In grammar, a parasitic gap is a construction wherein the dropping of a verb's argument is dependent on a co-referential argument having been fronted in a preceding context. Grammar is the field of Linguistics that covers the Rules governing the use of any given natural language. For English usage of verbs see the wiki article English verbs. A syntactic verb argument, in Linguistics, is a Phrase that appears in a relationship with the Verb in a Clause. Wh-movement (or wh-fronting or wh-extraction) is a syntactic phenomenon found in many languages around the world in which Interrogative words An English example is:
The key feature here is that both review and reading have a "gap" where their objects should be (indicated above with underscores), and both gaps appear to function as variables bound by which book; i. English is a West Germanic language originating in England and is the First language for most people in the United Kingdom, the United States e. "Which book x did she review x without reading x?". The second gap is considered to be "parasitic" on the first, since it (unlike the first gap) cannot easily stand on its own, shown by the following example.
This has the same structure as the first sentence but with a non-WH matrix object, which doesn't front. The properties of the construction are quite subtle. For example (assuming passives involve fronting):
which is generally considered ungrammatical by most native English speakers.
Parasitic gaps are an important topic of study in syntax, especially in the framework of generative grammar. In Linguistics, syntax (from Ancient Greek grc συν- syn-, "together" and grc τάξις táxis, "arrangement" is the In Theoretical linguistics, generative grammar refers to a particular approach to the study of Syntax. It has been argued by some linguists working in generative frameworks that speakers' intuitive knowledge of the construction can only be explained by an innate universal grammar. Universal grammar is a theory of Linguistics postulating principles of Grammar shared by all languages thought to be innate to humans ( linguistic nativism The question of how these sentences should be analysed is still very much open.
The phenomenon appears to have been discovered by John Robert Ross in the 1960s, but remained undiscussed until papers by Knut Tarald Taraldsen and Elisabet Engdahl explored the properties of parasitic gaps in great depth. John Robert "Haj" Ross (born May 7, 1938 in Boston, Massachusetts) is a linguist who played a part in the development of Knut Tarald Taraldsen is a Norwegian linguist working in Tromsø, Norway as a senior researcher at the Center for Advanced Study in Theoretical Linguistics (CASTL This work was extended by Noam Chomsky in 1982, arguing that parasitic gaps are actually silent pronouns, licensed under particular conditions predicted by the general theory of grammar. Avram Noam Chomsky (noʊm ˈtʃɑmski born December 7 1928 is an American linguist, Philosopher, cognitive scientist, Political Aspects of this analysis were developed in the framework of Generalized Phrase Structure Grammar (GPSG) in the mid 1980s, and refined in the Head-driven Phrase Structure Grammar (HPSG), done by Carl Pollard and Ivan Sag. Generalised phrase structure grammar (GPSG is a framework for describing the Syntax and Semantics of natural languages Head-driven phrase structure grammar (HPSG is a highly lexicalized non-derivational Generative grammar theory developed by Carl Pollard and Ivan Sag More recent research by Chomsky and his student Jonathan Nissenbaum has refined this view, arguing (in effect) that the pronouns themselves undergo a syntactic rule not unlike the rule that moves phrases like which book to the front of a sentence. Jonathan Nissenbaum is an assistant professor of linguistics at McGill University.