Linearization of Chains and Sideward Movement

From Linguistic Inquiry Monographs

Linearization of Chains and Sideward Movement

By Jairo Nunes





This highly original monograph treats movement operations within the Minimalist Program. Jairo Nunes argues that traces are not grammatical primitives and that their properties follow from deeper features of the system, and, in particular, that the phonetic realization of traces is determined by linearization computations coupled with economy conditions regarding deletion. He proposes a version of the copy theory of movement according to which movement must be construed as a description of the interaction of the independent operations Copy, Merge, Form Chain, and Chain Reduction. Empirical evidence to support this claim includes instances of "sideward movement" between subtrees in a derivation. According to this analysis, the linearization of chains in the phonological component constrains sideward movement so that it is possible to account for standard properties of multiple gap constructions, including parasitic gap and ATB constructions, without construction-specific operations or principles that are not independently motivated. Theoretical linguists will find Linearization of Chains and Sideward Movement of great interest both theoretically and empirically. The version of the copy theory of movement proposed by Nunes will stir debate and shape future research in the field.


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262140850 224 pp. | 6 in x 9 in


$26.00 X ISBN: 9780262640558 224 pp. | 6 in x 9 in


  • Nunes is driven by the desire to examine linguistic phenomena at the deepest level. Gathering ideas from the Minimalist Program and Kayne's Linear Correspondence Axiom, he explains with great insight why movement structures have their particular form, with rich empirical consequences for many languages.

    David W. Lightfoot

    Dean, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Georgetown University

  • This book is a glorious example of high theory and its rich empirical implications. I consider it an example of syntactic analysis at its best. Every serious syntactician will have to read and react to this work. It is the most original and interesting work on syntax that I have read in recent years.–

    Norbert Hornstein

    Professor of Linguistics, University of Maryland College Park