Equi NP deletion

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Equi NP deletion is a transformation deleting one of two identical NPs.


in deriving John wants to win the surface-structure (i)b is derived from deep-structure (i)a by deletion of the second occurrence of John.

(i) a  John wants [John to win]
    b  John wants [to win]
    c  John wants [ PRO to win ]

The two occurrences of John in the deep-structure (i)a account for the fact that the understood subject of to win is identical to the subject of wants. This analysis has been replaced by the analysis in (i)c with a PRO subject.


Utrecht Lexicon of Linguistics


  • Chomsky, N. 1981. Lectures on Government and Binding, Foris, Dordrecht.
  • Ross, J.R. 1967. Constraints on variables in syntax, doctoral dissertation, MIT (published as 'Infinite syntax!' Ablex, Norwood (1986)).

Other languages

German EQUI-NP-deletion