The distinction between arguments and adjuncts

The distinction between arguments and adjuncts is fundamental to most theories of syntax and semantics, and it is also generally presupposed in philosophy of language, psycholinguistics, neurolinguistics, and many descriptive grammars. The distinction is intuitive and I believe it is important. However, it is sometimes difficult to classify a given word or phrase as an argument or an adjunct. We have been collecting and examining proposed argumenthood tests in order to better understand what it is they test for. We are also investigating the psycholinguistics and neurolinguistics of arguments and adjuncts.

This work is highly collaborative. My collaborators include Rob Truswell, Ash Asudeh, Gianluca Giorgolo, Lisa Sullivan, Katie Van Luven, Liz Christie, Daniel Di Giovanni, Roxana-Maria Barbu, and others.

To appear. Event participants and linguistic arguments. With Roxana-Maria Barbu. Proceedings of CogSci 2016. pdf

2015. East Cree Ghost participants. With Marie-Odile Junker. Proceedings of the LFG15 Conference. link

2014. Meaning and valency. With Ash Asudeh and Gianluca Giorgolo. Proceedings of the LFG14 Conference, 68--88.

2011. The argumenthood status of directional PPs. With Katie Van Luven. Poster presented at the LSA Annual Meeting.

2013. English benefactive NPs Proceedings of the LFG13 Conference, 503--523. link

2011. Derived arguments With Stephanie Needham. Proceedings of the LFG11 Conference, 401--421. link

1995. A study of Finnish infinitives. BA honor's thesis, Brandeis University. pdf

The following students have also done very interesting work on the argument-adjunct distinction. Please see The LLI web page for their theses.

Daniel Di Giovanni. 2015. Neural and predictive effects of verb argument structure. Master's Thesis, Cognitive Science, Carleton University.

Elizabeth Christie. 2015. The English Resultative. Ph.D. Thesis, Cognitive Science, Carleton University.

Roxana-Maria Barbu. 2015. Verbs and Participants: Non-linguists' Intuitions. Master's Thesis, Cognitive Science, Carleton University.

Katie Van Luven. 2015. The Argument Status of directional PPs. BA Thesis, Linguistics (SLALS), Carleton University.