The chapter critically evaluates the pros and cons of using the theory of argument structure in the analysis of Italian verbs. First, we highlight the strengths of the theory. Second, we address two of its weaknesses: the distinction between arguments and adjuncts, and the optionality in the syntactic realization of arguments. We argue that these weaknesses can be overcome by adopting a semantic perspective. In particular, we propose that, unlike adjuncts, arguments play a role in determining the meaning of the verb in the context of use, and that syntactic optionality is driven by either pragmatic or lexical semantic defaulting.
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