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Deletion is the erasing of (at least) the phonological features of an element in a representation. In early versions of generative grammar, deletion was constrained by the principle of recoverability of deletion. In current work, recoverability is partly captured by the ECP. Deletion counts as a possible instantiation of affect alpha.


complementizer deletion (I know [that] he comes) may be an instance of deletion subject to the ECP.


Utrecht Lexicon of Linguistics


  • Riemsdijk, H. van and E. Williams 1986. Introduction to the theory of grammar, MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass.