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date: 20 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the impact and development of Donald Davidson’s original proposal that there is an event variable in the logical forms that encode meaning in natural languages. Originally, Davidson was concerned with adjuncts and their entailments, but this chapter demonstrates how these insights were extended to apply to thematic arguments. It is argued that there is a family of Neodavidsonian proposals that all have in common that they argue for Neodavidsonian logical forms. However, they differ substantially in how they derive these logical forms, notably in what assumptions they make concerning the syntactic structure that serves as an input to the semantic interpretation. The chapter provides an overview of some of the different approaches, closing by defending a view that can be viewed as a natural consequence of the original insight due to Davidson: not only event predicates, but also argument predicates are linked together by way of conjunction.

Keywords: agent, argument structure, composition, Davidson, events, interface, quantifier, thematic separation, theme

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