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August 30, 2019

Government and Binding

According to Wikipedia “Government and Binding (GB) is a theory of syntax and a phrase structure grammar in the tradition of transformational grammar developed principally by Noam Chomsky in the 1980s.” 

Accordingly, Government is defined as: 
A governs B if and only if 
A is a governor and 
A m-commands B and  
no barrier intervenes between A and B.
And Binding is defined as:
An element α binds an element β if and only if α c-commands β, and α and β corefer.
Like for example:

Yet if you would doubt whether this theory could solve all of your GB hypotheses in syntax, I would say Yes although if not to an advance syntax with an answer it is to be. Here is further problem you see, a Wikipedia post and answers I read today, but then you might take it in doubt as if why you should bother with the GBT theory anyway if the sentence is in first place not correct for you to be taking it to your test with your GBT theory. I have no answer to that as well other than saying GBT is enough answer to this:    
   
Post:
The article Maus used to say:
He displays racist attitudes, as when Françoise picks up an African American hitchhiker, who he fears will rob them.
This was later changed to:
He displays racist attitudes, as when Françoise picks up an African American hitchhiker, whom he fears will rob them.
I believe the first version was correct and this change was wrong, as the hitchhiker is the subject of the sentence "[he] will rob them", not the object. But then I'm not a native English speaker. Which version is correct? JIP | Talk 13:28, 27 August 2019 (UTC)

Answer 1:
The test is to reword the relevant clause with a non-relative pronoun. If "he fears he will rob them" them is good, then who is correct, while if "he fears him will rob them" them were good, then whom would be correct... AnonMoos (talk) 13:39, 27 August 2019 (UTC)
Answer 2:
In other words, "who" is correct here. A simpler test is to take out the "he fears" part and see how it reads then, since it is actually a kind of parenthesis. Thus, "who [he fears] will rob them" is correct, and "whom [he fears] will rob them" is incorrect. --Viennese Waltz 14:44, 27 August 2019 (UTC)
Answer 3:
Per the above, "who" is a subject pronoun and always plays the role that other similar pronouns would play (I, he, she, etc.). Whom is an object pronoun and plays the role that other object pronouns would play (me, him, her, etc.). As noted by both people above, remove the "he fears" clause to see its role. In this case, it is acting as the subject of "will rob them" so "who" is correct. --Jayron32 16:04, 27 August 2019 (UTC)
Answer 4:
AnonMoos did not say to remove the "he fears" clause. It was only me who said that. --Viennese Waltz 18:51, 27 August 2019 (UTC)
Answer 5:
Would you like a medallion or a certificate for your efforts? --Jayron32 00:48, 28 August 2019 (UTC)
Answer 6:
Neither, particularly. I was simply correcting your error. --Viennese Waltz 07:43, 28 August 2019 (UTC)

To an advance Government and Binding Theory (GBT) related to English syntax, you might want to check: