Argument Structure
(3,471 words)

In essence, argument structure (“a-structure” henceforth) is the traditional notion of transitivity reconceptualized in and enriched by modern linguistic theory. The a-structure of a lexical predicator describes its semantic and syntactic abilities to combine with other core constituents in a sentence. Usually, though not always, the focus of a-structure research is on verbal predicators. In this respect, Chinese has offered valuable contributions to our understanding of a-structure.

A situation S, be it a state or an event, has a number of participants each of…

Cite this page
Yafei LI, “Argument Structure”, in: Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics, General Editor Rint Sybesma. Consulted online on 19 February 2019 <>
First published online: 2015

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