Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/12867
Semantic Roles. The Aspectual Interface Hypothesis and Argument Realization
It is widely accepted that meaning plays a large part in the syntactic realization of arguments of verbs. Locating component of meaning that drives the various realizations of arguments has been the focus of a field of linguistics commonly referred to as argument realization. This paper examines two theories of argument realization. The earliest attempts to explain the divergent behavior of arguments of verbs utilized semantic roles. They are labels that identify the relation an argument has to its verb and the roles offer a way to make generalizations about the behavior of arguments. Semantic roles proved to be unsuccessful in explaining argument realization. The discussion on semantic roles offers a context for the second theory this paper deals with.
Tenny (1992) developed the Aspectual Interface Hypothesis to provide a system of linking semantic roles to the surface structure of sentences. She maintained that syntax and semantics should be kept separate and that aspectual factors functioned as the interface that connects the two together. The Aspectual Interface Hypothesis states that when the direct internal argument of a verb undergoes change it should measure out the event. Even though The Aspectual Interface Hypothesis presents an insightful way to link semantic roles to argument realization it doesn’t offer explanation for much beyond the selection of objects. The fact that the external argument can measure out events proves that the Aspectual Interface Hypothesis is inaccurate in stating that this is a property only awarded to the direct internal arguments of verbs. This paper maintains that the explanatory scope of the Aspectual Interface Hypothesis could be expanded to include subject selection by awarding the quality of measuring out to the external arguments of verbs as well as the direct internal arguments.