The Theta System: Argument Structure at the Interface

ISBN : 9780199602513

Martin Everaert; Marijana Marelj; Tal Siloni
432 ページ
161 x 240 mm
Oxford Studies in Theoretical Linguistics

Before she died in 2007, Tanya Reinhart had gone a long way towards developing the Theta System, a theory in which formal features defining the thematic relations of verbs are encoded in the lexicon, enabling an interface between the lexical component and the computational system/syntax, directly, and the Inference system, indirectly. This book considers the recent results and evaluations of Tanya Reinhart's research in both theoretical and experimental domains. After a comprehensive presentation of the framework by the editors, distinguished linguists from all over the world examine the underpinning of the Theta System, compare the framework to alternative approaches, and consider its implications for the architecture of grammar. In addition, they consider and exemplify the applications of the system and offer improvements and extensions. The book is an important contribution to linguistic research. It engages in the key dialogue between competing lexicalist and syntactic approaches to lexico-semantic problems and does so in the context of an impressive array of new empirical data ranging from Germanic, Romance, and Slavic to Ugro-Finnish, and Semitic languages.


1. Introduction: The Theta System
2. The Linguistic Expression of Causation
3. The Content of Semantic Roles: Predicate-argument structure in language and cognition
4. Combine
5. In the Event of a Nominal
6. Lexicon Uniformity and the Causative Alternation
7. In Defense of the Non-causative Analysis of Anticausatives
8. Hidden Entries: A psycholinguistic study of derivational gaps
9. To Have the Empty Theta-role
10. Emission Verbs
11. Verbal Passives in English and Hebrew: A comparative study
12. An Event Semantics for the Theta System
13. Children Acquire Unaccusative and A-movement Very Early on


Martin Everaert is Professor of Linguistics at Utrecht University and Director of the Utrecht Institute of Linguistics OTS. He works primarily on the syntax-semantics interface (anaphora: reflexives, reciprocals) and the lexicon-syntax interface (idioms/collocations, and argument structure). ; Marijana Marelj is an Assistant Professor of Linguistics at Utrecht University. She completed her thesis, entitled Middles and Argument Structure across Languages under the supervision of Tanya Reinhart and Eric Reuland. Her research interests include the Architecture of grammar, properties of the computational system/syntactic theory, Interfaces (lexicon-syntax interface and syntax-semantics interface), and Slavic, Germanic, and Romance languages. ; Tal Siloni is an Associate Professor of Linguistics at Tel Aviv University and the chair of the department. Her major areas of research are syntactic theory and comparative syntax with particular reference to Semitic and Romance languages, the lexicon-syntax interface, argument structure, idioms, and nominalization.