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In generative syntax, contain is a Structural notion in the Minimalist Program. A contains B if some segment of A S-dominates B.


In [A1 B [A2 C ]] , B is contained by A because it is S-dominated by A1, A1 is a segment of A (= {A1, A2}).


Utrecht Lexicon of Linguistics


  • Chomsky, Noam A. 1993. A Minimalist Program for Linguistic Theory. MIT occasional papers in linguistics, 1-67.