UCL Working Papers in Linguistics 8 (1996)

Missing arguments in earlier English clause structures



The purpose of this paper is to account for missing arguments in impersonal constructions in earlier English. Having examined all the proposals for accounting for the missing arguments in line with the discussion of such arguments in early child English, we saw that all of them had potential problems. I proposed a new view that the missing arguments were not missing, but simply did not exist in a given argument structure from the beginning, because the early clause is completely thematically constructed. Only arguments which are required by the meaning of the predicate have to be syntactically realized.

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