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THEORY: What, Besides Verbs, Can Take Two Or More Arguments?

From:Tom Chappell <tomhchappell@...>
Date:Tuesday, August 2, 2005, 18:43
Hello, everyone.
This question is about number of arguments, but not about ditransitive verbs.

Which grammatical categories can take more than one argument?
In which of them do the arguments have different roles?
We know verbs can have one or two or three core arguments,
and they don't all play the same role.
(In some languages, I guess, some verbs can take zero or four core arguments,
but that seems to be the limit.)

In English, a few prepositions, such as "between", take two arguments;
these arguments both play exactly the same role.
The English preposition "among" is supposed to be similar to "between",
except that "among" can take any number of arguments more than two;
once again, all of the arguments play exactly the same role as each other.

What about English words like "than" and "as"?  What lexical category do they belong to?
Are they requiring more than one argument, as "than" seems to,
and "as" sometimes seems to?
Are the arguments equal in role?
Maybe "than"'s arguments are different in role,
but "as"'s arguments (when it's bivalent) have equivalent roles?


Thanks to anyone who can come up with anything.

Tom H.C. in MI

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