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.
KeywordsConceptual Structure Argument Structure External Argument Thematic Role Syntactic Position
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