principles parameters approach in linguistics iv
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Principles & Parameters Approach in Linguistics - IV. Bibhuti Bhusan Mahapatra. Levels of Representation and θ-theory. D-structure Subcategorization applies in the D-structure via X-Bar theory. S-structure

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levels of representation and theory
Levels of Representation and θ-theory
  • D-structure
    • Subcategorization applies in the D-structure via X-Bar theory.
  • S-structure
    • Grammatical functions (GFs), e.g. ‘subject- of’, ‘object-of’ apply at S-structure. Theta roles can be taken as GFs.
  • Logical Form
    • The semantic features of θ-roles apply at s-structure LF
x bar and subcategorization
X-Bar and Subcategorization

1) XP

Specifier X’

X Complement

  • If α is a 0-level category of X-bar theory then the category β must satisfy the subcategorization frame ofα. In this case we will say that α subcategorizes the position occupied by by β. (Chomsky P: 37)
subcategorization and theta marking
Subcategorization and Theta Marking

The representation in (2) is an alternative notation of X-bar theory given in (1):

2) [γ … α…β…]

[γ …β…α …]

  • [α is x-head of x-bar notation; β is the complement]
  • α and β are immediate constituents of γ
  • γ is XP of x-bar notation)
  • Head-complement order is free

The same configuration [which indicates the subcategorized position] is relevant to determination of θ-role. (Chomsky

subcategorization and theta marking1
Subcategorization and Theta marking:

2) [γ … α…β…]

[γ …β…α …]

  • α theta marks the position occupied by β. (p: 37)
  • α theta marks the category β if α theta marks the positionoccupied by β or a trace of β. (p: 37)
  • Clearly, theta marking is closely related to subcategorization. The two notions are not identical however. (p: 37)
subcategorization and theta marking a difference
Subcategorization and Theta marking:A difference
  • A verb may not subcategorize the subject position but it may theta mark the subject.
  • Double objects are also theta marked; but, in the strict sense, are they subcategorized?
projection principle restated
Projection Principle (restated)

2) [γ … α…β…]

[γ …β…α …]

  • If β is an immediate constituent of γ in (2) at leveli and γ = α’, then α theta-marks β in γ.
  • If α selects β in γ as lexical property, then α selects β in γ at leveli.
  • If α selects β in γ at leveli, then α selects β at levelj.
subcategorization and grammatical functions
Subcategorization and Grammatical Functions
  • “From the earliest work in generative grammar, as in traditional grammar, it has been assumed that what I am now calling “θ-role” is determined in part by a representation in terms of grammatical functions (GFs) such as subject-of, object-of, and so on, where GFs are determined in terms of syntactic configurations
levels of representation an example
Levels of Representation: An Example

3) .




specifier V’

kill complement (lexical)

Subject Kill Object (syntax)

Agent kill theme (LF)

Rama killed RavaNa

application of theta criterion
Application of theta criterion
  • Each Argument bears one and only one -role, and each theta role is assigned to one and only one argument.
  • How is the above condition applied?
theta chain and theta criterion
Theta chain and theta criterion
  • Any chain formed by an element moving to a theta position is not licit.

4) It seems [Mary] likes [John]]

5) Maryi seems[ti] to like [John]

6) *Mary seems [Johnji] to like [ti]

7) *Mary seems [Johnji] likes [ti]

  • In (6) John which has the object theta moves to the subject position; so, it gets two theta roles. Thus, the chain violates the theta criterion.
  • (7) shows that even a case position does not allow the theta chain.