one of the constituents of the think clause. More specifically, the cheating clause is the complement of the think clause, and so is said to function as a complement clause in this type of sentence. Clauses whose predicate is not a verb (i.e. verbless clauses) are known as small clauses: hence, in 'John considers [Mary intelligent]', the bracketed expression is sometimes referred to as a small clause.

Cleft sentence: A structure such as 'It was syntax that that he hated most', where syntax is said to occupy focus position within the cleft sentence.

Clitic(isation): The term clitic denotes an item which is (generally) a reduced form of another word, and which has the property that (in its reduced form) it must cliticise (i.e. attach itself to) an appropriate kind of host (i.e. to another word or phrase). For example, we could say that the contracted negative particle n't is a clitic form of the negative particle not which attaches itself to a finite auxiliary verb, so giving rise to forms like isn't, shouldn't, mightn't, etc. Likewise, we could say that 've is a clitic which attaches itself to a pronoun ending in a vowel, so giving rise to forms like we've, you've, they've, etc. When a clitic attaches to the end of another word, it is said to be an enclitic (and hence to encliticise) onto the relevant word. Clitics differ from affixes in a number of ways. For example, a clitic is often a reduced form of a full word, and has a corresponding full form (so that 'll is the clitic form of will, for example), whereas an affix (like noun plural -s in cats) has no full-word counterpart. Moreover, clitics can attach to phrases (e.g. 's can attach to the president in The president's lying), whereas an affix typically attaches to a word stem (e.g. the past tense -ed affix attaches to the verb stem snow in snowed).

Close/Closer/Closest: In structures in which a head X attracts a particular kind of constituent Y to move to the edge of XP, X is said to attract the closest constituent of type Y, in accordance with the Attract Closest Principle. On one view of closeness, if X c-commands Y and Z, X is closer to Y than to Z if Y c-commands Z. See also Local.

Cognition/Cognitive: (Relating to) the study of human knowledge.

Common Noun: See Noun.

COMP: See Complementiser.

Comparative: The comparative form of an adjective or adverb is the form (typically ending in -er) used when comparing two individuals or properties: cf. 'John is taller than Mary', where taller is the comparative form of the adjective tall.

Competence: A term used to represent native speakers' knowledge of the grammar of their native language(s).

Complement: This is a term used to denote a specific grammatical function (in the same way that the term subject denotes a specific grammatical function). A complement is an expression which is directly merged with (and hence is the sister of) a head word, thereby projecting the head into a larger structure of essentially the same kind. In 'Close the door', the door is the complement of the verb close; in 'After dinner', dinner is the complement of the preposition after; in 'good at physics', at physics is the complement of the adjective good; in 'loss of face', of face is the complement of the noun loss. As these examples illustrate, complements typically follow their heads in English. The choice of complement (and the morphological form of the complement) is determined by properties of the head: for example, an auxiliary such as will requires as its complement an expression headed by a verb in the infinitive form (cf. 'He will go/*going/*gone'). Moreover, complements bear a close semantic relation to their heads (e.g. in 'Kill him', him is the complement of the verb kill and plays the semantic role of theme argument of the verb kill). Thus, a complement has a close morphological, syntactic and semantic relation to its head. A complement clause is a clause which is used as the complement of some other word (typically as the complement of a verb, adjective or noun). Thus, in a sentence such as 'He never expected that she would come', the clause that she would come serves as the complement of the verb expected, and so is a complement clause. On complement selection, see Selection.

Complementiser: This term is used in two ways. On the one hand, it denotes a particular category of clause-introducing word such as that/if/for, as used in sentences such as 'I think that you should apologize', 'I doubt if she realizes', 'They're keen for you to show up'. On the other hand, it is used to denote the pre-subject position in clauses ('the complementiser position') which is typically occupied by a complementiser like that/if/for, but which can also be occupied by an inverted auxiliary in sentences such as 'Can you help?', where can is said to occupy the complementiser position in the clause. A complementiser phrase (CP) is a phrase/clause/expression headed by a complementiser (or by an auxiliary or verb occupying the complementiser position).

Complex sentence: One which contains more than one clause.

Component: A grammar is said to have three main components: a syntactic/computational component which generates syntactic structures, a semantic component which assigns each such syntactic structure an appropriate semantic interpretation, and a PF component which assigns each syntactic structure generated by the computational component an appropriate phonetic form. See §1.3.

Compound word: a word which is built up out of two (or more) other words -- e.g. man-eater.

Computational component: See Component.

Concord: A traditional term to describe an operation whereby a noun and any adjectives or determiners modifying it are assigned the same values for features such as number, gender and case.

Conditional: A term used to represent a type of clause (typically introduced by if or unless) which lays down conditions -- e.g. 'If you don't behave, I'll bar you', or 'Unless you behave, I'll bar you'). In these examples, the clauses If you don't behave and Unless you behave are conditional clauses.

Condition on Extraction Domains: A constraint to the effect that only complements allow constituents to be extracted out of them, not specifiers or adjuncts.

Configurational: Positional -- i.e. relating to the position occupied by one or more constituents in a tree diagram. For example, a configurational definition of a structural subject (for English) would be 'an argument which occupies the specifier position in TP'. This definition is configurational in the sense that it tells you what position within TP the subject occupies.

CONJ: See Conjunction.

Conjoin: To join together two or more expressions, usually by a coordinating conjunction such as and/or/but. For example, in 'Naughty but nice', naughty has been conjoined with nice (and conversely nice has been conjoined with naughty).

Conjunct: One of a set of expressions which have been conjoined. For example, in 'Rather tired but otherwise alright', the two conjuncts (i.e. expressions which have been conjoined) are rather tired and otherwise alright.

Conjunction/CONJ: A word which is used to join two or more expressions together. For example, in a sentence such as 'John was tired but happy', the word but serves the function of being a coordinating conjunction because it coordinates (i.e. joins together) the adjectives tired and happy. In 'John felt angry and Mary felt bitter', the conjunction and is used to coordinate the two clauses John felt angry and Mary felt bitter. In traditional grammar, complementisers like that/for/if are categorised as (one particular type of) subordinating conjunction.

Constituent: A term denoting a structural unit -- i.e. an expression which is one of the components out of which a phrase or sentence is built up. For example, the various constituents of a prepositional phrase (= PP) such as 'Straight into touch' (e.g. as a reply to 'Where did the ball go?') would be the preposition into, the noun touch, the adverb straight, and the intermediate projection (P-bar) into touch. To say that X is an immediate constituent of Y is to say that X immediately contains Y (see Contain), or equivalently that X is the mother of Y: see §3.7.

Constituent Structure: The constituent structure (or phrase structure, or syntactic structure) of an expression is (a representation of) the set of constituents which the expression contains. Syntactic structure is usually represented in terms of a labelled bracketting or a tree diagram. The Constituent Structure Constraint is a grammatical principle which specifies that only a head can occupy a head position, and that only a maximal projection can occupy a complement or specifier position.

Constrained: see Restrictive.

Constraint: A structural restriction which blocks the application of some process in a particular type of structure. The term tends to be used with the rather more specific meaning of 'A principle of Universal Grammar which prevents certain types of grammatical operation from applying to certain types of structure.'

Contain: To say that one constituent X contains another constituent Y is to say that Y is one of the constituents out of which X is formed by a merger operation of some kind. In terms of tree diagrams, we can say that X contains Y if X occurs higher up in the tree than Y, and X is connected to Y by a continuous (unbroken) set of downward branches (the branches being represented by the solid lines connecting pairs of nodes in a tree diagram). If we think of tree diagrams as a network of train stations, we can say that X contains Y if it is possible to get from X to Y by travelling one or more stations south. To say that one constituent X immediately contains another constituent Y is to say that Y occurs immediately below X in a tree and is connected to X via a branch (or, that X contains Y and there is no intervening constituent Z which contains Y and which is contained by X). See §3.7.

Content: This term is generally used to refer to the semantic content (i.e. meaning) of an expression (typically, of a word). However, it can also be used is a more general way to refer to the linguistic properties of an expression: e.g. the expression phonetic content is sometimes used to refer to the phonetic form of (e.g.) a word: hence, we might say that PRO is a pronoun which has no phonetic content (meaning that it is a 'silent' pronoun with no audible form).

Contentives/content words: Words which have intrinsic descriptive content (as opposed to functors, i.e. words which serve essentially to mark particular grammatical functions). Nouns, verbs, adjectives and (most) prepositions are traditionally classified as contentives, while pronouns, auxiliaries, determiners, complementisers, and particles of various kinds (e.g. infinitival to, genitive of) are classified as functors. See §2.4.

Contraction: A process by which two different words are combined into a single word, with either or both words being reduced in form. For example, by contraction, want to can be reduced to wanna, going to to gonna, he is to he's, they have to they've, did not to didn't, etc. See also Cliticisation.

Contrastive: In a sentence like 'Syntax, I hate but phonology I enjoy', the expressions syntax and phonology are contrasted, and each is said to be contrastive in use.

Control(ler)/Control predicate: In non-finite clauses with a PRO subject which has an antecedent, the antecedent is said to be the controller of PRO (or to control PRO), and conversely PRO is said to be controlled by its antecedent; and the relevant kind of structure is called a control structure. So, in a structure like 'John decided PRO to quit', John is the controller of PRO, and conversely PRO is controlled by John. The term control predicate denotes a word like try which takes an infinitive complement with a (controlled) PRO subject. Verbs like try which take a complement containing a PRO subject controlled by the subject of try are called subject-control predicates (see §4.2); verbs like persuade in sentences like I persuaded him to take syntax which take an infinitive complement whose PRO subject is controlled by the object of the main verb (here, the him object of persuade) are called object-control predicates (see §9.5).

Converge(nce): A derivation converges (and hence results in a well-formed sentence) if the resulting PF-representation contains only phonetic features, and the associated semantic representation contains only (semantically) interpretable features. The Convergence Principle is a UG principle requiring that when a probe attracts a goal carrying some feature [F], it triggers movement of the smallest constituent containing [F] which will lead to a convergent (hence well-formed) derivation: see §6.7.

Coordinate/Coordination: A coordinate structure is a structure containing two or more expressions joined together by a coordinating conjunction such as and/but/or/nor (e.g. 'John and Mary' is a coordinate structure.). Coordination is the operation by which two or more expressions are joined together by a coordinating conjunction.

Copula/Copular Verb: A 'linking verb', used to link a subject with a nonverbal predicate. The main copular verb in English is be (though verbs like become, remain, stay etc. also have much the same linking function). In sentences such as 'They are lazy', 'They are fools' and 'They are outside', the verb are is said to be a copula in that it links the subject they to the adjectival predicate lazy, or the nominal predicate fools, or the prepositional predicate outside.

Copy/Copying: The Copy Theory of Movement is a theory developed by Chomsky which maintains that a moved constituent leaves behind a (trace) copy of itself when it moves, with the copy generally having its phonetic features deleted and so being null: see §5.3, §6.3 and §7.2. Feature Copying is an operation by which the value of a feature on one constituent is copied onto another (e.g. the values of the person/number features of a subject are copied onto an auxiliary): see §8.3.

Coreferential: Two expressions are coreferential if they refer to the same entity. For example, in 'John cut himself while shaving', himself and John are cofererential in the sense that they refer to the same individual.

Count/Countability: A count(able) noun is a noun which can be counted. Hence, a noun such as chair is a count noun since we can say 'One chair, two chairs, three chairs, etc.'; but a noun such as furniture is a non-count/uncountable/mass noun since we cannot say '*one furniture, *two furnitures, three furnitures, etc.' The countability properties of a noun determine whether the relevant item is a count noun or not.

Counterexample: An example which falsifies a particular hypothesis. For example, an auxiliary like ought would be a counterexample to any claim that auxiliaries in English never take an infinitive complement introduced by to (cf. 'You ought to tell them'').

CP: Complementiser phrase (See Complementiser).

Crash: A derivation is said to crash (i.e. 'fail') if one or more features carried by one or more constituents is illegible at either or both of the interface levels (the phonetics interface and the semantics interface). For example, if the person or number features of have remain unvalued in a sentence such as 'He have left', the resulting structure will crash at the phonetics interface, since the PF component will be unable to determine whether have should be spelled out as have or has.

Cross-categorial properties: Properties which extend across categories, i.e. which are associated with more than one different category. See §2.11.

Cycle/Cyclic: Syntactic operations (like agreement and movement) are said to apply in a cyclic fashion in the sense that each time a head H is merged with one or more other constituents, a new cycle of operations begins (in the sense that any operation affecting H and one or more other constituents which it c-commands applies at this point). See §5.7.

D: see Determiner.

Dat: An informal abbreviate for dative case. See Case.

Daughter: A node X is the daughter of another node Y if Y is the next highest node up in the tree from X, and the two are connected by a branch (solid line).

Declarative: A term used as a classification of the force (i.e. semantic function) of a clause which is used to make a statement (as opposed to an interrogative, exclamative or imperative clause).

Default: A default value or property is one which obtains if all else fails (i.e. if other conditions are not satisfied). For example, if we say that is the default verbal inflection for regular verbs in English, we mean that regular verbs carry the inflection -s if third person singular present tense forms, -d if past, perfect or passive forms, -ing if progressive or gerund forms, and otherwise (by default).

Defective: a defective item is one which lacks certain properties. For example, if we suppose that T constituents generally carry person and number features, then infinitival to in all infinitive structures except control infinitives is a defective T constituent in that (under Chomsky's analysis) it carries person but not number. Any clause containing a defective T constituent is a defective clause.

Definite: Expressions containing determiners like the, this, that etc. are said to have definite reference in that they refer to an entity which is assumed to be known to the addressee(s): e.g. in a sentence such as 'I hated the course', the DP the course refers to a specific (e.g. Minimalist Syntax) course whose identity is assumed to be known to the hearer/reader. In much the same way, personal pronouns like he/she/it/they etc. are said to have definite reference. By contrast, expressions containing a determiner like a are indefinite, in that (e.g.) if you say 'I'm taking a course', you don't assume that the hearer/reader knows which course you are taking.

DEG: A degree word like so/too/how.

Demonstrative: This is a term used to refer to words like this/that, these/those and here/there which indicate a location relatively nearer to or further from the speaker (e.g. this book means 'the book relatively close to me', and that book means 'the book somewhat further away from me').

Derivation: The derivation of a phrase or clause is the set of syntactic (e.g. merger and movement) operations used to form the relevant structure. The derivation of a word is the set of morphological operations used to form the word.

Derivational morphology/suffix: Derivational morphology is the component of a grammar which deals with the ways in which one type of word can be formed from another: for example, by adding the suffix -ness to the adjective sad we can form the noun sadness, so that -ness is a derivational suffix. See §2.2.

Derivative: to say that the noun happiness is a derivative of the adjective happy is to say that happiness is formed from happy by the addition of an appropriate derivational morpheme (in this case, the suffix -ness).

Derive: To derive a structure it to say how it is formed (i.e. specify the operations by which it is formed).

Derived structure: A structure which is produced by the application of one or more syntactic (merger or movement) operations.

Descriptive adequacy: A grammar of a particular language attains descriptive adequacy if it correctly specifies which strings of words do (and don't) form grammatical phrases and sentences in the language, and correctly describes the structure and interpretation of the relevant phrases and sentences. See §1.3.

DET/Determiner: A word like the/this/that which is typically used to modify a noun, but which has no descriptive content of its own. Most determiners can be used either prenominally (i.e. in front of a noun that they modify) or pronominally (i.e. used on their own without a following noun) -- cf. 'I don't like that idea/I don't like that'). See §2.5.

Determiner Phrase: A phrase like the king (of Utopia) which comprises a determiner the, and a noun complement like king or a noun phrase complement like king of Utopia. In work before the mid 1980s, a structure like the king of Utopia would have been analysed as a noun phrase (= NP), comprising the head noun king, its complement of Utopia and its specifier the. Since Abney (1987), such expressions have been taken to have the status of DP/determiner phrase.

Direct Object: See Object.

Direct theta-marking: See Theta-marking.

Discontinuous spellout: A phenomenon whereby part of a moved phrase is spelled out in the position in which it originates, and the remainder in the position in which it ends up -- as in 'How much do you believe of what he tells you?', where the wh-phrase how much of what he tells you moves to the front of the sentence, with how much being spelled out in the position it moves to, and of what he tells you being spelled out in the position in which it originates. See §6.3.

Discourse: Discourse factors are factors relating to the extrasentential setting in which an expression occurs (where extrasentential means 'outside the immediate sentence containing the relevant expression'). For example, to say that the reference of PRO is discourse-determined in a sentence such as 'It would be wise PRO to prepare yourself for the worst' means that PRO has no antecedent within the sentence immediately containing it, but rather refers to some individual(s) outside the sentence (in this case, the person being spoken to).

Distribution/Distributional: The distribution of an expression is the set of positions which it can occupy within an appropriate kind of phrase or sentence. Hence, a distributional property is a word-order property.

Domain: The domain (or, more fully, c-command domain) of a head H is the set of constituents c-commanded by H -- namely its sister and all the constituents contained within its sister. For example, the domain of C includes its TP complement and any constituent of the relevant TP.

Do-Support: This refers to the requirement for the 'dummy' (i.e. meaningless) auxiliary do to be used to form questions, negatives or tags in sentences which would otherwise contain no auxiliary. Hence, because a nonauxiliary verb like want requires do-support in questions/negatives/tags, we have sentences such as 'Does he want some?', 'He doesn't want any', and 'He wants some, does he?' See §5.8.

Double-object construction: See Object.

DP: See Determiner Phrase.

DP Hypothesis: The hypothesis that all nominal arguments have the status of DPs -- not just nominals like the president which contain an overt determiner, but also 'bare' nominal arguments like politicians and promises (in sentences like 'Politicians break promises').

D-pronoun: A pronoun like that in 'I don't like that' which seems to be a pronominal determiner.

Earliness Principle: A principle which says that linguistic operations must apply as early in a derivation as possible.

Early Modern English: The type of English found in the early seventeenth century (i.e. at around the time Shakespeare wrote most of his plays, between 1590 and 1620).

Echo question: A type of sentence used to question something which someone else has just said (often in an air of incredulity), repeating all or most of what they have just said. For example, if I say 'I've just met Nim Chimpsky' and you don't believe me (or don't know who I'm talking about), you could reply with an echo question such as 'You've just met who?'

Edge: The edge of a given projection HP is that part of HP which excludes the complement of H (hence, that part of the structure which includes the head H and any specifier/s which it has).

ECM: See Exceptional Case Marking

Economy: Economy considerations require that (all other things being equal) syntactic representations should contain as few constituents and syntactic derivations involve as few grammatical operations as possible.

Elizabethan English: The type of English found in the early seventeenth century, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (i.e. at around the time Shakespeare wrote most of his plays, between 1590 and 1620).

Ellipsis/Elliptical: Ellipsis is a process by which an expression is omitted (in the sense that its phonetic features are deleted and so unpronounced), e.g. in order to avoid repetition. For example, in a sentence such as 'I will do it if you will do it', we can ellipse (i.e. omit) the second occurrence of do it to avoid repetition, and hence say 'I will do it if you will'. An elliptical structure is one containing an 'understood' constituent which has undergone ellipsis (i.e. been omitted).

Embedded clause: A clause which is positioned internally within another constituent. For example, in a sentence such as 'He may suspect that I hid them', the hid-clause (= that I hid them) is embedded within (and is the complement of) the verb phrase headed by the verb suspect. Likewise, in 'The fact that he didn't apologise is significant', the that-clause (that he didn't apologise)is an embedded clause in the sense that it is embedded within a noun phrase headed by the noun fact. A clause which is not embedded within any other expression is a root clause (See Root).

EME: See Early Modern English.

Empirical evidence: Evidence based on observed linguistic phenomena. In syntax, the term 'empirical evidence' usually means 'evidence based on grammaticality judgments by native speakers.' For example, the fact that sentences like *'Himself likes you' are judged ungrammatical by native speakers of Standard English provides us with empirical evidence that anaphors like himself can't be used without an appropriate antecedent (i.e. an expression which they refer back to).

Empty: A constituent is empty/null if it is 'silent' and hence has no overt phonetic form. Empty categories include null subject pronouns like PRO and pro, null relative pronouns (like the null counterpart of who in someone who I know well), null determiners (like that in 'ø John is tired'), and null trace copies of moved constituents. See ch.4.

Enclitic/encliticise: See Clitic.

Entry: A lexical entry is an entry for a particular word in a dictionary (and hence by extension refers to the set of information about the word given in the relevant dictionary entry).

EPP: This was originally an abbreviation for the Extended Projection Principle, which posited that every T constituent must be extended into a TP projection which has a specifier. In more recent work, the requirement for a T constituent like will to have a specifier is said to be a consequence of T carrying an [epp] feature requiring it to project a specifier. The epp Generalisation specifies the conditions under which the epp feature carried by a head is deleted via use of an expletive or via movement: see §8.6.

Ergative: This term originally applied to languages like Basque in which the complement of a transitive verb and the subject of an intransitive verb are assigned the same morphological case. However, by extension, it has come to be used to denote verbs like break which occur both in transitive structures like 'Someone broke the window' and in transitive structures like 'The window broke', where the window seems to play the same semantic role in both types of sentences, in spite of being the complement of broke in one sentence and the subject of broke in the other. See §9.4.

Exceptional Case Marking/ECM: Accusative subjects of infinitive clauses (e.g. him in 'I believe him to be innocent') are said to carry exceptional accusative case (in that the case of the accusative subject is assigned by the main-clause verb believe, and it is exceptional for the case of the subject of one clause to be assigned by the verb in a higher clause). Verbs (like believe) which take an infinitive complement with an accusative subject are said to be ECM verbs. See §9.7 and §9.8.

Exclamative: A type of structure used to exclaim surprise, delight, annoyance, etc. In English syntax, the term is restricted largely to clauses beginning with wh-exclamative words like What! or How! -- e.g. 'What a fool I was!' or 'How blind I was!' See §6.9 and §9.2.

Existential: An existential sentence is one which is about the existence of some entity. For example, a sentence such as 'Is there any coffee left?' questions the existence of coffee. Consequently, the word any here is sometimes said to be an existential quantifier (as is some in a sentence like 'There is some coffee in the pot').

Experience: Children's experience is the speech input which they receive (or, more generally, the speech activity which they observe) in the course of acquiring their native language.

Experiencer: A term used in the analysis of semantic/thematic roles to denote the entity which experiences some emotional or cognitive state -- e.g. John in 'John felt unhappy', or 'John thought about his predicament'. See §7.5.

Explanatory Adequacy: A linguistic theory meets the criterion of explanatory adequacy if it explains why grammars have the properties that they do, and how children come to acquire grammars in such a short period of time. See §1.3.

Expletive: A 'dummy' constituent with no inherent semantic content, such as the pronoun there in existential sentences like 'There is no truth in the rumour', or the pronoun it in sentences such as It is unclear why he resigned. See §8.5 and §8.6.

Expression: This word is used in the text as an informal term meaning a string (i.e. continuous sequence) of one or more words which form a constituent.

Extended Projection Principle: See EPP.

External Argument. See Argument.

Extract/Extraction: Extract(ion) is another term for move(ment), and so denotes an operation by which one constituent is moved out of another. E.g. in a structure such as 'Who do you think [he saw ---]' the pronoun who has been extracted out of the bracketed clause (i.e. it is been moved out of the position marked ---), and moved to the front of the overall sentence. The extraction site for a moved constituent is the position which it occupied before undergoing movement.

Extrapose/Extraposition: A term used to denote a movement operation by which an expression (usually one which is very long, or highlighted in some way) is moved to the end of a given structure. For example, in sentence like 'He bequeathed his priceless collection of Ming vases to Mary'the italicised object can undergo extraposition/be extraposed and thereby moved to the end of the sentence in 'He bequeathed to Mary his priceless collection of Ming vases'.

F: This symbol is used as a convenient notational device to denote an abstract functional head (or an abstract feature) of some kind.

Feature: A device used to describe a particular grammatical property. For example, the distinction between count and noncount nouns might be described in terms of a feature such as [±COUNT]. On Feature Copying, see Copying. Feature Deletion is an operation by which uninterpretable features are deleted: see §8.4. The Feature Visibility Convention specifies that deleted features are invisible in the semantic component but remain visible in the syntactic and PF components: see §8.4. The Feature Inactivation Hypothesis posits that an uninterpretable feature becomes inactive in the syntax (and invisible to the semantic component) immediately it is deleted: see §8.6.

Feminine: This term is used in discussion of grammatical gender to denote pronouns like she/her/hers which refer to female entities.

FHC: See Functional Head Constraint.

Filled: To say that a given position in a structure must be filled is to say that it cannot remain empty but rather must be occupied (usually by an overt constituent of an appropriate kind).

Fin/Finite/FinP: The term finite verb/finite clause denotes (a clause containing) an auxiliary or nonauxiliary verb which can have a nominative subject like I/we/he/she/they. For example, compare the two bracketed clauses in:

(i) What if [people annoy her]?
(ii) Don't let [people annoy her]

The bracketed clause and the verb annoy in (i) are finite because in place of the subject people we can have a nominative pronoun like they; by contrast, the bracketed clause and the verb annoy are nonfinite in (ii) because people cannot be replaced by a nominative pronoun like they (only by an accusative pronoun like them): cf.

(iii) What if [they annoy her]?
(iv) Don't let [them/*they annoy her]

By contrast, a verb or clause which has a subject with accusative or null case in English is nonfinite; hence the bracketed clauses and italicised verbs are nonfinite in the examples below:

(v) Don't let [them annoy her]
(vi) You should try [PRO to help]

Nonfinite forms include infinitive forms like be, and -ing/-n participle forms like being/been. In work by Luigi Rizzi on split CP projections (discussed in §9.3), infinitival complementisers like Italian di 'of' and English for are said to occupy the head Fin ('Finiteness') position within a FinP ('Finiteness Phrase') projection.

First Person: See Person.

Floating Quantifier: A quantifier which is separated from the expression which it quantifies. For example, in a sentence such as 'The students have all passed their exams', all quantifies (but is not positioned next to) the students, so that all is a floating quantifier here.

Foc/Focus/Focusing/FocP: Focus position in a sentence is a position occupied by a constituent which is highlighted in some way (usually in order to mark it as containing 'new' or 'unfamiliar' information). For example, in a cleft sentence such as 'It's syntax that they hate most' or a pseudo-cleft sentence such as 'What they hate most is syntax', the expression syntax is said to occupy focus position within the relevant sentence. Focusing denotes a movement operation by which a constituent is moved into a focus position at the beginning of a clause in order to highlight it (e.g. to mark it as introducing new information). Thus, in a sentence like 'Nothing could they do to save her', the expression nothing has been focused by being moved to the front of the overall sentence from its underlying position as the complement of the verb do. In work on split CP projections by Luigi Rizzi (discussed in §9.2), preposed focused expressions are said to occupy the specifier position within a FocP ( 'Focus Phrase') projection which is headed by an abstract Foc ('Focus') head.

Foot: The foot of a (movement) chain is the constituent which occupies the lowest position in the chain.

Force: The complementisers that/if in a sentence such as I didn't know [that/if he was lying] are said to indicate that the bracketed clauses are declarative/interrogative in force (in the sense that they have the force of a question/a statement). In work on split CP projections by Luigi Rizzi (discussed in §9.2-§9.3), complementisers are said to constitute a Force head which can project into a Force Phrase.

Formal: In an expression such as formal speech style, the word formal denotes a very careful and stylised form of speech (as opposed to the kind of informal colloquial speech style used in a casual conversation in a bar): in an expression such as formal features, the word formal means 'grammatical' (i.e. features which play a role in morphology/syntax).

Fragment: An utterance which is not a complete sentence (in the sense that it does not constitute a clause). So, a phrase such as 'A new dress' used in reply to a question such as 'What did you buy?' would be a sentence-fragment (By contrast, a sentence such as 'I bought a new dress' would not be a sentence-fragment, since it contains a complete clause.)

Free relative clause: A clause containing a relative pronoun which has no overt antecedent, like that italicised in 'What you say is true'. See Relative.

Front/Fronting: Fronting is an informal term to denote a movement operation by which a given expression is fronted -- i.e. moved to the front of some phrase or sentence.

Function: Expressions such as subject, specifier, complement, object, head, and adjunct are said to denote the grammatical function which a particular expression fulfils in a particular structure (which in turn relates to the position which it occupies and certain of its grammatical properties -- e.g. case and agreement properties).

Functional Category/Functional Head Constraint/Function Word/Functor: A word which has no descriptive/lexical content and which serves an essentially grammatical function is said to be a function word or functor (By contrast, a word which has descriptive/lexical content is a content word or contentive). A functional category is a category whose members are function words: hence, categories such as complementiser, auxiliary, infinitive particle, case particle, or determiner are all functional categories -- as well as the expressions they head (e.g. C-bar/CP, T-bar/TP, D-bar/DP etc.). See §2.4. The Functional Head Constraint is a grammatical principle which specifies that the complement of a certain type of functional head (including C and D) cannot be preposed on its own without moving the functional head: see §3.6.

Gapping: a form of ellipsis in which the head word is omitted from one (or more) of the conjuncts in a coordinate structure in order to avoid repetition. For example, the italicised second occurrence of bought can be gapped (i.e. omitted) in a sentence such as 'John bought an apple and Mary bought a pear', giving 'John bought an apple, and Mary a pear'.

Gen: In one use, an abbreviation for genitive case; in another, an abbreviation for gender.

Gender: A grammatical property whereby words are divided into different grammatical classes which play a role in agreement/concord relationships. In French, for example, nouns are intrinsically masculine or feminine in gender (e.g. pommier 'apple tree' is masculine, but pomme 'apple' is feminine), and determiners inflect for gender (as well as number), so that un 'a' is the masculine form of the indefinite article, and une is its feminine form. Determiners in French have to agree in gender (and number) with the nouns they modify, hence we say un pommier 'an apple tree', but une pomme 'an apple'. In English, nouns no longer have inherent gender properties, and adjectives/determiners don't inflect for gender either. Only personal pronouns like he/she/it carry gender properties in modern English, and these are traditionally said to carry masculine/feminine/neuter gender respectively (though the term inanimate is sometimes used in place of neuter).

Generate/Generative: The syntactic component of a grammar is said to generate (i.e. specify how to form) a set of syntactic structures. A grammar which does so is said to be a generative grammar.

Generic: To say that an expression like eggs in a sentence such as 'Eggs are fattening' has a generic interpretation is to say that it is interpreted as meaning 'eggs in general'.

Genitive: see Case.

Gerund: When used in conjunction with the progressive aspect auxiliary be, verb forms ending in -ing are progressive participles; in other uses they generally function as gerunds. In particular, -ing verb forms are gerunds when they can be used as subjects, or as complements of verbs or prepositions, and when (in literary styles) they can have a genitive subject like my. Thus writing is a gerund (verb form) in a sentence such as 'She was annoyed at [my writing to her mother]', since the bracketed gerund structure is used as the complement of the preposition at, and has a genitive subject my.

Goal/Goal: The term goal is used in the analysis of semantic/thematic roles to denote the entity towards which something moves -- e.g. Mary in 'John sent Mary a letter': see §7.5. In a different sense, the term goal represents a constituent which agrees with a higher head which serves as a probe: see §8.2.

Gradable/ungradable: Words are gradable if they denote a concept or property which can exist in varying degrees. For example, tall is gradable since we can say (e.g.) fairly/very/extremely tall; by contrast, dead is ungradable, since it denotes an absolute property (hence it's odd to say *very dead).

Grammar: In traditional terms, grammar includes morphology and syntax. In a broader Chomskyan sense, grammar includes phonology and structural aspects of semantics: i.e. a grammar of a language is a computational system which derives the Phonetic Form and Semantic Representation of expressions.

Grammatical: An expression is grammatical if it contains no morphological or syntactic error, and ungrammatical if it contains one or more morphological or syntactic errors. Grammatical features are (e.g. person, number, gender, case etc.) features which play a role in grammatical operations (e.g. in determining case or agreement properties).

Have-cliticisation: An operation by which have (in the guise of its contracted clitic variant /v/) attaches to an immediately preceding word ending in a vowel or diphthong, resulting in forms such as I've, we've, they've, etc.

Head: This term has two main uses. The head (constituent) of a phrase is the key word which determines the properties of the phrase. So, in a phrase such as fond of fast food, the head of the phrase is the adjective fond, and consequently the phrase is an adjectival phrase (and hence can occupy typical positions occupied by adjectival expressions -- e.g. as the complement of is in 'He is fond of fast food') In many cases, the term head is more or less equivalent to the term word (e.g. in sentences such as 'An accusative pronoun can be used as the complement of a transitive head'). In a different use of the same word, the head of a movement chain is the highest constituent in the chain.

Headed/Headedness Principle: An expression is headed if it has a head. The Headedness Principle specifies that every constituent must be headed. So, for example, an expression like fond of fast food is headed by the adjective fond and so is an adjectival phrase. See Head.

Head-first/-last: A head-first structure is one in which the head of an expression is positioned before its complement(s); a head-last structure is one in which the head of an expression is positioned after its complement(s). See §1.6.

Head movement: Movement of a word from one head position to another (e.g. movement of an auxiliary from T to C, or of a verb from V to T, or of a noun from N to D). See ch.5.

Head Movement Constraint/HMC: A principle of Universal grammar which specifies that movement between one head position and another is only possible between the head of a given structure and the head of its complement. See §5.5.

Head Position Parameter: The parameter which determines whether a language positions a given type of head before or after its complement. See §1.6.

Head Strength Parameter: A parameter whose setting determines whether a given kind of head is strong and can trigger movement of a lower head to attach to it, or weak and so cannot attract a lower head to move to attach to it. See §5.5.

HMC: See Head Movement Constraint.

Homophonous: Two different expressions are homophonous if they have the same phonetic form (e.g. we've and weave).

Host: An expression to which a clitic or affix attaches. For example, if n't cliticizes onto could in expressions like couldn't, we can say that could is the host onto which n't cliticizes.

I: see INFL.

Identification/Identify: In the relevant technical sense, we can say that the inflection -st identifies (or enables identification of) the null pro subject as second person singular in a Shakespearean sentence such as 'Hast pro any more of this?' (Trinculo, The Tempest, II.ii). This is because -st in Elizabethan English is a second person singular inflection, and since subjects agree with finite verbs in person and number, it follows that the null pro subject must also be second person singular. See §5.5.

Idiom: A string of words which has an idiosyncratic meaning (e.g. hit the roof in the sense of 'get angry').

I-language: I-language is a linguistic system internalised (i.e. internally represented) within the brain. See §1.3.

Illegible: See Legible.

Immediate constituent: see Constituent.

Immediately contain: see Contain.

Imp: A symbol used to designate an (affixal) imperative morpheme which occupies the head C position of CP in imperatives: see ex. X.

Impenetrable: Inaccessible. See Phase Impenetrability Condition.

Imperative: A term used to classify a type of sentence used to issue an order (e.g. 'Be quiet!', 'Don't say anything!'), and also to classify the type of verb-form used in an imperative sentence (e.g. be is an imperative verb-form in 'Be quiet!').

Impoverished: Poor (See Rich).

Inanimate: see Animate.

Inclusiveness Condition:A grammatical principle proposed by Chomsky (1999, p.2) which 'bars introduction of new elements (features) in the course of a derivation'.

Indefinite: see Definite.

Indicative: Indicative (auxiliary and main) verb forms are finite forms which are used (inter alia) in declarative and interrogative clauses (i.e. statements and questions). Thus, the italicised items are said to be indicative in mood in the following sentences: 'He is teasing you', 'Can he speak French?', 'He had been smoking', 'He loves chocolate', 'He hated syntax'. An indicative clause is a clause which contains an indicative (auxiliary or nonauxiliary) verb. See Mood.

Indirect theta-marking: See Theta-marking.

Infinitive: The infinitive form of a verb is the (uninflected) form which is used (inter alia) when the verb is the complement of a modal auxiliary like can, or of the infinitive particle to. Accordingly, the italicised verbs are infinitive forms in sentences like 'He can speak French', and 'He's trying to learn French.' An infinitive clause is a clause which contains a verb in the infinitive form. Hence, the bracketed clauses are infinitive clauses in: 'He is trying [to help her]', and 'Why not let [him help her]?' (In both examples, help is an infinitive verb form, and to when used with an infinitive complement is said to be an infinitive particle.) Since clauses are analysed as phrases within the framework used here, the term infinitive phrase can be used interchangeably with infinitive clause, to denote a TP projection headed by the infinitive particle to (or by a null counterpart of the infinitive particle to).

INFL: A category devised by Chomsky (1981) whose members include finite auxiliaries (which are INFLected for tense/agreement), and the INFinitivaL particle to. In more recent work, T is used in place of INFL. See §2.8.

Inflection/Inflectional: An inflection is an affix which marks grammatical properties such as number, person, tense, case. For example, plural nouns such as dogs in English comprise the stem form dog and the plural number inflection -s. Inflectional morphology is the grammar of inflections.

Inherent case: See Case.

Initial grammar: The earliest grammar of their native language developed by infants.

Innateness hypothesis: The hypothesis that children have a biologically endowed innate language faculty. See §1.4.

In situ: A constituent is said to remain in situ (i.e. 'in place') if it doesn't undergo a given kind of movement operation.

Interface levels: Levels at which the grammar interfaces (i.e. connects) with speech and thought systems which lie outside the domain of grammar. Phonetic Form is the level at which the grammar interfaces with articulatory-perceptual (speech) systems, and Semantic Representation is the level at which it interfaces with conceptual-intentional (thought) systems.

Intermediate projection: See Project(ion).

Internal argument: See Argument.

Internalised grammar: A grammar which in internally represented within the mind/brain.

Interpretable: A feature is (semantically) interpretable if it has semantic content: so, for example, a feature such as [Plural-Number] on a pronoun like they is interpretable, but a phonetic feature like [+nasal] is uninterpretable, and so too are many grammatical/formal features (e.g. case features). See §8.4.

Interpretation: To say that an expression has a particular (semantic) interpretation is to say that it expresses a particular meaning. So, for example, we might say that a sentence such as 'He loves you more than Sam' has two different interpretations -- one on which Sam has a subject interpretation and is implicitly understood as the subject of loves you, and a second on which Sam has an object interpretation and is implicitly understood as the object of he loves. The first interpretation can be paraphrased as 'He loves you more than Sam loves you', and the second as 'He loves you more than he loves Sam.'

Intermediate projection: A projection which is larger than a word, but smaller than a phrase. See Bar.

Internal argument: Complement. See Argument.

Interrogative: An interrogative clause or sentence is one which asks a question. See Question.

Intervention constraint: A principle specifying that in a structure of the form [...X...[...Y...[...Z...]]], X cannot attract Z if there is a constituent Y of the same type as Z which intervenes between X and Z. See §6.4.

Intransitive: see Transitive.

Intuitions: Judgments given by native speakers about the grammaticality, interpretation and structure of expressions in their language.

Inversion/Inverted: A term used to denote a movement process by which the relative order of two expressions is reversed. It is most frequently used in relation to the more specific operation by which an auxiliary (and, in earlier stages of English, nonauxiliary) verb comes to be positioned before its subject, e.g. in questions such as 'Can you speak Swahili?', where can is positioned in front of its subject you. See ch.5. An inverted auxiliary/verb is one which is positioned in front of its subject (e.g. will in 'Will I pass the syntax exam?').

Irrealis:An infinitive complement like that italicised in 'They would prefer (for) you to abstain' is said to denote an irrealis (a Latin word meaning 'unreal') event in the sense that the act of abstention is a hypothetical event which has not yet happened and may never happen.

Island: A structure out of which no subpart can be extracted. For example, co-ordinate structures like William and Harry are islands in this sense. Hence, in a sentence like 'I admire William and Harry', we can topicalise the whole co-ordinate structure William and Harry by moving it to the front of the overall sentence (as in 'William and Harry, I admire'), but we cannot topicalise Harry alone (as we see from the ungrammaticality of *'Harry I admire William and').

K: Case particle. See Case.

Label: A notational device used to represent linguistic properties of constituents. For example, if we say that the word man belongs to the category N of noun, we are using N as a label to indicate the categorial properties of the word man (i.e. to tell us what grammatical category man belongs to).

Labelled bracketing: see Bracketing.

Landing site: The landing-site for a moved constituent is the position it ends up in after it has been moved (e.g. The specifier position within CP is the landing-site for a moved wh-expression).

Language Faculty: Chomsky argues that humans beings have an innate Language Faculty which provides them with an algorithm (i.e. set of procedures or programme) for acquiring a grammar of their native language(s). See §1.4.

LBC: See Left Branch Condition.

Learnability: A criterion of adequacy for linguistic theory. An adequate theory must explain how children come to learn the grammar of their native languages in such a short period of time, and hence must provide for grammars of languages which are easily learnable by children. See §1.3.

Left Branch Condition: A constraint which specifies that in languages like English, the leftmost constituent of a nominal, adjectival or adverbial expression cannot be moved out of the expression containing it.

Legible: To say that syntactic structures must be legible at the semantics and phonetics interfaces is to say that the structures inputted to the semantic component of the grammar must contain only features which contribute to semantic interpretation, and that the structures inputted to the PF component must contain only features which contribute to determining the phonetic form of an expression. Any structure which is not legible at a given interface is said to be illegible to the relevant interface.

Level: In the sense in which this term is used in this book, constituents like T, T-bar and TP represent different projection levels -- i.e. successively larger types of category (T being a minimal projection, T-bar an intermediate projection, and TP a maximal projection). See Projection.

Lexical/Lexicon: The word lexical is used in a number of different ways. Since a lexicon is a dictionary (i.e. a list of all the words in a language and their idiosyncratic linguistic properties), the expression lexical item in effect means 'word', the expression lexical entry means 'the entry in the dictionary for a particular word', the term lexical property means 'property of some individual word', the term lexical learning means 'learning words and their idiosyncratic properties', and the term lexical array means 'the set of words out of which a given expression is formed'. However, the word lexical is also used in a second sense, in which it is contrasted with functional (and hence means 'non-functional'). In this second sense, a lexical category is a category whose members are contentives (i.e. items with idiosyncratic descriptive content): hence, categories such as noun, verb, adjective or preposition are lexical categories in this sense. So, for example, the term lexical verb means 'main verb' (i.e. a nonauxilary verb like go, find, hate, want etc.).

LF(-representation): (A representation of the) Logical Form (of an expression). See Representation. The LF-component of a grammar is the (semantic) component which converts the syntactic structures produced by merger and movement operations into LF-representations.

Light verb: This term is traditionally used to denote verbs (e.g. like take/make in expressions like make fun of and take heed of) with relatively little semantic content. However, in recent work on VP shells discussed in §9.4-§9.9, this term is extended to denote an abstract affixal verb (often with a causative sense like that of make) to which a noun, adjective or verb adjoins. For example, it might be claimed that the suffix -en in a verb like sadden is an affixal light verb which combines with adjectives like black, white and sad to form the causative verb sadden (which has a meaning loosely paraphraseable as means 'make sad', or 'cause to become sad'). This type of analysis can be extended to verbs like roll as they are used in sentences like 'He rolled the ball down the hill', if we assume that roll here is used causatively (and so has a meaning paraphraseable as 'make roll', or 'cause to roll'), and hence involves adjunction of the verb roll to an abstract light-verb (which can be thought of as a null verbal counterpart of -en).

Link: A constituent (or position) which is part of a movement chain.

Local: One constituent X can enter into a grammatical relation (e.g. an agreement relation) with another constituent Y only if Y is in the local c-command domain of X -- i.e. only if Y is c-commanded by X and if Y is sufficiently close to X. In recent work, Chomsky has defined relative closeness (for syntactic operations like agreement) in terms of the Phase Impenetrability Condition.

Locative: This is a term which denotes the semantic/thematic function of a constituent. A locative expression is one which denotes place. So, for example, there/where are locative pronouns in sentences such as 'Are you going there?' or 'Where are you going?' See §7.5.

Locus: To say that T is the locus of tense is to say that the tense property associated with a tensed clause or tensed auxiliary or main verb originates as a tense feature (or tense affix) carried by the head T constituent of TP.

Long-distance movement: A long-distance movement operation is one which moves a constituent out of one clause (TP/CP) into another.

Main clause: See Root clause.

Main verb: A non-auxiliary verb. See Auxiliary.

Masc(uline): This term is used in discussion of grammatical gender to denote pronouns like he/him/his which refer to male entities.

Mass noun: See Count noun.

Match: Two constituents match in respect of some feature [F] either if one is valued for [F] and the other unvalued for [F], or if both carry the same value for [F]. See ch.8.

Matrix: In a sentence such as 'I think he lied', the (italicised) lied clause is an embedded/complement clause (by virtue of being embedded as the complement of the verb think), and the think clause is the matrix clause, in the sense that it is the clause immediately containing the lied clause.

Maximal Projection: See Projection.

Merge(r): An operation by which two constituents are combined together to form a single larger constituent. See ch.3.

MFCF: See Multiply Filled COMP Filter.

Minimalism/Minimalist program: A theory of grammar developed by Chomsky whose core assumption is that grammars are minimally complex, perfect systems of optimal design. See §1.3.

Minimal projection: See Projection.

MIT: The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (located in Cambridge Massachusetts), where Chomsky has worked for the past five decades.

Modal/Modality: A modal auxiliary is an auxiliary which expresses modality (i.e. notions such as possibility, futurity or necessity). The set of modal auxiliaries found in English is usually assumed to include will/would/can/could/shall/should/may/might/ought, and need/dare when followed by a 'bare' (to-less) infinitive complement.

Modifier/Modify: In an expression such as tall men, it is traditionally said that the adjective tall modifies (i.e. attributes some property to) or is a modifier of the noun men. Likewise, in a sentence such as 'Eat slowly!', the adverb slowly is said to modify the verb eat (in the sense that it describes the manner in which the speaker is being told to eat).

Module: an individual component of a larger system. For example, a grammar might be said to contain a case module -- i.e. a component which accounts for the case properties of relevant constituents.

Mood: This is a term describing inflectional properties of finite verbs. (Auxiliary and nonauxiliary) verbs in English can be in the indicative mood, subjunctive mood, or imperative mood. Examples of each type of mood are given by the italicised verb forms in the following: 'He hates [= indicative] spaghetti'; 'The court ordered that he be [= subjunctive] detained indefinitely'; 'Keep [= imperative] quiet!' The mood of the verb determines aspects of the interpretation of the relevant clause, so that e.g. subjunctive verbs occur in irrealis clauses.

Morpheme: The smallest unit of grammatical structure. Thus, a plural noun such as cats comprises two morphemes, namely the stem cat and the plural suffix -s.

Morphology/morphological: Morphology studies how morphemes are combined together to form words. Morphological properties are properties relating to the form of words (i.e. relating to the inflections or affixes they carry). For example, it is a morphological property of regular count nouns that they have a plural form ending in -s.

Morphosyntactic: A morphosyntactic property is a 'grammatical' property, i.e. a property which affects (or is affected by) relevant aspects of morphology and syntax. For instance, case is a morphosyntactic property in that (e.g.) pronouns have different morphological forms and occupy different syntactic positions according to their case: e.g. the nominative form of the first person plural pronoun is we and its accusative form is us; the two occupy different syntactic positions in that the nominative form occurs as the subject of a finite verb, whereas the accusative form occurs as the complement of a transitive verb or preposition: cf. 'We disagree', 'Join us'.

Mother: A constituent X is the mother of another constituent Y if Y is the next highest node up in the tree from X, and the two are connected by a branch (solid line). See §3.7.

Multiple agreement: Agreement between a probe and more than one goal. See §8.6.

Multiple wh-questions: Questions containing more than one wh-word. See §6.4.

Multiple specifiers: In his (1995) book and subsequent work, Chomsky suggests that certain types of head may allow more than one specifier (e.g. a light verb with an external argument/subject as its inner specifier may attract a wh-expression to become its outer specifier: see §10.5).

Multiply Filled COMP Filter: A constraint which specifies that (in present-day English) no overt complementiser (like that/if/for) can have an overt specifier.

N: See Noun.

Natural language: A language acquired in a natural setting by human beings (hence, excluding e.g. computer languages, animal communication systems, etc.).

NEG: The head constituent of a NEGP (i.e. of a Negation Phrase constituent which contains not as its specifier). See §5.7.

Negation: An operation or construction in which some proposition is said to be false. Negation involves the use of some negative item such as not, n't, nobody, nothing, never, etc. -- though most discussions of negation tend to be about the negative adverbs not/n't. See §5.7.

Negative evidence: In the context of discussions about the nature of the evidence which children make us of in acquiring their native language(s), this term relates to evidence based on the nonoccurrence of certain structures in the child's speech input, or on correction of children by others (e.g. adults). See §1.8.

Negative particle: This term typically denotes the negative adverbs not/n't.


Neuter: See Gender.

Neutralise/Neutralisation: When a grammatical contrast (e.g. that between a singular noun like cat and a plural noun like cats) is not marked in some expression (e.g. the singular/plural noun form sheep), the contrast is said to have been neutralised or syncretised (in the relevant expression).

N-movement: Movement of a noun to a higher position within a nominal expression. See §5.9.

Node: A term used to denote each point in a tree diagram which carries a category label. Each node represents a separate constituent in the relevant structure.

Nom: An abbreviation for nominative. See Case.

Nominal: This is the adjective associated with the word noun, so that in principle a nominal (expression) is an expression containing a noun. However, the term is sometimes extended to mean 'expression containing a noun or pronoun'.

Nominalisation/Nominalising: Nominalisation is a process by which some other type of expression is converted into a nominal (i.e. noun expression). For example, -ness is a nominalising (i.e. noun-forming) suffix in that if we suffix -ness to an adjective like sad, we form the noun sadness.

Nominative: See Case.

Nonargument: See Argument.

Nonauxiliary Verb: A 'lexical verb' or 'main verb' (like want, try, hate, smell, buy etc.) which requires do-support to form questions, negatives and tags.

Nonconstituent: A nonconstituent string is a sequence of words which do not together form a constituent.

Noncount noun: See Count noun.

No-negative-evidence hypothesis: The hypothesis that children acquire their native language(s) on the basis of positive evidence alone, and do not make use of negative evidence. See §1.8.

Nonfinite: See Finite.

Nonterminal: See Terminal.

Noun: A category of word (whose members include items such as boy/friend/thought/sadness/computer) which typically denotes an entity of some kind. See §2.2 and §2.3. In traditional grammar, a distinction is drawn between common nouns and proper nouns. Proper nouns are names of individual people (e.g. Chomsky), places (e.g. Colchester, Essex, England), dates (e.g. Tuesday, February, Easter), magazines (e.g. Cosmopolitan) etc., whereas common nouns (e.g. boy, table, syntax etc.) are nouns denoting general (non-individual) entities. Proper nouns have the semantic property of having unique reference, and the syntactic property that (unless themselves modified) they generally can't be modified by a determiner (cf. *the London).

Noun Phrase/NP: A phrase whose head is a noun. In work prior to the mid 1980s, a structure such as the king of Utopia was taken to be a noun phrase/NP comprising the head noun king, its complement of Utopia and its specifier the. In more recent work, such expressions are taken to be Determiner Phrases/DPs comprising the head determiner the and a noun phrase/NP complement king of Utopia, with the NP in turn comprising the head noun king and its complement of Utopia. See §3.4 and §4.10.

NP: See Noun Phrase.

N-pronoun: A pronoun like one in 'Mary bought a green one' which has the morphological and distributional properties of a (count) noun.

Null: A null constituent is one which is 'silent' or 'unpronounced' and so has no overt phonetic form. See ch.4.

Null case: The case carried by PRO (See Case).

Null subject: A subject which has grammatical and semantic properties but no overt phonetic form. There are a variety of different types of null subject, including the null pro subject which can be used in any finite clause in a language like Italian, the null counterpart of you found in English imperative clauses like 'Shut the door!', the null PRO subject found in non-finite control clauses like that bracketed in 'The prisoners tried [PRO to escape]', and the null truncated subject found in sentences like 'Can't find my pen. Must be on my desk at home'. See §4.2.

Null subject language: This term is used to denote a language which allows any finite clause of any kind to have a null pro subject. For example, Italian is a null subject language and so allows us to say 'Sei simpatica' (literally 'Are nice', meaning 'You are nice'); by contrast, English is a Non-null subject language in the sense that it doesn't allow the subject to be omitted in this type of structure (Hence *'Are nice' is ungrammatical in English).

Null subject parameter: A parameter whose setting determines whether a language is a null subject language or not. See §1.6.

Num: An abbreviation for the feature Number. In a different (but related) use, a category label denoting a particular head which is claimed by some to be the locus of number properties in noun expressions. It may correspond to the position which a noun like invasione 'invasion' moves to in an Italian nominal such as la grande invasione italiana dell'Albania (literally 'The great invasion Italian of.the Albania', and more idiomatically 'the great Italian invasion of Albania'). A Phrase headed by a Num constituent is labelled NumP 'Number Phrase'. See §5.9 and §10.9.

Number: A term used to denote the contrast between singular and plural forms. In English, we find number contrasts in nouns (cf. 'one dog', 'two dogs'), in some determiners (cf. 'this book', 'these books'), in pronouns (cf. it/they), and in finite (auxiliary or main) verbs (cf. 'It smells', 'They smell').

Object: The complement of a transitive item (e.g. in 'Help me', me is the object of the transitive verb help; and in 'for me', me is the object of the transitive preposition for). The term object is generally restricted to complements which carry accusative case -- i.e. to nominal or pronominal complements: hence, nothing would be the object (and complement) of said in 'He said nothing', but the that-clause would be the complement (but not the object) of said in 'He said [that he was tired]' -- though some traditional grammars extend the term object to cover clausal complements as well as (pro)nominal complements. In sentences such as 'She gave him them', the verb give is traditionally said to have two objects, namely him and them: the first object (representing the recipient) is termed the indirect object, and the second object (representing the gift) is termed the direct object; the relevant construction is known as the double object construction. Where a verb has a single object (e.g. nothing in 'He said nothing'), this is the direct object of the relevant verb.

Object control predicate: See Control.

Objective: Another term for accusative. See Case.

One-place predicate: A predicate which has only one argument. See Argument.

Operator: This term is used in syntax to denote (e.g.) interrogative and negative expressions which have the syntactic properties that they trigger auxiliary inversion (cf. 'What have you done?', 'Nothing have I done') and allow a polarity item like partitive/existential any to occur in their scope (cf. 'What can anyone do?' 'Nothing can anyone do').

Orphaned: See Stranded.

Overt: An expression is overt if it has a non-null phonetic form, but null if it has no phonetic content. Thus, him is an overt pronoun, but PRO is a null pronoun. The term overt structure is used in this book (though not more generally) as an informal expository term to refer to a simplified representation of the structure of a given expression which shows only the overt constituents which it contains (and hence excludes trace copies and other null constituents).

P: See Preposition.

Paraphrase: A paraphrase is an expression which has roughly the same meaning as the expression which it is being used to paraphrase, but which brings out the relevant meaning more clearly. For example, we can bring out the ambiguity of a sentence like He loves you more than me by saying that it has two different interpretations, one of which can be paraphrased as 'He loves you more than he loves me', and the other of which can be paraphrased as 'He loves you more than I love you'.

Parameters: Dimensions of grammatical variation within and across languages (e.g. the Null Subject Parameter, Head Position Parameter, Wh-Parameter). See §1.6.

Parameter-setting: The process by which children determine which setting of a parameter is appropriate for the native language they are acquiring. See §1.7.

Partial:A labelled bracketing is partial if it shows only part of the structure of a given sentence or expression (other parts being omitted to simplify exposition).

Participle: A non-finite verb form which encodes aspect or voice. In European languages, participles have no person properties but (in languages like Latin or Icelandic which have a richer morphology than English) they may have number/gender/case properties. English has three types of participle: progressive participles (ending in -ing) used in conjunction with the progressive aspect auxiliary be in sentences like 'It is raining'; perfect participles (generally ending in -d or -n) used in conjunction with the perfect aspect auxiliary have in sentences like 'He has gone home'; and passive participles (also generally ending in -d or -n)used in conjunction with the passive voice auxiliary be in sentences like 'He was arrested by Percy Plodd'.

Particle: This is an informal term used to describe a range of (typically monosyllabic) items which are invariable in form, and which don't fit easily into traditional systems of grammatical categories. For example, infinitival to (cf. 'Try to be nice') is said to be an infinitive particle; of as used in expressions like 'loss of face' is sometimes said to be a genitive case particle; not and n't are said to be negative particles. The term is sometimes extended to include prepositions used without a complement (e.g. down in 'He fell down').

Partitive: A partitive quantifier is a word like some/any which quantifies over part of the members of a given set (as in 'Some students enjoy syntax').

Part of speech: See Category.

Passive: see Active; see also Passivisation.

Passive participle: See Active, Participle.

Passivisation: A movement operation whereby an expression which is the thematic complement of a verb becomes the subject of the same clause (as in 'The jewels were stolen') or the subject of another clause (as in 'The minister was said to have lied to Parliament'). See §7.7-§7.8.

Past tense: See Tense.

Patient: A particular type of theta role, denoting an entity which suffers the consequences of some action. For example, in a sentence such as 'John killed Harry', Harry is the patient argument of the verb kill. The more recent term theme is used in this book in place of the more traditional term patient. See §7.5.

Percolation: An operation by which a feature which is attached to one category comes to be attached to another category higher up in the structure. See §6.7.

PERF: Perfect aspect auxiliary (e.g. have in 'He may have left'). See Aspect.

Perfect: In one sense of the word, in a sentence like 'He has gone home', has is an auxiliary marking perfect aspect, and gone is a perfect participle: see Aspect, Participle. In a different sense, by claiming that language is a perfect system, Chomsky means that the syntactic component of the grammar produces structures which are 'perfect' in the sense that they are precisely of the form required to interface with speech and thought systems.

Performance: A term which denotes observed language behaviour -- e.g. the kind of things people actually say when they speak a language, and what meanings they assign to sentences produced by themselves or other people. Performance can be impaired by factors such as tiredness or drunkenness, giving rise to performance errors. Performance is contrasted with competence (which denotes fluent native speakers' knowledge of the grammar of their native language). See §1.3.

PERFP: Phrase headed by a perfect aspect auxiliary like have.

Periphery: The periphery of a clause is that part of the clause structure which is positioned above TP -- in other words the edge of CP (or its counterpart in a split CP system like that discussed in §9.2-§9.3).

Pers: An abbreviation of Person.

Person: In traditional grammar, English is said to have three grammatical persons. A first person expression (e.g. I/we) is one whose reference includes the speaker(s); a second person expression (e.g. you) is one which excludes the speaker(s) but includes the addressee(s) (i.e. the person or people being spoken to); a third person expression (e.g. he/she/it/they) is one whose reference excludes both the speaker(s) and the addressee(s) -- i.e. an expression which refers to someone or something other than the speaker(s) or addressee(s).

Personal pronouns: These are pronouns which carry inherent person properties -- i.e. first pronouns such as I/we, second person pronouns such as you, and third person pronouns such as he/she/it/they. See Person.

PF(-representation): (A representation of the) Phonetic Form (of an expression). See Representation. The PF-component of a grammar is the component which converts the syntactic structures generated by the computational component of the grammar into PF-representations, via a series of morphological and phonological operations. A PF-clitic is a clitic which attaches to another item in the PF-component (not in the syntax), so that the two form a single phonetic word, but are not a single word in the syntax.

P-feature:A feature (e.g. a topic-, focus- or wh-feature) which attracts a constituent to move to the periphery of a clause.

Phase: In work outlined in chapter 10, Chomsky argues that syntactic structures are build up in phases (phases including complementiser phrases and transitive verb phrases), and that once a phase has been produced, the domain/complement of the head of the phase undergoes transfer to the PF component and the semantic component, and thereby becomes impenetrable to further operations in the syntax.

Phase Impenetrability Condition: A constraint on grammatical operations which specifies that the domain/complement of a phase head is impenetrable/inaccessible to an external probe (i.e. to a c-commanding probe which lies outside relevant phase). See §8.5 and §10.2.

Phi-features/f-features: Person and number features (and, in languages which have grammatical gender, gender features as well).

Phonetic representation: see Representation.

Phonological features: features used to describe sound properties. For example, the difference between nasal and oral sounds might be described in terms of the feature [±NASAL].

Phrase: The term phrase is used to denote an expression larger than a word which is a maximal projection: see Projection. In traditional grammar, the term refers strictly to non-clausal expressions (Hence, 'reading a book' is a phrase, but 'He is reading a book' is a clause, not a phrase). However, in more recent work, clauses are analysed as types of phrases: e.g. 'He will resign' is a tense phrase (TP), and 'That he will resign' is a complementiser phrase (CP). See §3.3 and §3.4.

Phrase-marker: A tree diagram used to represent the syntactic structure of a phrase or sentence. See §3.7.

Phrase structure: See Constituent Structure.

PIC: See Phase Impenetrability Condition.

Pied-Piping: A process by which a moved constituent drags one or more other constituents along with it when it moves. For example, if we compare a sentence like 'Who were you talking to?' with 'To whom were you talking?', we might say that in both cases the pronoun who is moved to the front of the sentence, but that in the second sentence the preposition to is pied-piped along with the pronoun who. See §6.7.

PL: See Plural.

Plural: A plural expression is one which denotes more than one entity (e.g. these cars is a plural expression, whereas this car is a singular expression).

P-marker: See Phrase-marker.

Polarity expression: A word or phrase (e.g. a word like ever or a phrase like at all or care a damn) which has an inherent affective polarity, and hence is restricted to occurring within the scope of an affective (e.g. negative, interrogative or conditional) constituent. See Affective.

Positive evidence: In discussions of child language acquisition, this expression denotes evidence based on the actual occurrence of certain types of structure in the child's speech input. For example, hearing an adult say Open it gives a child positive evidence thatverbs are canonically positioned before their complements in English See §1.8.

Possessive: A possessive structure is one which indicates possession: the term is most commonly used in relation to expressions like 'John's book' or 'his book' (where the italicised expressions denote the person who possesses the book). The italicised possessor in each structure is said to be genitive in case.

Postposition: A type of word which is the counterpart of a preposition in languages which position prepositions after their complements. See Adposition.

Postulate: A postulate is a theoretical assumption or hypothesis; to postulate is to hypothesise.

PP: See Prepositional Phrase.

PPT: See Principles and Parameters Theory.

Pragmatics: The study of how nonlinguistic knowledge is integrated with linguistic knowledge in our use of language.

Pr: An abbreviation for the feature [present-tense]. See Tense.

Precede(nce): To say that one constituent precedes another is to say that it is positioned to its left (on the printed page) and that neither constituent contains the other. Precedence is left-to-right linear ordering.

Preclausal: A preclausal expression is one which is positioned in front of a clause.

Predicate: See Argument, Predicative.

Predicate-Internal Argument Hypothesis: The hypothesis that all the arguments of a predicate originate within a projection of the predicate. See §7.4.

Predication: The process by which a predicate is combined with a subject in order to form a proposition. For example, in a sentence such as 'Boris likes vodka', the property of liking vodka is said to be predicated of Boris.

Predicative: In structures such as 'John is in Paris/very silly/a liar', the italicised expressions are said to be predicative in that they predicate the property of being in Paris/being very silly/being a liar of John (i.e. they attribute the relevant property to John). A nominal like a liar when used predicatively is also referred to as a predicate nominal.

Prefix: see Affix.

Prenominal: A prenominal expression is one which is positioned in front of a noun expression. For example, both a and red are prenominal in an expression such as a red car.

Preposing: an informal term to indicate a movement operation by which a constituent is moved further to the left within a phrase or sentence.

Preposition: A preposition is a word generally used to express location, manner, etc. -- e.g. at/in/on/under/ by/with/from/against/down etc. In English, it is a characteristic property of prepositions that they are invariable, and that they can generally be modified by straight/right. Where a preposition has a nominal or pronominal complement, it is said to be transitive; where it has no complement, it is said to be intransitive. Hence down is a transitive preposition in 'He fell down the stairs, but an intransitive preposition in 'He fell down'.

Prepositional Phrase: A phrase whose head is a preposition -- e.g. in town, on Sunday, to the market, for someone else, etc.

Preposition stranding: See Stranding.

Pres/Present tense: See Tense.

Principles: Principles of Universal Grammar/UG principles describe potentially universal properties of natural language grammars: the terms condition and constraint are also used with much the same meaning as the term principles. Potential principles of Universal Grammar include the Headedness Principle, Binary Principle, Attract Closest Principle and Phase Impenetrability Principle.

Principles-and-Parameters Theory:This theory, developed in Chomsky (1981) and much subsequent work, claims that natural language grammars incorporate not only a set of innate universal principles which account for those aspects of grammar which are common to all languages, but also a set of parameters which account for those aspects of grammar which vary from one language to another. See Principles and Parameters.

PRN: See Pronoun.

PRO: A null-case pronoun (known informally as 'big PRO', because it is written in capital letters) which represents the understood subject of an infinitive complement of a control predicate, e.g. in a structure such as 'John decided PRO to leave'. See §4.2.

pro: A null nominative-case pronoun (known informally as 'little pro', because it is written in lower-case letters) which represents the understood null subject of a finite clause in a null subject language. A Shakespearean sentence such as 'Wilt come?' (= 'Will you come?', Stephano, The Tempest, III.ii) could be argued to have a null pro subject, and hence to have the structure 'Wilt pro come?', with pro having essentially the same interpretation as the second person singular pronoun thou. See §4.2.

Probe: When a head is merged with its complement, it serves as a probe which searches for a matching goal within its complement (i.e. an expression which it can agree with). See §8.2.

Proform: A proform is an expression (typically a word) which has no specific content of its own, but which derives its content from its antecedent. For example, in a sentence such as 'Mary may have been tired, but she didn't seem so', the antecedent of the word so is the adjective tired: hence so (in the use illustrated here) can be said to be an adjectival proform.

PROG: Progressive aspect auxiliary (e.g. be in 'He may be waiting for you'). See Aspect.

Progressive: See Aspect.

PROGP: Progressive phrase -- i.e. a phrase headed by a PROG/progressive auxiliary constituent -- e.g. be waiting for you in 'He may be waiting for you'.

Project(ion): A projection is a constituent containing a head word. For example, a noun phrase such as students of Linguistics is a projection of its head noun students (equivalently, we can say that the noun students here projects into the noun phrase students of linguistics). A minimal projection is a constituent which is not a projection of some other constituent: hence, heads (i.e. words) are minimal projections. An intermediate projection is a constituent which is larger than a word, but smaller than a phrase (e.g. is working in 'He is working'). A maximal projection is a constituent which is not contained within any larger constituent with the same head. So, for example, in a sentence like 'I've heard several accounts of what happened', the italicised noun phrase expression accounts of what happened is a maximal projection, since it is a projection of the noun accounts but is not contained within any larger projection of the noun accounts (if we assume that several accounts of what happened is a quantifier phrase headed by the quantifier several). By contrast, in a sentence such as 'I've heard several accounts', the italicised noun books is both a minimal projection (by virtue of the fact that it is not a projection of some other head) and a maximal projection (by virtue of the fact that it is not contained within any larger structure which has the same head noun). The Projection Principle is a UG principle suggested in earlier work by Chomsky (1981, p.29) which requires that the properties of lexical items should remain constant throughout the derivation: a related principle is the Inclusiveness Condition.

Pronominal: A pronominal (expression) is a non-anaphoric pronoun like him which obeys Principle B of Binding Theory (and hence must not refer to any higher expression within the closest TP most immediately containing it). See Exercise VI.

Pronoun: The word pronoun is composed of the two morphemes -- namely pro (meaning 'on behalf of') and noun: hence, a pronoun is traditionally said to be a word used in place of a noun expression. Pronouns differ from nouns in that they have no intrinsic descriptive content, and so are functors. There are a range of different types of pronoun found in English, including the pronominal noun one(s) used in sentences like 'I'll take the red one(s)', pronominal quantifiers like any in 'I couldn't find any', and pronominal determiners like this in 'This is hard'. The term pronoun is most frequently used to indicate a class of items (like he/him/his) traditionally referred to as personal pronouns (though analysed in much recent work as pronominal determiners). See §2.6.

Proper noun: see Noun.

Proposition: This is a term used to describe the semantic content (i.e. meaning) of a sentence. For example, we might say that the sentence 'Does John smoke?' questions the truth of the proposition that 'John smokes'.

Pseudocleft sentence: A sentence such as 'What he hated most was syntax', where syntax is said to occupy focus position within the overall sentence.

Q: In one use, an abbreviation for quantifier; in another use, an abbreviation for question particle.

Quantifier: A quantifier is a special type of determiner used to denote quantity. Typical quantifiers include the universal quantifiers all/both, the distributive quantifiers each/every, the existential/partitive quantifiers some/any, etc.

Quantifier floating: See Floating quantifier.

QP/Quantifier Phrase: A phrase whose head is a quantifier -- e.g. an expression such as many people, or few of the students.

Q-pronoun: A pronoun like many in 'I don't eat many' which seems to be a pronominal quantifier.

Question: This refers to a type of sentence which is used to ask whether something is true, or to ask about the identity of some entity. See Yes-no question and Wh-question.

Question operator: The analysis of yes-no questions presented in §6.8 suggests that they contain a null interrogative operator (i.e. a null counterpart of whether).

Quirky case: See Case.

Raising (predicate): The term raising is used in two senses. In its most general sense, it denotes any movement operation which involves moving some constituent from a 'lower' to a 'higher' position in a structure. However, it also has a more specific sense, indicating a particular kind of A movement operation by which an expression is moved from being the subject of one clause to becoming the subject of another. The term raising predicate denotes a word like seem whose subject is raised out of subject position in a complement clause to become subject of the seem clause. See §7.9 and §7.10.

Reciprocal: See Anaphor.

Reduced: a reduced form is a form of a word which has lost one or more of its segments (i.e. vowel/consonants), and/or which contains a vowel which loses its defining characteristics and is realised as a neutral vowel like schwa /ə/. For example, the auxiliary have has the full (unreduced) form /hæv/ when stressed, but has the various reduced forms /hæv/, /əv/ and /v/ when unstressed.

Reference/Referential/Referring: The reference of an expression is the entity (e.g. object, concept, state of affairs) in the external world to which it refers. A referential/referring expression is one which refers to such an entity; conversely, a nonreferential expression is one which does not refer to any such entity. For example the second there in a sentence such as 'There was nobody there' is referential (it can be paraphrased as 'in that place'), whereas the first there is nonreferential and so cannot have its reference questioned by where? (cf. *'Where was nobody there?).

Reflexive: See Anaphor.

Relative: In a sentence such as 'He's someone [who you can trust]', the bracketed clause is said to be a relative clause because it 'relates to' (i.e. modifies, or restricts the reference of) the pronoun someone. The pronoun who which introduces the clause is said to be a relative pronoun, since it 'relates to' the expression someone (in the sense that someone is the antecedent of who). The Relative Pronoun Spellout Condition/RPSC specifies that a relative pronoun is given a null spellout if it occupies the specifier position within CP (optionally in a finite clause, obligatorily in a non-finite clause). See §6.9 and §6.10 for a general discussion of relative clauses. On the distinction between appositive/free/restrictive relative clauses, see the discussion of examples (127-131) in §6.11.

Remerger Constraint: A grammatical principle which specifies that no head can be re-merged with a constituent with which it has already been merged.

Representation: A syntactic representation (or structural representation) is a notation/device (typically, a tree diagram or labelled bracketing) used to represent the syntactic structure of an expression: a semantic representation is a representation of linguistic aspects of the meaning of an expression; a

PF-representation is a representation of the phonetic form of an expression.

Restrictive: A restrictive theory is one which imposes strong constraints on the types of structures and operations found in natural language grammars. See §1.3. In a different use of the word, the italicised clause in a sentence like 'I saw the man who they arrested on TV' is a restrictive relative clause in the sense that it restricts the class of men being referred to in the sentence to the one they arrested.

Resultative: A verb such as paint in a sentence such as 'John painted his house pink' is said to be a resultative verb in that the result of the action of painting is that the house becomes pink. See §9.5.

R-expression: A referring expression containing a noun, like John or the man next door. See ex.VI.

Rich: To say that a language has a rich system of agreement inflections is to say that it has a large number of inflectional affixes which attach to verbs and distinctively mark first/second/third person forms and singular/plural forms, with little syncretism; to say that a language has an impoverished/poor system of agreement inflections is to say that it has only a small number of such inflections, and that these do not clearly and consistently differentiate first/second/third person forms and singular/plural forms.

Root: The root of a tree diagram is the topmost node in the tree. Hence, a root clause is a free-standing clause, i.e. a clause which is not contained within any other expression. In traditional grammar, a root clause is termed a principal clause, independent clause or main clause. By contrast, an embedded clause is a clause which is contained within some larger expression; and a complement clause is an (embedded) clause which is used as the complement of some item. So, in a sentence such as 'I think he loves you', the think clause (i.e. the expression I think he loves you) is a root clause, whereas the loves clause (i.e. the expression he loves you) is an embedded clause. Moreover, the loves clause is also a complement clause, since it serves as the complement of the verb think.

RPSC: Relative Pronoun Spellout Condition. See Relative.

S/S '/S-bar: Category label used in work in the 1960s and 1970s to designate a sentence or clause. See §3.3.

Scope: The scope of an expression is the range of constituents which it modifies or which fall within (what we might call informally) its 'sphere of influence'. For example, a sentence like He cannot be telling the truth has a meaning paraphraseable as 'It is not possible that he is telling the truth', and in such a sentence the negative not is said to have scope over the modal auxiliary can (and conversely can is said to fall within the scope of not, or to have narrow scope with respect to not). By contrast, a sentence such as You mustn't tell lies has a meaning paraphraseable as 'It is necessary that you not tell lies', and in such a sentence, the auxiliary must is said to have scope over (or to have wide scope with respect to) the negative particle n't.

SCP: See Strict Cyclicity Principle.

SE: Standard English

Second person: See Person.

Select(ion)/Selectional: When a word has a particular type of complement, it is said to select (i.e. 'take' or 'allow') the relevant type of complement (and the relevant phenomenon is referred to as complement-selection). For example, we can say that the word expect has the selectional property that it can select an infinitive complement (e.g. in structures like 'They expect to win').

Semantics/Semantic component: Semantics is the study of linguistic aspects of meaning. The semantic component of the grammar is the component which maps syntactic structures into semantic representations. See Representation.

Sentence: This term is usually used to denote a root clause -- i.e. a free-standing clause which is not contained within some larger expression. See Root.

Sentence fragment: See Fragment.

SG: An abbreviation for singular.

Shakespeare: Shakespeare's plays were written between (around) 1590 and 1620, and are examples of Early Modern English/Elizabethan English (though some have suggested that Shakespeare's English is rather conservative, and hence is more representative of a slightly earlier stage of English).

Shell. This term is used in connection with the idea (discussed in §9.4-§9.8) that verb phrases comprise two different projections, an outer vP shell headed by a light verb, and an inner VP core headed by a lexical verb.

Silent: See Null.

Simple sentence: One which contains a single clause.

Singular: A singular expression is one which denotes a single entity (e.g. this car is a singular expression, whereas these cars is a plural expression).

Sister: Two nodes are sisters if they have the same mother (i.e. if they are directly merged with each other at some stage of derivation). See §3.7.

Small clause: see Clause.

Source: A term used in the analysis of semantic/thematic roles to denote the entity from which something moves -- e.g. the italicised expression in 'John returned from Paris'. See §7.5.

Spec: See Specifier. Terms like spec-CP/spec-TP/spec-VP (etc.) denote the specifier position within CP/TP/VP (etc.).

Specification: The specification of an item is the set of features used to describe its properties.

Specifier: The grammatical function fulfilled by certain types of constituent which precede the head of their containing phrase. For example, in a sentence such as 'John is working', John is superficially the specifier (and subject) of is working. In a sentence such as 'What did John do?' what is superficially the specifier of the CP headed by a C constituent containing the inverted auxiliary did. In a phrase such as 'straight through the window', straight is the specifier of the PP headed by the preposition through.

Specifier-first: A specifier-first structure is one which has its specifier positioned in front of its head.

Spellout: The point in a derivation at which part of a syntactic structure is sent to the PF component to be mapped into a PF-representation (i.e. a representation of its phonetic form). To say that an item has a null spellout isto say that it is 'silent' and so has a null phonetic form.

Split CP/Split NP/Split VP: Work by Luigi Rizzi discussed in §9.2-§9.3 has suggested that CP can be split into a number of distinct projections, including a Force Phrase, Focus Phrase, Topic Phrase and Finiteness Phrase. Similarly, work by Larson, Hale and Chomsky outlined in §9.4-§9.8 has suggested that verb phrases can be split into two different projections, an outer vP shall headed by a light verb, and an inner VP core headed by a lexical verb. In §9.9, a parallel split projection analysis of noun phrases is outlined. On split spellout, see Discontinuous spellout.

Stack(ing): To say (e.g.) that prenominal adjectives can be stacked in front of a noun is to say that we can have an indefinitely large number of adjectives positioned in front of a noun (e.g. 'a big, red, juicy, ripe apple').

Star: An asterisk (*) used in front of an expression to indicate that the expression is ungrammatical.

Stem: The stem of a word is the form to which inflectional affixes are added. So, a verb form like going comprises the stem go and the inflectional suffix -ing.

Strand/Stranded/Stranding: A stranded (or orphaned) preposition is one which has been separated from its complement (by movement of the complement). For example, in an echo question like 'You're waiting for who?', the preposition for has not been stranded, since it is immediately followed by its complement who. But in 'Who are you waiting for?' the preposition for has been stranded or orphaned, in that it has been separated from its complement who: the relevant phenomenon is termed preposition stranding. The Stranding Constraint specifies that in formal styles of English, a preposition cannot be separated from its complement thereby stranded.

Strict Cyclicity Principle: A UG principle which specifies that a cyclic operation can only affect the overall head H of a structure and some other constituent within the structure headed by H. See §5.7.

String: A continuous sequence of words contained within the same phrase or sentence. For example, in the sentence 'They hate syntax', the sequences They hate, hate syntax and They hate syntax are all strings -- but They syntax is not. Note that a string need not be a constituent.

Strong: A strong head is one which can attract (i.e. trigger movement of) another head; a weak head is one which cannot trigger movement. For example, C in an interrogative main clause is strong in present-day English, and so attracts an auxiliary to move from T to C -- e.g. in sentences like Can you speak French? On an entirely different use of these terms in the expressions weak/strong genitive pronoun, see Case.

Structural: See Case, Representation.

Structure: See Constituent Structure.

Stylistic variation: Variation correlated with stylistic factors. For example, whom is used in formal styles and who in other styles in sentences like 'He is someone whom/who I admire greatly'.

Subarray: See Array.

Subject: The (superficial structural) subject of a clause is a noun or pronoun expression which is normally positioned between a complementiser and an (auxiliary or nonauxiliary) verb. Syntactic characteristics of subjects include the fact that they can trigger agreement with auxiliaries (as in 'The president is lying', where the auxiliary is agrees with the subject the president), and they can be inverted with auxiliaries in main clause questions (as in 'Is the president lying?', where the auxiliary is has been inverted with the subject the president).

Subject control predicate: See Control.

Subjunctive: In a (formal style) sentence such as 'The judge ordered that he be detained indefinitely', the passive auxiliary verb be is traditionally said to be in the subjunctive mood, since although it has exactly the same form as the infinitive form be (e.g. in infinitive structures such as 'To be or not to be -- that is the question'), it has a nominative subject he, and hence is a finite verb form. In present-day spoken English, constructions containing subjunctive verbs are generally avoided, as they are felt to be archaic or excessively formal in style by many speakers. See Mood.

Substantive: A substantive category is a category (like noun, verb, adjective, adverb, preposition) whose members are contentives (i.e. items with idiosyncratic descriptive content). See §2.4.

Substitution: A technique used to determine the category which a given expression belongs to. An expression belongs to a given type of category if it can be substituted (i.e. replaced) in phrases or sentences like that in which it occurs by another expression which clearly belongs to the category in question. For example, we might say that clearer is an adverb in 'John speaks clearer than you' because it can be replaced by the adverbial expression more clearly. See §2.3.

Successive-cyclic movement: Movement in a succession of short steps. On the claim that A-movement is successive-cyclic, see §8.9. On the claim that wh-movement is successive cyclic, see ch.10.

Suffix: see Affix.

Superiority: Wh-questions are said to show a superiority effect in the sense that in a question containing more than one wh-expression, it is the superior (i.e. highest) wh-expression which moves to the front of the interrogative clause. See §6.4.

Superlative: The superlative is a form of an adjective/adverb (typically carrying the suffix -est) used to mark the highest value for a particular property in comparison with others. For example, hardest is the superlative form of hard in 'John is the hardest worker because he works hardest'.

Syncretise/Syncretism: In work on split CP projections discussed in §9.3, Rizzi has claimed that although Force and Finiteness are projected on separate heads when some (topicalised or focused) constituent intervenes between them, they are syncretised (i.e. collapsed/conflated) into a single head carrying both Force and Finiteness features when no constituent intervenes between them.

Syntactic representation; see Representation.

Syntax: The component of a grammar which determines how words are combined together to form phrases and sentences.

T: A tense-marking constituent containing either a tensed auxiliary, or an abstract tense affix Tns, or a non-finite tense particle like infinitival to. T-to-C movement is movement of an auxiliary or nonauxiliary verb from the head T position of TP into the head C position of CP -- as with the italicised inverted auxiliary in 'Is it raining?'

Taxonomy: A taxonomy is a classificatory system. A taxonomic theory of language is one which classifies constituents into different types. See §1.2.

Tag: A string usually consisting of an auxiliary and a subject pronoun which is 'tagged' onto the end of a sentence. Thus, the italicised string is the tag in the following: 'The president isn't underestimating his opponents, is he?', and the overall sentence is known as a tag question/tag sentence.

Tense: Finite auxiliary and main verbs in English show a binary (two-way) tense contrast, traditionally said to be between present tense forms and past tense forms. Thus, in 'John hates syntax', hates is a present tense verb form, whereas in 'John hated syntax', hated is a past tense verb form (An alternative classification which many linguists prefer is into [±PAST] verb forms, so that hated is [+PAST], and hates [-PAST]). This present/past tense distinction correlates (to some extent) with time-reference, so that (e.g.) past tense verbs typically describe an event taking place in the past, whereas present-tense verbs typically describe an event taking place in the present (or future). However, the correlation is an imperfect one, since e.g. in a sentence such as 'I might go there tomorrow', the auxiliary might carries the past tense inflection -t (found on past tense main verbs like left) but does not denote past time.

Tensed: A tensed (auxiliary or nonauxiliary) verb-form is one which carries (present/past) tense -- e.g. is, will, could, hates, went, etc. By extension, a tensed clause is one containing a tensed auxiliary or main verb. See Tense.

Terminal node: A node at the bottom of a tree.

Ternary: Three-way. For example, person properties might be described in terms of a ternary (three-valued) feature such as [1/2/3-Pers], with first person pronouns like we being [1-Pers], second person pronouns like you being [2-Pers], and third person pronouns like they being [3-Pers]. A ternary-branching constituent is one which has three daughters.

Thematic: On Thematic role, see Theta-role. On the Thematic Hierarchy which specifies where an argument carrying a given theta-role should be merged, see ex. XVIII. On the (different) Thematic Hierarchy which constrains how passivisation works, see §7.5.

Theme: The name of a specific theta-role (sometimes also termed patient) representing the entity undergoing the effect of some action (e.g. Harry in 'William teased Harry').

Theory of grammar: A theory which specifies the types of categories, relations, operations and principles found in natural language grammars. See §1.3.

Theta mark/θ-mark: To say that a predicate theta-marks its arguments is to say that it determines the theta role played by its arguments. A predicate is said to directly theta-mark its complement(s), and to indirectly theta-mark its subject. See §7.5.

Theta-role/θ-role: The semantic role played by an argument in relation to its predicate (e.g. agent, theme, goal, etc.). For example, in a sentence like William teased Harry, the verb tease assigns the θ-role agent to its subject William and the theta-role theme to its complement Harry. See §7.5.

Theta criterion/θ-criterion: A principle of Universal Grammar which specifies that each argument should bear one and only one theta-role, and that each theta role associated with a given predicate should be assigned to one and only one argument. See §7.5.

Third Person: See Person.

Three-place predicate: A predicate (typically a verb) which takes three arguments -- e.g. the verb give in 'John gave Mary something' (where the three arguments of give are John, Mary and something).

Tns: An abstract affix which carries tense and agreement properties. See §4.4.

Top/Topic/Topicalisation/TopP: In a dialogue such as the following:

speaker a: I've been having problems with the FantasySyntax seminar

speaker b: That kind of course, very few students seem to be able to get their heads round

the italicised expression that kind of course can be said to be the topic of the sentence, in the sense that it refers back to the Fantasy Syntax seminar mentioned by the previous speaker. An expression which represents 'old' or 'familiar' information in this way is said to be a topic. The movement operation by which the italicised expression moves from being the complement of the preposition round to the front of the overall sentence is traditionally termed topicalisation. In work by Luigi Rizzi on split CP projections discussed in §9.2, topic expressions which occur at the beginning of clauses are said to be contained within a TopP 'Topic Phrase' projection, headed by an abstract Top (= 'Topic') constituent.

TP: Tense projection/Tense phrase -- i.e. phrase headed by a tense-marked auxiliary or an abstract tense morpheme Tns. See §3.2-§3.3.

Trace (theory): A trace of a moved constituent is a null copy left behind (as a result of movement) in each position out of which a constituent moves. Trace theory is a theory which posits that moved constituents leave behind a trace copy in each position out of which they move. See §5.3, §6.3 and §7.2.

Transfer: See Phase.

Transitive: A word is traditionally said to be transitive (in a given use) if it assigns accusative case to a noun or pronoun expression which it c-commands. So, likes in 'John likes him' is a transitive verb, since it assigns accusative case to its complement him. Likewise, infinitival for is a transitive complementiser, since it assigns accusative case to the subject of its infinitive complement (cf. 'I'm keen [for him to participate more actively]'). See §4.9.

Tree (diagram): A form of graph used to represent the syntactic structure of a phrase or sentence.

Truncate/Truncation: Truncation is an operation by which a sentence is shortened by omitting one or more unstressed words at the beginning. For example, we can truncate a question like Are you going anywhere nice on holiday? by omitting are to form You going anywhere nice on holiday? and can further truncate the sentence by omitting you to give Going anywhere nice on holiday?

T-to-C movement: See T.

Two-place predicate: A predicate which has two arguments -- e.g. tease in 'William teased Harry' where the two arguments of the predicate tease are William and Harry. See Argument.

UG: see Universal Grammar.

Unaccusative: An unaccusative predicate is a word like come whose apparent 'subject' originates as its complement. See §7.6.

Unary-branching. A unary-branching node is one which has a single daughter.

Unbound: A constituent is unbound if it has no appropriate antecedent in an appropriate position within a given structure. For example, himself is unbound in a sentence such as *'She helped himself', since she is not an appropriate antecedent for himself, and there is no other appropriate antecedent for himself anywhere within the sentence.

Unergative: An unergative predicate is a verb like groan in a sentence such as 'He was groaning' which has an agent subject but no overt object (though may have an incorporated object: see §9.6).

Ungradable: see Gradable.

Ungrammatical: see Grammatical.

Uniformity of Theta Assignment Hypothesis/UTAH: A hypothesis (developed by Baker 1988) which maintains that each theta-role assigned by a particular (kind of) predicate is canonically associated with a specific syntactic position: e.g. spec-vP is the canonical position associated with an agent argument.

Uninterpretable: See Interpretable.

Universal Grammar: Those aspects of grammar which are universal, and which are assumed by Chomsky to be part of the innate knowledge which a child is born with.

Universality: A criterion of adequacy for a theory of grammar, requiring that the theory be applicable to all natural languages. See §1.3.

Unreduced: See Reduced.

Unspecified: To say that a constituent is unspecified for a given feature is to say that it lacks the relevant feature.

Unvalued: See Value.

UTAH: See Uniformity of Theta Assignment Hypothesis.

V: See Verb.

v: See Light verb

Value: In relation to a feature such as [Singular-Number], number is said to be an attribute (in the sense that it is the property being described) and singular its value. To value a feature is to assign it a value. For example, a finite auxiliary enters the derivation with its person and number features unvalued (i.e. not assigned any value), and these are then valued via agreement with the subject in the course of the derivation. See §8.3.

Variety: A particular (e.g. geographical or social) form of a language.

Verb: A category of word which has the morphological property that it can carry a specific range of inflections (e.g. the verb show can carry past tense -d, third person singular present tense -s, perfect -n and progressive -ing, giving rise to shows/showed/shown/showing), and the syntactic property that it can head the complement of infinitival to (cf. 'Do you want to show me?') See §2.2 and §2.3. On Verb movement, see V-to-T movement.

Verb phrase: a phrase which is headed by a verb -- e.g. the italicised phrase in 'They will help you'. See ch.3.

V-to-T movement: Movement of a verb out of the head V position in VP into the head T position in TP. See §5.4.

Vocative: A vocative expression is one which is used to address one or more individuals, and which is set off in a separate tone-group at the beginning or end of the sentence (marked in the spelling by the use of a comma). So, for example, Fred is a vocative expression in 'Fred, can you give me a hand?' and similarly, you two is a vocative expression in 'Come here, you two!'

Voice: see Active.

VP/VPISH: See Verb Phrase. A VP-adverb is an adverb (like perfectly) which adjoins to a projection of a lexical verb (V). The VP-Internal Subject Hypothesis/VPISH is the hypothesis that subjects originate internally within VP/vp: see ch. 7.

vP: a phrase (maximal projection) headed by a light verb. A vP-adverb is an adverb which adjoins to a projection of a light verb (v).

Weak: See Strong.

Wh: This is widely used as a feature carried by constituents which undergo wh-movement (hence e.g. the relative pronoun who in someone who I think is lying can be described as a wh-pronoun, as can the interrogative pronoun who in Who are you waiting for? and the exclamative quantifier what in What fun we had!

Wh-copying: A phenomenon whereby a moved wh-expression leaves behind an overt copy of itself when it moves -- as with movement of who in a Child English question such as Who do you think who chased the cat?

Wh-expression: an expression containing a wh-word (i.e. containing a word carrying a [wh] feature).

Wh-island constraint: A constraint which specifies that wh-clauses (i.e. clauses beginning with a wh-expression) are islands, so that no constituent can be moved out of a wh-clause.

Wh-movement: A type of movement operation whereby a wh-expression is moved to the front of a particular type of structure (e.g. to the front of the overall sentence in 'Where has he gone?'). See ch.6.

Wh-parameter: A parameter whose setting determines whether wh-expressions are (or are not) moved to the front of an appropriate type of clause (especially in relation to wh-questions). See §1.6.

Wh-phrase: A phrase containing a wh-word.

Wh-question: A question which contains a wh-word, e.g. 'What are you doing?'

Wh-word: A word which begins with wh (e.g. who/what/which/where/when/why), or which has a similar syntax to wh-words (e.g. how).

Word order: the linear sequencing (left-to-right ordering) of words within a phrase or sentence.

Yes-no question: A question to which 'Yes;' or 'No' would be an appropriate answer -- e.g. 'Is it raining?'