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home > Thematic Structure

Thematic Structure
― A Theory of Argument Linking and Comparative Syntax ―

Nobuhiro Kaga
First published:
2007 / 10 / 25
Price (in Japan only):
6,000 yen (Tax Not Included) (304 pages)


This book proposes a particular implementation of the Uniformity of Theta Assignment Hypothesis that is based on a Larsonian double VP shell structure. The main points of the proposal are (i) that the macro-roles that the UTAH is sensitive to include three and only three roles: AGENT, LOCATION and LOCATUM, and (ii) that the micro-role of Patient is regarded as an instance of LOCATION, while the micro-role of Result is an instance of LOCATUM. The second point contains an assumption that is just the opposite of the standard view, and this assumption gives the predictions that the Patient role exhibits a grammatical property parallel to LOCATION roles such as Location, Beneficiary, Experiencer, etc. and that, on the other hand, the Result role behaves in a parallel way to the Theme role. This book shows that these predictions are really borne out.

In this book, four types of constructions are examined in detail: resultative constructions, double object constructions, middle constructions, and locative inversion constructions. In order to account for the Case properties of these constructions, the author proposes a system in which each of the upper and lower Vs can have a feature for checking accusative Case. Furthermore, the Structural Realization Principle is proposed on the basis of the distinction between simple and affected LOCATIONs. A proposal relevant to cross-linguistic variations is that an empty V that serves as the lower V head is available in the syntax of English and German, but not in that of French and Japanese. It is argued that the existence of this empty lower V in English makes possible not only strong resultative constructions but also gesture-expression constructions and "a hole" constructions in this language.

NOBUHIRO KAGA is Professor of Linguistics at Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Japan. He has coauthored books on negation, quantifier, and semantic role, and published articles in such journals as English Linguistics (Journal of the English Linguistic Society of Japan).


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