The Copy Theory

Jairo Nunes

in The Oxford Handbook of Linguistic Minimalism

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199549368
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Linguistics

The Copy Theory

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  • Linguistics
  • Grammar, Syntax and Morphology



This article reviews the general features of the Copy Theory of movement, focusing on some empirical gains prompted by its adoption in the Minimalist Program. It is organized as follows. Section 7.2 presents Chomsky's original conceptual arguments for reinterpreting traces as copies. Section 7.3 discusses some of the questions that the Copy Theory poses to the syntax-phonetic form mapping and presents Nunes' approach to phonetic realization of copies in terms of linearization and economy computations. Section 7.4 provides an overview of the kinds of empirical material that may receive a natural account within the Copy Theory but remain rather mysterious within the Trace Theory. Section 7.5 discusses how the Copy Theory makes different predictions for the current debate on how to analyse obligatory control within minimalism. Some concluding remarks are presented in Section 7.6.

Keywords: movement; minimalist program; Chomsky; traces; copies; syntax-phonetic form

Article.  11742 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Grammar, Syntax and Morphology

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