Linguistic Variation Yearbook 2007
  • ISSN 1568-1483
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9900
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A restrictive theory of syntax needs both a restrictive theory of structures and a restrictive theory of operations.Much recent effort has gone into narrowing the class of allowable structures and a lot has been learned. This paper proposes that operations are linearly ordered on an essentially constituent by constituent basis. A universal constraint on the ordering of operations in language is proposed whose function is to fix the order in which operations apply. This constraint is deployed using a generalized prohibition against improper movement. The proposal captures some but not all effects of what has traditionally been called the freezing principle. It is argued that empirically exactly the right cut is made. It is further argued that the proposal rules out an entire class of remnant movement derivations, including the analysis of cross-serial dependencies in Nilsen (2003) and the analysis of order-preservation in Koopman and Szabolcsi (2000).


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