Relations in minimalism

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2 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, after reviewing two distinct approaches to syntactic relations, Epstein et al.'s (1998) derivational approach and Chomsky's (2000) compositional approach, I show that, given Epstein, Kitahara, and Seely's (2010) analysis of structure-building (based on Merge (X, Y) => {X, Y}), the main empirical difference between these two approaches disappears. I then discuss Chomsky's (2007, 2008) suggestion that c-command is eliminable in favor of probe-goal and minimal search conditions. If probe-goal and minimal search conditions are sufficient to characterize not only the empirically desirable aspects of c-command, but also other syntactically significant relations, then any further characterization of such relations appears to be superfluous.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalEnglish Linguistics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Merge
  • c-command
  • minimal search
  • probe-goal
  • syntactic relations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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