LLI Meeting: March 15, 2013

There will be a LLI meeting tomorrow, Friday the 15th from 1-2:30 pm in DT 2203, given by Ash on his ongoing work. Below you can see the abstract.

Title: Flexible Composition and the Argument/Adjunct Distinction in LFG+Glue

Syntactic theories generally contain some notion of subcategorization such that, e.g., a verb is subcategorized as an intransitive or transitive. This has led to long-standing problems in the analysis of apparently transitive predicates that can leave the object unexpressed (e.g., ‘eat’), the analysis of apparently intransitive predicates that can sometimes express an object (e.g., cognate object verbs such as ‘dance’), and the analysis of certain optional elements, “derived arguments” (Needham & Toivonen, 2011) such as ‘with’-instrumentals or direct object benefactives, whose status as argument or adjunct is unclear. I will present a theory of implicit arguments based on some recent joint work with Gianluca Giorgolo (King’s College). The key idea is that this kind of subcategorization information should not be syntactically represented as such, but is rather part of the compositional requirements of predicates and should therefore be handled in semantic composition. This leads to a less rigid notion of transitivity and of subcategorization more generally, with implications for our understanding of the fundamental argument/adjunct distinction. I will also explore the specific architectural implications for Lexical-Functional Grammar.

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