An NWO-funded research program (2007-2011) carried out at the Center for Language and Cognition (CLCG) of the University of Groningen. Its main objective is to study the morphosyntactic realization of syntactic dependency as a function of the structure building operation Merge. Two subprojects study dependency marking in the noun phrase (Evgenia Markovskaya) and the clause (Aysa Arylova) in a typological sample of 267 languages. A further subproject studies the fundamental properties of the structure building operation Merge (Jordi Fortuny). The project is designed and supervised by Jan-Wouter Zwart.