The relationship between verbs and their arguments is a widely debated topic in linguistics. This comprehensive 2005 survey provides an overview of this important area of research, exploring theories of how a verb's semantics can determine the morphosyntactic realization of its arguments. Assuming a close connection between verb meaning and syntactic structure, it provides a bridge between lexical-semantic and syntactic research, synthesizing the results of work from a range of linguistic subdisciplines and in a variety of theoretical frameworks. The first four chapters survey leading theories about event structure and conceptualization. The fifth and sixth chapters focus on the mapping from lexical semantics to morphosyntax and include a detailed discussion of the thematic hierarchy. The final chapter reviews treatments of multiple argument realization. With useful bibliographic references and clear definitions of relevant terms, this book will be invaluable to students and researchers in syntax and semantics, as well as those in related fields.
• Looks at a research topic that is of interest to linguists across many theoretical persuasions, as well as researchers in neighbouring disciplines • Contains references to a large body of literature, enabling readers to further pursue the issues discussed • Acknowledges all important contributions to the area of research, regardless of their theoretical orientation
Introduction; 1. Challenges for theories of argument realization; 2. Semantic role lists; 3. Current approaches to lexical semantic representation; 4. Three conceptualizations of events; 5. The mapping from lexical semantics to syntax; 6. Thematic hierarchies in argument realization; 7. Multiple argument realization; 8. Postscript.