Argument Structure is a contribution to linguistics at the interface between lexical syntax and lexical semantics. It formulates an original and highly predictive theory of argument structure that accounts for a large number of syntactic phenomena, and it will interest linguists who focus on the nature and form of linguistic representations as well as psychologists who study the acquisition and use of language. The main analytical focus is on passives, nominals, psychological predicates, and the theory of external arguments.
Recent work in theoretical syntax has revealed the strong explanatory power of the notions of economy, competition, and optimization. Building grammars entirely upon these elements, Optimality Theory syntax provides a theory of universal grammar with a formally precise and strongly restricted theory of universal typology: cross-linguistic variation arises exclusively from the conflict among universal principles.