The Theta System: An Introduction

Martin Everaert, Marijana Marelj, Tal Siloni

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The goal of this introduction is threefold. Firstly, it overviews the core issues and challenges at the lexicon-syntax interface, thus setting the stage for the appearance of the Theta system of Reinhart (1991, 1996, 2000, 2002 et seq.) Secondly, in broad strokes, it demonstrates how the system deals (away) with the thematic roles as primitives, addresses the issue of verbal alternations and the gaps that exist in the paradigm, and, as illustrated by some of the most notorious instances of mapping puzzles, tackles the linking of the semantic categories to syntax. Last but not least, it provides summaries of the contributions to this volume. The contributions themselves examine the underpinnings, explore the advantages, and suggest further developments and improvements of the Theta system.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Theta System
Subtitle of host publicationArgument Structure at the Interface
EditorsMartin Everaert, Marijana Marelj, Tal Siloni
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9780191739200
ISBN (Print)9780199602513
StatePublished - 24 May 2012

Publication series

NameOxford studies in theoretical linguistics


  • Feature clusters
  • Lexicon-syntax interface
  • Subject & object-experiencers
  • Theme-unaccusatives & theme-unergatives
  • Transitive-unaccusative alternation

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities


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