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Predication is typically thought of as a (linguistic) semantic notion: the construction of a proposition from two components, a subject and a predicate. This chapter attempts to outline the main ways in which predication has been analyzed in the generative syntactic literature. The discussion here is limited to 'primary' predication. One of the seminal works on the syntax of predication is Edwin Williams. For Williams, predication is a mode of Θ-role assignment. Expletive or pleonastic subjects constitute perhaps the strongest argument that there is a need to invoke a notion of predication independent of theta Θ-role assignment. The syntax of predication was inspired by the pioneering work of Williams, Rothstein, and John Bowers. Predication, as a syntactic licensing relation, sat uncomfortably within earlier generative frameworks. The Minimalist abandonment of D-structure has opened the way for a better integration of the theory of predication into syntactic theory more generally.
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