Introducing Arguments

L. Pylkkänen, 2002

for $19.95 x


Verbal arguments can be divided into two different types: those that are true arguments of the verb and those that are "additional" in the sense that there is evidence that they do not belong to the basic argument structur e of the verb. Theories of argument structure are largely theories about how these additional arguments are introduced, but at present few such theories propose explicit mechanisms for deriving crosslinguistic variation in argument expression. This thesis develops a tightly constrained universal system of functional units and argues that crosslinguistic variation arises either from differences in the inventory of units that a language selects for or from the way a language groups the universal units into syntactic heads. The core system consists of three different types of causative heads, two different types of applicative heads and the external argument introducing head Voice (Kratzer 1994). The thesis shows that the properties of applicative constructions are such that they can only be predicted by a theory in which the external argument is also "additional", i.e. not a true argument of the verb.

Thesis Supervisor: Alec Marantz Title: Professor of Linguistics