A guide to the relations between a predicate and its arguments, for researchers and advanced students in linguistics. Engages foundational issues in both syntax and semantics, with attention to the correspondence between structure at the two levels. Chapters include discussion questions and suggestions for further reading.
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Advance praise: 'This is a superb book, so much clearer than anything I have seen in many years. It will definitely make a mark in the discussion. The author has a remarkable command of both syntax and semantics and is able to provide simple and exact explanations. Anyone familiar with the literature on plurals in particular can only marvel at the simplicity and clarity with which the problems are discussed here.' Marcus Kracht, Universität Bielefeld
Advance praise: 'This book is not merely a guide to the most important topics in the area of argument structure. It is about understanding theories of argument structure - understanding them deeply. The book is a precious resource for novice linguists and experts alike.' Angelika Kratzer, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Advance praise: 'One of those rare books that will be of use both to the beginner and the specialist. It is a friendly guide through the difficult terrain of argument structure. Much more than a survey, it addresses foundational and current issues in the syntax and semantics of argument structure in an exemplarily clear-headed and even-handed way.' Rajesh Bhatt, University of Massachusetts
Argument structure - the pattern of underlying relations between a predicate and its dependents - is at the base of syntactic theory and the theory of the interface with semantics. This comprehensive guide explores the motives for thematic and event-structural decomposition, and its relation to structure in syntax. It also discusses broad patterns in the linking of syntactic to semantic relations, and includes insightful case studies on passive and resultative constructions. Semantically explicit and syntactically impartial, with a careful, interrogative approach, Williams clarifies notions of argument within both lexicalist and nonlexicalist approaches. Ideal for students and researchers in syntactic and semantic theory, this introduction includes: • A comprehensive overview of arguments in syntax and semantics • Each chapter contains discussion questions and suggestions for further reading • A glossary provides helpful definitions of key terms.
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