SYNTAX: a phrase which is a referential expression and which is associated with a theta-role assigned by a lexical head. EXAMPLE: the NPs John and apples in (i)a are arguments of eat and the embedded sentence in (i)b is an argument of obvious. The phrase next week in (ii) is not an argument (of visit), and is assigned no theta-role.
(i) a John eats apples b That you're in love, is obviousIn Chomsky (1986a), arguments are construed as chains. Now we can say that in (iii) the theta-role of hit is assigned to the antecedent John, hence is associated with the argument (Johni, ti), which is a chain.
(iii) Johni was hit ti
|LIT.||Chomsky, N. (1986a)|
Chomsky, N. (1981)
SEMANTICS: in the formula P(a), a is called the argument of the
predicate P. Generally, for a predicate with
arity n, in P(a1,...,an),
a1,...,an are called the arguments of P.
|LIT.||Gamut, L.T.F. (1991)|