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By Beth Levin, Malka Rappaport Hovav

The connection among verbs and their arguments is a commonly debated subject in linguistics. This accomplished survey offers an updated assessment of this significant region of analysis, exploring present theories of ways a verb’s semantics can ascertain the morphosyntactic attention of its arguments. Assuming a detailed connection among verb which means and syntactic constitution, it presents a bridge among lexical semantic and syntactic examine, synthesizing the result of paintings from quite a number linguistic subdisciplines and in quite a few theoretical frameworks.

The first 4 chapters survey prime theories approximately occasion constitution and con- ceptualization. The 5th and 6th chapters concentrate on the mapping from lexical semantics to morphosyntax, and contain a close dialogue of the thematic hierarchy. The 7th bankruptcy stories remedies of a number of argument actual- ization. With worthy bibliographic references and transparent definitions of suitable phrases, this publication should be worthy to scholars and researchers in syntax and semantics, in addition to these in similar fields.

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Some languages, such as Irish (Guilfoyle 1995, 2000) and Jacaltec (Craig 1976: 108–09), do not allow even the semantically “closer” arguments to be subjects. In fact, many languages may be as restrictive in their choice of subjects as these two, though confirmation is needed from a systematic crosslinguistic exploration. The picture is, in fact, even more complicated. In English the nonpatient arguments that are not prototypical agents need not be expressed as subjects; for example, they may be obliques, as in (27)–(30), an alternative usually not open to true agent arguments, as shown in (31) and (32).

This phenomenon is particularly well represented in Bantu languages and illustrated in (42) with an example from Chichewa; ˆ the kwa-marked argument in (42a) occurs as the first object in (42b), with the verb showing the applicative morpheme –er–. (42) a. Mbidzi zi-na-perek-a msampha kwa nkhandwe. ’ (Baker 1988: 229, (2a)) b. Mbidzi zi-na-perek-er-a nkhandwe msampha. 6 When subjects are not agents and objects are not patients 29 As with passives, a theory adopting the Uniformity of Theta Assignment Hypothesis will have a rule “promoting” an oblique to object in applicative constructions to maintain a uniform assignment of semantic roles to grammatical relations in both applicative and nonapplicative constructions (Baker 1988).

Old machine spews smoke. (25) a. Ha-se’ara harsa et ha-yevul. ’ b. 6 When subjects are not agents and objects are not patients 25 c. Ha-yeled sana et ha-tered. ’ d. Ha-mexona ha-yeSana poletet aSan. ’ In English the range of subjects can be even wider, as noted by Hawkins (1985), citing Rohdenburg (1974), and Perlmutter and Postal (1984). The examples in (26) might be said to have location and measure subjects, though the natural Hebrew translations of these sentences do not maintain the same subjects.

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