In Uriagereka's 1999 article, Multiple Spell-out, the term cascade is used in several places. I just conjecture its meaning but don't get exact one. What does a cascade mean in syntax.

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    It would help if you quote one or two sentences or paragraphs for context.
    – prash
    Commented Oct 4, 2014 at 12:58
  • Yes. It's not a term used much in syntax any more; it doesn't sound very minimalist. In any event, it's a recursive phenomenon with a temporal sequence and usually positive feedback builtin.
    – jlawler
    Commented Oct 4, 2014 at 17:24
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    I use the term "cascade" as a metaphorical description of head-intitial structures. Head-initial structures "cascade" down toward the right (in left-to-right processing). Perhaps Uriagereka is using it in a similar way, i.e. as a sort of metaphor to describe the structures he is looking at. Commented Oct 5, 2014 at 0:40

1 Answer 1


Actually, it is a derivational cascade. I think it's Juan Uriagereka's terminology. Uriagereka 2005 writes that command units (or CU's, objects formed by the continuous application of Merge to the same object) are spelled-out at the end of each derivational cascade. The more common term in the Minimalist Program is a phase.

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