Thematic Structure in Syntax

Thematic Structure in Syntax - Linguistic Inquiry Monographs

Paperback (10 Jan 1994)

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Publisher's Synopsis

This monograph summarizes, rethinks and extends a decade of the author's work on theta-role assignments - the ways in which the roles implied by verbs of a given type play out in terms of position and other syntactic functions. The study of theta roles and the locality of theta-role assignment leads into many areas of linguistic theory, such as scope, the ECP, X-bar theory, binding theory and the weak crossover condition; Williams's reconstruction thus offers a systematic integration of a remarkably wide range of syntactic phenomena.;Williams starts by outlining a theory of the clause, specifically, of the distribuion of Nominative Case and Tense. He then develops a formalism for the notion of "external argument" that is used throughout the rest of the book. Subsequent chapters review the issues surrounding the syntactic expression of the subject-predicate relationship, extend the notion of external argument to include NP movement, and reanalyze the verb movement constructions as deriving from the calculus of theta roles rather than movement.;The last chapter distinguishes referential dependence and coreference, showing that a general Leftness condition governs the former, while the binding theory restated in terms of theta relations governs the latter.

Book information

ISBN: 9780262731065
Publisher: The MIT Press
Imprint: The MIT Press
Pub date:
Language: English
Number of pages: 278
Weight: 431g
Height: 229mm
Width: 152mm
Spine width: 18mm