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Hardcover | $74.00 Short | £61.95 | 288 pp. | 6 x 9 in | March 2016 | ISBN: 9780262034135
Paperback | $37.00 Short | £30.95 | 288 pp. | 6 x 9 in | March 2016 | ISBN: 9780262528658
eBook | $26.00 Short | March 2016 | ISBN: 9780262333160
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Concepts, Syntax, and Their Interface

The Theta System


One of Tanya Reinhart’s major contributions to linguistic theory is the development of the Theta System (TS), a theory of the interface between the system of concepts and the linguistic computational system. Reinhart introduced her theory in a seminal paper, “The Theta System: Syntactic Realization of Verbal Concepts” (2000) and subsequently published other papers with further theoretical development. Although Reinhart continued to work on the Theta System, she had not completed a planned Linguistic Inquiry volume on the topic before her untimely death in 2007. This book, then, is the first to offer a systematic exposition of Reinhart’s Theta System. The core of the book is Reinhart’s 2000 paper, accompanied by substantial endnotes with clarifications, summaries, and links to subsequent modifications of the theory, some in Reinhart’s unpublished work. An appendix by Marijana Marelj discusses the domain of Case, based on an LSA course she taught with Reinhart in 2005. Two additional essays by Reinhart’s linguistic colleagues discuss the division of labor between the lexicon and syntax and the apparent conflict between the Theta System and Distributed Morphology.

About the Author

The late Tanya Reinhart was the Interface Chair at Utrecht University, a Global Distinguished Professor at NYU, and the author of Interface Strategies: Optimal and Costly Computations (MIT Press) and other books.

About the Editors

Martin Everaert is Professor of Linguistics at Utrecht University.

Marijana Marelj is affiliated with the Linguistics Department at Utrecht University.

Eric Reuland is Faculty Professor of Language and Cognition at the Utrecht Institute of Linguistics (OTS).


These outstanding essays carry forward the late Tanya Reinhart’s highly illuminating work, presented fully here for the first time, on central problems of language: the linkage between lexicon and syntax and the intricate ways in which the structure of words and the expressions in which they appear enter into semantic interpretation. A contribution of great value.
Noam Chomsky
How verbs lexicalize events and how event participants are coded in sentences is the very heart of language and reveals the way in which language gives shape to concepts. This book is an insightful and compelling view of the path from grammar to conceptual spaces, by one of the most brilliant, deep, and unorthodox investigators of the language faculty of the twentieth century and beyond.
Gennaro Chierchia, Harvard University