External argument

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The external argument of a predicate X is the argument which is not contained in the maximal projection of X. In general, this is the subject of a predicate.

Example

in (i), John is the external argument of the verb buy, and is not part of its maximal projection VP.

(i) John [VP buys books]

An argument of a predicate X which is contained in its maximal projection is called the internal argument. In (i) the NP books is the internal argument of the verb buy.

Link

Utrecht Lexicon of Linguistics

References

  • Chomsky, N. 1986a. Knowledge of language: its nature, origin and use, Praeger, New York.
  • Chomsky, N. 1981. Lectures on Government and Binding, Foris, Dordrecht.
  • Williams, E. 1980. Predication, Linguistic Inquiry 11, pp.203-238

Other languages

German externes Argument