Semantic correlates of syntactic roles
syntactic: subject, direct object, indirect object, prepositional objects
semantic: agent, patient, benefactive, instrument-loc-source
Roles Suggested in Linguistc Work
Fillmore's (1968 ) 5 roles
agentive: typically animate perceived instigator
instrumental: inanimate force or object causally involved
dative: animate being resulting from the action
locative: location or spatial orientation of the action
objective: other entities invovled in the action
Frawley's (1992) 4 roles
logical actors: agent, author, and instrument
logical recipients: patient, experiencer, and benefactive
spatial role: theme, source, and goal
non-participant roles: locative, reason, and purpose
Jackendoff's (1972) 3 primitive roles:
CAUSE, CHANGE and BE later adopted by Dowty (1979) in Montague Grammar.
Dowty's (1989) 2 `thematic-role-like concepts' for verbal predicates:
the proto-agent and proto-patient role.
subjecthood vs. objecthood, agentivity vs. patientivity
Contributing properties for the proto-agent role
-- Volition; sentience (and/or perception); causes event; movement.
Contributing properties for the proto-patient role
-- Change of state (including coming-to-being, going-out-of-being); incremental theme (i.e. determinant of aspect); causally
affected by event; stationary (relative to movement of proto-agent).
Sowa's (1984) "Conceptual Structures" text
two dozen or so thematic relations and 37 conceptual relations [url]
Sowa's (1999) "Knowledge Representation" text
19 themantic roles [url=http://www.jfsowa.com/ontology/thematic.htm]
Upper Cyc Ontology (1997)
100+ themantic roles [url=http://www.cyc.com]
FrameNetII countless frames
every sense of every word (i.e., every lexical unit) has its own frame. [url=http://www.icsi.berkeley.edu/~framenet]
A list of the most popular semantic/thematic-roles/relations and the properties usually associated with them is given below.
Agent: A participant which the meaning of the verb specifies as doing or causing something, possibly intentionally. Examples:
subjects of kill, eat, hit, smash, kick, watch.
Patient: a participant which the verb characterizes as having something happen to it, and as being affected by what happens to it. Examples: objects of kill, eat, smash but not those of watch, hear, love.
Experiencer: A participant who is characterized as aware of something. Examples: subject of love, object of annoy.
Theme: A participant which is characterized as changing its position or condition, or as being in a state or position. Examples: objects of give, hand, subjects of walk, die.
Location: The thematic role associated with the NP expressing the location in a sentence with a verb of location. Examples: subjects of keep, own, retain, know, locative PPs.
Source: Object from which motion proceeds. Examples: subjects of buy, promise, objects of deprive, free, cure.
Goal: Object to which motion proceeds. Examples: subject of receive, buy, dative objects of tell, give. (adapted from ([Dow89])