Implicit Arguments: Event Modification or Option Type Categories?

  • Chris Blom
  • Philippe de Groote
  • Yoad Winter
  • Joost Zwarts
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7218)


We propose a unified syntactic-semantic account of passive sentences and sentences with an unspecified object (John read). For both constructions, we employ option types for introducing implicit arguments into the syntactic-semantic categorial mechanism. We show the advantages of this approach over previous proposals in the domains of scope and unaccusatives. Unlike pure syntactic treatments, option types immediately derive the obligatory narrow scope of existential quantification over an implicit argument’s slot. Unlike purely semantic, event-based treatments, our proposal naturally accounts for syntactic contrasts between passives and unaccusatives, as in the door *(was) opened by John.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chris Blom
    • 1
  • Philippe de Groote
    • 2
  • Yoad Winter
    • 3
  • Joost Zwarts
    • 3
  1. 1.CAI Master ProgramUtrecht UniversityThe Netherlands
  2. 2.LORIA/INRIAFrance
  3. 3.UiL OTSUtrecht UniversityThe Netherlands

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