Chapter published in:Argument Structure and Syntactic Relations: A cross-linguistic perspective
Edited by Maia Duguine, Susana Huidobro and Nerea Madariaga
[Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today 158] 2010
► pp. 133–150
The syntax of argument structure
Although current generative theory acknowledges the existence of argument structure (AS), it nevertheless continues to assume that syntax is the primary computational system, which explains why it has failed to produce an integrated theory of morphosyntax. I define morphosyntax as the relation between the syntactically relevant information encoded in a verb’s AS, the affix-driven operations that alter initial AS representation, and the syntactic structure projected from derived AS (see Babby 2009). In this paper I present an explicit derivational theory of the mapping between AS and syntax. My main hypothesis is that AS and the affix-driven operations that alter it play a central role in the sentence’s derivation and many of the derivational operations that were assumed in earlier theory to be syntactic are in fact AS-level operations that have predictable syntactic effects.
Published online: 14 July 2010