Empty operator

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Empty operator is an Operator without phonological content.


in (i) the 'implicit relative pronoun' is an empty operator binding the variable t.

(i) the man [CP Oi [IP you fired ti yesterday]]

An empty operator has also been postulated for Parasitic gap constructions and Tough-movement constructions.


Utrecht Lexicon of Linguistics


  • Chomsky, N. 1982. Some concepts and consequences of the theory of government and binding, MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass.
  • Haegeman, L. 1991. Introduction to Government and Binding Theory, Oxford, Blackwell.