Projecting Argument Structure: The Grammar of Hitting and Breaking Revisited

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Abstract

This paper is concerned with one of the most basic syntactic questions: what are the properties of verbs that determine syntactic structure, aspectual interpretation and argument selection? We approach this issue through an examination of two different types of verbs of contact. We propose that the meanings of verbs are decomposed into atomic meaning components and that these meaning components project syntactic structure. From these meaning components and the structures they project we derive argument number and selection, theta-role and aspectual interpretation, and transitivity. This theory is strongly minimalist in that the various predicate meanings of a verb are derived from a single lexical representation, requiring neither functional projections nor movement.
Original languageEnglish GB
Title of host publicationArgument Structure
EditorsEric J. Reuland, Tanmoy Bhattacharya, Giorgos Spathas
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
Pages17-35
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)9789027233721
DOIs
StatePublished - 2007

Publication series

NameLinguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today
Volume108

Keywords

  • English language (Modern)
  • syntax
  • predicate
  • argument structure
  • verb of contact
  • semantics

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