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Hi Marc

What do you mean by 'n-place predicate'? Any way of understanding this phrase that I can think of makes hash of your remarks.




Good to hear from you! It's a good question. Here are some options.

1. Semantic definition: A predicate P is an n-place predicate if and only if its lexically specified semantic value is an n-place relation-in-intension. (This may require semantic individuation of predicates--no big deal.)

2. Feature based definition: The idea here is just that the lexical entry for the predicate says, "I'm n-placed". This is essentially how things are done in Gov't & Binding and I think in Minimalism (though I am not up on the latter theory). Note that, apart from how such values might interact with, say, the case system in a natural language, they would be essential for distinguishing sentences formed via Rule 2 from those formed via Rule 3.

3. Canonical occurrence definition: A third possibility would involve distinguishing central from peripheral formation rules and treating predicates as n-placed if they are n-placed with respect to the central formation rules.

I favor something like option 2 (possibly with explanatory support from option 1), but perhaps I need to think more about the issue.

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