Structural case

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Structural case is a case which is assigned in a certain structural configuration, depending on government (and adjacency) only (as opposed to inherent case).


It has been proposed that a verb assigns structural Accusative case to its NP complement, and that Nominative case is assigned by the finite inflection INFL to the canonical subject position [NP,IP]. More recently, structural case is identified with case assignment to the specifier in a specific kind of AGRP.



  • Chomsky, N. 1991. Some Notes on Economy of Derivations and Derivations, in:R. Freidin (ed) Principles and Parameters in Comparative Grammar, 417-454, The MITT Press: Cambridge, Mass. Reprinted in: Chomsky (1995).
  • Chomsky, N. 1986a. Knowledge of language: its nature, origin and use, Praeger, New York.
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