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Linking by Types in the Hierarchical Lexicon cover

Linking by Types in the Hierarchical Lexicon

Anthony R. Davis

Verbs denote types of situations, and their subjects, objects, and other arguments denote various participants in those types of situations. This book addresses the linguistic principles that determine how the syntactic arguments of verbs and the participant roles in situations are related.

Many previous approaches to this problem have employed a set of thematic roles, such as agent and patient, to classify varieties of participants. The alternative presented here, within the framework of Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar, uses typed feature structures and a hierarchy of word classes to model certain basic features of verb meaning, from which an account of the mapping between participant roles and syntactic arguments is developed. Evidence from a broad range of verbal phenomena in various languages, including argument-structure alternations such as causativization and applicative formation, bolsters the model. Relying on no special mechanisms or components of grammar, this account is based on a simple yet widely applicable set of constraints, which permit the observed mappings and rule out impossible ones.

Please send questions, comments, and suggestions for this book to Anthony Davis.

Anthony R. Davis is a linguist working in Washington, DC.


  • Preface
  • 1 Introduction
    • 1.1 Linking
    • 1.2 Subcategorization
    • 1.3 Specifying Redundant Lexical Information in a Multiple Inheritance Hierarchy
    • 1.4 Linking as Constraints
    • 1.5 Overview of the Book

  • 2 Thematic Roles and Lexical Entailments in Linking Theories
    • 2.1 Conceptions of Thematic Roles
    • 2.2 Thematic Roles as Primitive Elements
    • 2.3 The Thematic Hierarchy
    • 2.4 The Thematic Hierarchy in Lexical Mapping Theory
    • 2.5 Some Other Recent Approaches to Linking
    • 2.6 Dowty on Proto-roles and Argument Selection
    • 2.7 Conclusion

  • 3 Lexical Semantic Relations and Structures
    • 3.1 Overview
    • 3.2 The Use of Entailments in a Multiple Inheritance Hierarchy
    • 3.3 Constructing the Hierarchy of Lexical Semantic Relations
    • 3.4 Lexical Semantic Relations and Subcategorization Alternations
    • 3.5 Conclusion

  • 4 HPSG: A Brief Description and Some Revisions
    • 4.1 Overview of HPSG
    • 4.2 Some Revisions to “Standard” HPSG

  • 5 Linking Constraints in the Lexical Hierarchy
    • 5.1 COnstraints on Mapping Between Lexical Semantics and Syntax
    • 5.2 Linking Constraints in a Strongly Grounded Lexical Hierarchy
    • 5.3 The Interaction of Semantics and Subcategorization
    • 5.4 Summary

  • 6 Further in Constraint-Based Linking
    • 6.1 Overview
    • 6.2 Prepositional Complements and Content-sharing
    • 6.3 Passive Verbs and ‘By’ Phrases
    • 6.4 The Problem of Role-argument Uniqueness
    • 6.5 Conclusion

  • 7 Conclusion and Prospects
    • 7.1 Summary
    • 7.2 Some Speculations, Questions, and Problems

  • References
  • Index


ISBN (Paperback): 1575862247 (9781575862248)
ISBN (Cloth): 1575862239 (9781575862231)
ISBN (Electronic): 1575869705 (9781575869704)

Subject: Semantics; Grammar; Head-driven phrase structure grammar (HPSG)

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