Themantic Roles (theta-roles / θ-roles)

Agent
 - the 'doer' or instigator of the action denoted by the predicate

Patient
 - the 'undergoer' of the action or event denoted by the predicate

Theme
 - the entity that experiences the action or event denoted by the predicate

Goal
 - the location or entity in the direction of which something moves

Benefactive
 - the entity that benefits from the actino or event denoted by the predicate

Source
 - the location or entity from which something moves

Instrument
 - the medium by which the action or event denoted by the preidcate is carried out

Locative
 - the specification of the place where the action or event denoted by the predicate is situated

Proposition
 - the specification of a state of affairs.




themantic structure
e.g. give(verb)
      [1 <NP, Agent>], ([2 <NP, Benefactive>]), [3 <NP, Theme>]

whether it, existential there
 - do not refer to entities in the outside world
 - 'Subject slot filler'

Adjunct
 - are never arguments
 - not all grammatical functions are linked to argument positions
 - each argument realises a grammatical function

Why do we need themantic roles?
 - there is no one-to-one relationship between grammatical function and themantic roles -> need to distinguish these notions

grammatical function - syntactic notion
themantic roles - semantic