Themantic Roles (theta-roles / θ-roles)
- the 'doer' or instigator of the action denoted by the predicate
- the 'undergoer' of the action or event denoted by the predicate
- the entity that experiences the action or event denoted by the predicate
- the location or entity in the direction of which something moves
- the entity that benefits from the actino or event denoted by the predicate
- the location or entity from which something moves
- the medium by which the action or event denoted by the preidcate is carried out
- the specification of the place where the action or event denoted by the predicate is situated
- the specification of a state of affairs.
[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'
- 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