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Share Paper 1431

Instrument Subjects Are Agents or Causers
Artemis Alexiadou and Florian Schäfer
40-48 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


This paper focuses on instrument subjects. It shows that instruments are acceptable as subjects crosslinguistically under two interpretations, that of an Agent and that of a Causer. In doing this, the general point is that the distinction between the two theta roles Agent and Causer is syntactically reflected. The closer look at instrument subjects provides us also with hints as to what it means to be an Agent or a Causer.

Published in

Proceedings of the 25th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Donald Baumer, David Montero, and Michael Scanlon
Table of contents
Printed edition: $375.00