Semantically transparent linking in HPSG
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Most researchers now agree that subcategorization correlates significantly with semantics. But this semantic component of linking has proved elusive. Most, if not all, theories of linking have, in pratice, resorted to constructs that are syntactic diacritics. We show in this paper that the implicit syntactic diacritics that plague the basic linking constraints posited in at least some of these theories can be eliminated, provided that (i) the metalanguage in which linguistic constraints are written allows for true implicational statements; (ii) one is willing to slightly increase the number of linking constraints. We focus in particular on the linking theory presented in Davis and Koenig 2000, Davis 2001, and Koenig and Davis 2000, but we maintain that our arguments apply, mutatis mutandis, to many other linking theories. We note some of the consequences of this view of linking, including: linking constraints are stated in terms of semantically natural classes of situations, a single entailment of a verb’s argument is sufficient to determine its linking, and interaction among linking constraints restricts the range of possible lexical items.