Predicates and their Subjects is an in-depth study of the syntax-semantics
interface focusing on the structure of the subject-predicate relation.
Starting from where the author's 1983 dissertation left off, the book
argues that there is syntactic constraint that clauses (small and tensed)
are constructed out of a one-place unsaturated expression, the predicate,
which must be applied to a syntactic argument, its subject. The author
shows that this predication relation cannot be reduced to a thematic
relation or a projection of argument structure, but must be a purely
syntactic constraint. Chapters in the book show how the syntactic
predication relation is semantically interpreted, and how the predication
relation explains constraints on DP-raising and on the distribution of
pleonastics in English. The second half of the book extends the theory of
predication to cover copular constructions; it includes an account of the
structure of small clauses in Hebrew, of the use of 'be' in predicative and
identity sentences in English, and concludes with a study of the meaning of
the verb 'be'.