ECP is Dead, Long Live ECP

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Debaprasad Bandyopadhyay

দেবপ্রসাদ বন্দ্যোপাধ্যায়

 Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata

April 4, 2012

2012. “ECP Is Dead, Long Live ECP!” M. S. Thirumalai ed. LANGUAGE IN INDIA. 12:4. (pp. 79-86)

Abstract: 
This paper, written in connection with Bandyopadhyay (1989, where a status of a ‘free’ bound morpheme in Bangla was discussed), had introduced the Nyaya-Vaisesika (two branches of Indian Philosophy) concept of relational absence or abhava to strengthen the semantics of the ECP (though it was dated at that time) and deletion. Any moved element that leaves behind a trace in the locus may be considered as a case of posterior absence. The open question as posited by Chomsky, Lasnik (1991:21) that whether a moved element actually leaves behind a trace or not can be solved by an independent reason of posterior absence which, by assigning the absential qualifier to the empty locus, points out the once-upon-a-time cognition of existence of the counter-positive. An NP-trace is an instance of posterior-absence. The trace of moved element can be cognized in the locus from where the counter-positive is moved. Thus the ‘trace of X’ can be interpreted in the chain of (qulifier,qualificand or counterpositive, locand, locus) X, t or binder-bindee relation. This is called as L-relation or sub-super stratum/locus-counterpositive or bindee-binder relation or the antecedent-trace association. Assigning absential qualifier emphasized the fact emphasized that any case of chain like (John, t) is not to be interpreted as only a simple case of “copy and delete” but a case of a definite locus-counterpositive relation or L-relation. If the locus’s (where trace occurs) being the absence of counterpositive amounts to the locus’s being the object referred by the word ‘absence’, that is occasioned by a prior cognition of the counterpositive. In the case of posterior absence, the counter-positive is destroyed and the counter-positive is responsible for this type of abhava. PRO is a locus of the counterpositive or antecedent. It may be called posterior absence where lexical element is destroyed and thus contraction is possible, e.g. in case of wanna-contraction. PRO is always controlled by its counterpositive. Posterior absence is also found in the case of pro in Null subject languages or pro-drop languages like Italian, where pronominal is dropped or destroyed though the locus of that counterpostive is there. The property of counterpositive is reflected in the Agr or phi-features in those pro-drop languages. The absence cognized in the t is under the mode of limitorship of the moved element. Thus, there must be a locus for an absence, though the content of the counterpositive is moved. In a given sentence, whenever a phonological matrix is lacking, the category as a locus for that moved or destroyed counterpositive exists for absential cognition in a given sentence. If locus is there the delimiting properties of counterpositiveness is also there. Thus, in case of deletion, both the category and content is not hammered and erased, it is only the content that is absent from the category-ness of locushood. Thus, though deletion is a posterior absence, it has the delimiting property of being counterpositive-ness, e.g., in case of wh-deletion, the locus of wh lacks the wh (where there is no overt wh) as well as wh-ness or is marked by the posterior absence of wh and wh-ness in its locus. The underlying wh-phrase undergoes wh-movement to COMP leaving an absence or trace behind and then Wh-deletion or posterior absence of wh occurs. The category persists by means of inherence-relation. The application of universal Recoverability Condition is subject to the awareness of cognition of absence in the locus of the category. Thus the absential quantifier solves a crucial problem of whether a deletion erases category and content or only the contents of a category by positing the category as a locus of the counterpositive. However, there must be a distinction between a moved element and a deleted element. In case of moved element, the resident of t or R-expression is an instance of posterior absence.

 

Number of Pages in PDF File: 8

Keywords: abhava & nyaya-vaisesika philosopy, uttarabava or posterior absence, Chomskian extenteded standard syntax, ECP, deletion, trace

About Debaprasad Bandyopadhyay

Debaprasad Bandyopdhyay (b. 1965), through his 25 years journey in the realm of institutionalized academics did 27 different types of works, which are someway different from the earlier paradigms or, one might say that those works are not only mere reproductions of his inherited institutionalized cultural capital or a mimicry of a colonially imposed model that leads to intellectual anorexia or rather a type falsification of earlier paradigms. However, that might be not only a lofty claim but it also hid the fact that all our information and knowledge are socially accumulated knowledge that was, it is matter of regret, posed as private property through the sign © and the wisdom is rarely available. Bandyopadhyay’s works and projects are the products of his social milieu. Bandyopadhyay is a local sub-altern public sphere academician, who avoids the technical intelligentsia (followers of Sahib’s models and they are not committed to the persons who are accommodating surplus work-time to them by performing surplus labour) or inorganic intellectuals and thus fails to be a part of academic tribe and its subsequent socialization process. Of course, that socialization process does not lead to legendary Socratic dialogue. He is also a political activist though he has not affiliated to any political parties as he was always talking about the corporatization of political parties within the money-sign-based democratic system. He is a regular participant in TV and radio talk-shows and documentary films, street-corners’ talks and International seminars on socio-political, psychological, linguistic, environmental and economic issues. He also writes editorial columns in newspapers. He is also a part of parallel academics as it is found in West Bengal’s Little Magazine Movement, though that was not counted as the part his academic pursuit by his parent institute. His parent institute justifiably does not believe in the domain of parallel academics as this unorganized sector does not directly contribute in the transactions of formal/organized print capitalist eco-enemy paper-publication. Though the dissemination of knowledge is also observed in this space of these parallel academics as all these writings in public sphere simultaneously influence the classroom-discourse and some of them are translated into English, French and Italian. Not only that, Bandyopadhyay also sought engagement with the people, who, by supplying their surplus labour, are sustaining his livelihood. Bandyopadhyay, a linguist by training and a Ph.D.-holder (1996), a junior lecturer (1999-2011) in an autonomous central government institute in India, tries his best for those from he has received and is receiving the manifestation of surplus labour by executing some self-funded projects on economic issues in West Bengal, India. Recently he has got a consolation promotion to the post of Assistant Professor. He has done following 27 research works: 1. Crippled Creativity: An inquiry into language, psyche, society: 2. VALENCY OF BANGLA VERB AND PROBLEM OF COMPOUND VERBS: 3. Archaeology of Bangla Grammar : 4. CAN COMPUTER SPEAK? 5. FUZZY LOGICAL EXPRESSION IN BANGLA : 6. FOLKLORE AND FOLK-LANGUAGE: MYTH OR REALITY? 7. HISTORICISM IN THE DISCOURSE OF BANGLA LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE 8. ABHABA, ECP, DELETION AND TRACE 9. SVATVA OR MY-NESS AND ECONOMIC ENTITLEMEMT 10. TRANSLATION STUDIES 11. MASCULINITY STUDIES 12. YAYATI & BABAR COMPLEX 13. SOCIO-ECONOMIC SURVEYS IN AGRICULTURE AND INDUSTRY IN WEST BENGAL 14. CONCEPT OF BODY IN INDIAN PHILOSOPHY AND ARCHITECTURE 15. THE CONCEPT OF ERROR (KHYATI) IN MAD-(WO)MEN’S LANGUAGE 16. THE CONCEPT OF PERCEPTUAL TIME AND GRAMMATICAL TIME IN BANGLA 17. BANGLA CALLIGRAPHY, LANGUAGE ART AND LINGUISTIC PEDAGOGY 18. WO(L)D SPACES: NON-EXISTENCE OF WORDS 19. ANEKANTA METHODS 20. SILENCEME: SILENT OTHER IN LINGUISTICS 21. IMAGINED BOUDARIES AND PRE-COLONIAL INDIAN IMAGI-NATION 22. MAKING OF THE INDIAN PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE 23. SEGMENTING THE SUPRASEGMENTALS : MUSICKING IN SPEAKING 24. INTERPRETING GENETIC STRUCTURE BY DEPLOYING LINGUISTIC STRUCTURE 25. GLOTTOPOLITICS OF LINGUISTIC SUBALTERNITY OR AN AGENDA FOR PLANNING FROM BELOW 26. SEMIOTICS OF PHOTOGRAPHY 27. SOCIOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY ACADEMICS
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