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Theta-grid is the lexical specification of the thematic properties of a predicate. Originally (cf. Williams 1981b), a theta-grid is conceived of as an unordered list of theta-roles with only an indication of their status as being external (through underlining) or internal roles. More recently (cf. Grimshaw 1990), the theta-grid of a predicate is equated with its argument structure, which not only specifies an hierarchy among the theta-roles (through bracketing), but also their status as being a direct or indirect role, optional or obligatory, etc.

See also



  • Grimshaw, J. 1990. Argument Structure, MIT-press, Cambridge, Mass.
  • Roca, I. 1992. Thematic structure: its role in grammar, Mouton.
  • Williams, E. 1981b. Argument Structure and Morphology, The Linguistic Review 1, pp. 81-114
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