Flexible Syntax

A Theory of Case and Arguments

  • Ad Neeleman
  • Fred Weerman

Part of the Studies in Natural Language and Linguistic Theory book series (SNLT, volume 47)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Ad Neeleman, Fred Weerman
    Pages 1-16
  3. Ad Neeleman, Fred Weerman
    Pages 17-58
  4. Ad Neeleman, Fred Weerman
    Pages 59-103
  5. Ad Neeleman, Fred Weerman
    Pages 105-143
  6. Ad Neeleman, Fred Weerman
    Pages 145-178
  7. Ad Neeleman, Fred Weerman
    Pages 179-221
  8. Ad Neeleman, Fred Weerman
    Pages 223-229
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 231-257

About this book


Most linguistic theories assume that each grammatical relation is established in a unique structural configuration. Neeleman and Weerman take issue with this view, arguing for a more flexible approach on the basis of conceptual considerations and data taken mostly, but not exclusively, from the Germanic languages. In-depth analyses of word order phenomena as well as diachronic and typological generalizations motivate a re-evaluation of the role of case in the projection of arguments. Case is shown to provide a syntactic foothold for thematic interpretation, something which is necessary in a grammar that does not allow fixed theta-positions. Thus, this study does not only offer a genuine alternative to many standard assumptions, it also explains why there should be such a thing as case in natural language.


Affix German Index Nominativ Scrambling Syntax complements diachron grammar language nouns object preposition subject syntactic

Authors and affiliations

  • Ad Neeleman
    • 1
  • Fred Weerman
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Phonetics and LinguisticsUniversity College LondonUK
  2. 2.Utrecht Institute of Linguistics OTSUtrecht UniversityThe Netherlands

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-0-7923-7199-1
  • Online ISBN 978-94-011-4289-2
  • Series Print ISSN 0924-4670
  • Buy this book on publisher's site