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 * Discussion questions and suggestions for further reading * A glossary with helpful definitions of key terms.
Alexander Williams is Assistant Professor in the Departments of Linguistics and Philosophy at the University of Maryland, College Park, where he teaches semantics, syntax, and philosophy of language.
Abbreviations; Introduction; Part I. Background: 1. Syntax; 2. Semantics; Part II. Kinds of Arguments: 3. Arguments in syntax; 4. Arguments in semantics; 5. Implicit arguments; Part III. Analysis of Argument Relations: 6. Thematic relations; 7. Agent and patient; 8. Role iteration; 9. Separation; 10. Event structure; 11. Linking and framing; Part IV. Case Studies: 12. Passives; 13. Resultatives; Glossary; References; Index.