Linking pp 11-34 | Cite as

Conceptual Structure

  • Janet H. Randall
Part of the Studies in Natural Language and Linguistic Theory book series (SNLT, volume 74)


The job of a theory of linking is to make sense of the semantics-syntax mappings across all verb types. Can we predict, from the semantic arguments in a verb’s lexical representation, the number, type, and arrangement of syntactic arguments that the verb takes in a sentence? Consider number. It is true that for many verbs, the number of semantic arguments matches the number of syntactic arguments. For example, devour requires a “devourer” and a “devouree” – in the terms of traditional theta grids, an agent (internal argument, inside the square brackets) and a theme (external, outside the brackets) – both of which link to syntactic NP positions.


Conceptual Structure Argument Structure External Argument Thematic Role Syntactic Position 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Linguistics ProgramNortheastern UniversityBostonUSA

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