Arguments in Syntax and Semantics

Arguments in Syntax and Semantics

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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.
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'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, Universitat Bielefeld '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 '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
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About Alexander Williams

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.
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Table of contents

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.
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