::Binding (linguistics)


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In linguistics, binding refers to the distribution of anaphoric elements (pronouns and other pro-forms). A pronoun (a "bindee") usually has an antecedent (a "binder") in context. The goal of binding theory is to identify the syntactic relationship that can or must hold between a given pronoun or noun and its antecedent (or postcedent), e.g. Johni said hei would help vs. *Hei said Johni would help (the second sentence is not possible if he is intended to mean John). The idea that there should be a specialized, coherent theory dealing with this sort of phenomena originated in work in Transformational Grammar in the 1970s. This work culminated in Government and Binding Theory in the 1980s.<ref>Linguistics dictionaries tend to define binding with reference to the Government and Binding framework. See for instance Crystal (1997:43).</ref> The binding theory that became established at that time is still considered a reference point, though its validity is no longer accepted. Many theories of syntax now have a subtheory that addresses binding phenomena. These phenomena exist in all languages, although the behavior of binding can vary in interesting and nuanced ways across languages, even across languages that are closely related.

Binding (linguistics) sections
Intro  Some basic examples and questions  Binding domains  Linear order  Configuration vs. function  The traditional binding theory: Conditions A, B, and C  See also  Notes  Literature  

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