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date: 19 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Case theory in government-binding/minimalism is about the distribution of noun phrases (NPs), rather than morphological form per se. In this theory, ‘abstract case’ plays a central role in being one of the driving forces of movement, uniting a variety of transformations (passive, raising, unaccusative, etc.), and in regulating alternations between overt and unpronounced subjects in non-finite clauses. In the original presentation of case theory in Chomsky (1980), abstract Case is related to the morphological property case via the hypothesis that the formal features that regulate the syntactic distribution of NPs are the same features that are overtly realised as case morphology in some languages. This article explores case theory in government-binding, case filter, the notion of government, the transition from government-binding to minimalism, and topics in case theory within government-binding/minimalism such as null case, ergativity, and case typology.

Keywords: case theory, government-binding, minimalism, noun phrases, abstract case, government, null case, ergativity, case typology

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