Case filter

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In syntax, a case filter is a filter which requires an (overtly realized) NP argument to be case marked, or be associated with a case position.


This filter rules out (a, b). No case is assigned to the subject position of the complement of seems; only by moving to the subject position of the matrix clause can John satisfy the case filter: it is assigned case there.

a * it seems [ John to be angry ]

b John seems [ ti to be angry ]


More recently, the case filter has been reduced to the visibility condition.

See also

chain condition


Utrecht Lexicon of Linguistics


  • Chomsky, Noam A. 1981. Lectures on Government and Binding. Dordrecht:Foris.
  • Chomsky, Noam A. 1986. Knowledge of language: its nature, origin and use. Praeger, New York.

Other languages

German Kasusfilter