The syntax of argument structure

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Although current generative theory acknowledges the existence of argument structure (AS), it nevertheless con&#173;&#173;tinues to assume that syntax is the primary computational system, which explains why it has failed to pro&#173;duce an integrated theory of morphosyntax. I define morphosyntax as the relation between the syntactically relevant infor&#173;mation encoded in a verb&#8217;s AS, the affix-driven operations that alter initial AS representation, and the syntactic structure pro&#173;jected from derived AS (see Babby 2009). In this paper I present an expli&#173;cit de&#173;ri&#173;va&#173;tion&#173;al theory of the mapping between AS and syntax. My main hypothesis is that AS and the affix-driven operations that alter it play a <i>central</i> role in the sentence&#8217;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.


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