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Understanding Predication


Edited By Piotr Stalmaszczyk

This book investigates the linguistic status of predication, especially within the generative paradigm. The topics discussed include minimalist accounts of predication, types of predication, copular constructions, topic and focus, theticity and transitivity. The contributions analyze constructions from a wide variety of languages, including English, Polish, Irish, Welsh, Norwegian, German, Arabic, Ostyak, Mongolian, Japanese and Chinese. This book contributes to contemporary debates on understanding predication in linguistics and in the philosophy of language.

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Predication in Syntax: Toward a Semantic Explanation of the Subject Requirement (Tor A. Åfarli)


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Tor A. Åfarli

NTNU Trondheim

Predication in Syntax: Toward a Semantic Explanation of the Subject Requirement

Abstract: I will argue that the semantic notion of predication plays a key role in syntax, more specifically concerning the verb’s subject domain. Thus, predication is not only semantically central to the verb phrase and to the clause; it is also essential to their syntactic apparition. I will first argue, following Bowers (1993, 2001) and others, that the propositional nexus is mediated by a predication operator heading a designated predication phrase (PrP). I argue (i) that the syntactic subject requirement should be explained as an effect of the workings of the predication operator, and (ii) that the non-existence of expletive PRO is also explained as an effect of the same. In my theoretical quest, I draw on data from several European languages.

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