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Arguments as Relations

John Bowers

Publication Year: 2010

A radically new approach to argument structure in the minimalist program.

Published by: The MIT Press

Series: Linguistic Inquiry Monographs

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. iii-v


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pp. vii-viii

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Series Foreword

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p. ix-ix

We are pleased to present the fifty-eighth in the series Linguistic Inquiry Monographs. These monographs present new and original research beyond the scope of the article. We hope they will benefit our field by bringing to it perspectives that will stimulate ...

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pp. xi-xii

This book represents the culmination of five years’ work in which I have tried to fundamentally rethink the minimalist approach to argument structure, while at the same time pulling together a number of different strands in the literature and shaping them into a unified theory. Certain ...

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1. Introduction and Overview

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pp. 1-30

The standard view of argument structure is as follows: a predicate of a given lexical category X (X=V, A, N, etc.) merges directly with its arguments to project larger constituents of the same category (X0, XP, etc.). Each time Merge applies a c-selection feature and/or y-role requirement ...

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2. Passive

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pp. 31-76

In this chapter I develop in more detail the approach to the passive outlined in chapter 1. I first examine the empirical basis for my solution to the problem of the passive by-phrase, arguing that the data provide strong support for my claim that the argument position from which both ...

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3. Affectee Arguments

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pp. 77-116

In this chapter I discuss the third primary argument type, Affectee, showing that it manifests itself in a variety of ways.1 I examine first the much-discussed alternation between prepositional dative and double-object constructions, arguing that the dative argument in the first and the indirect ...

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4. Grammatical Function Changing Morphology

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pp. 117-164

This chapter deals with languages that exhibit so-called grammatical function changing (GFC) morphology. I show how such languages can be accounted for very simply and directly in the proposed framework without having to assume either special rules that change the function of NPs, ...

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5. Derived Nominals

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pp. 165-194

In this chapter, I extend the theory of argument structure developed in the preceding chapters to derived nominals. I show that though there are differences between sentential and nominal structures, the same basic argument categories occur in both. Particular attention is paid to the complex ...

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6. Conclusion

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pp. 195-196

If the speculations advanced in this book are anywhere near the mark, then the syntactic system of natural language is remarkably simple. It consists of a reasonably small number of universal syntactic categories, some of which may be optional, that merge with lexical roots and outputs ...

Appendix A: A Compositional Semantics for Argument Heads

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pp. 197-200

Appendix B: First Application of Merge

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pp. 201-202


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pp. 203-220


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pp. 221-232


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pp. 233-239

Further Reading

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pp. 241-242

E-ISBN-13: 9780262289252
Print-ISBN-13: 9780262014311

Page Count: 256
Publication Year: 2010

Series Title: Linguistic Inquiry Monographs