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SYNTAX: the conditions which a head imposes on its immediate context through its argument structure, i.e. the theta-roles it assigns, is called s(emantic)-selection. EXAMPLE: the fact that the verb to persuade selects a subject denoting an actor (or agent), and two complements, one denoting the person who is the action's target and one denoting a proposition (cf. he persuaded me to go), is considered a matter of s-selection. S-selection is distinguished from c(ategorial)-selection, the conditions imposed in terms of categorical features (e.g. N,V). It is a point of debate whether and to what extent c-selection can be derived from s-selection (e.g. by rules of canonical structural realization). Next to s- and c-selection, some assume m(orphological)-selection, which applies word-internally.
LIT. Chomsky, N. (1986a)
Chomsky, N. and H. Lasnik (1993)
Ouhalla, J. (1990)
Pesetsky, D. (1982)