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Lecture 9

Ling Lecture 9A, 12Mar 2013.docx

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McMaster University
Catherine Anderson

Ling Lecture 9A What are thematic roles?  C. Labels that capture semantic similarities across different kinds of events Events & participants  Sentences describe states or events  Events have participants  Participants in different events can share semantic similarities Thematic roles: An expanded list  Agent (does the action/aware/chose to do the action) - experiencer  Theme (undergo the action) - Cause  Source - Instrument  Goal  Location Semantic properties of thematic roles  A typical instrument o Is inanimate o Is used by an agent to bring about an event Ex. Dr. Anderson resembled a dollhouse for her daughter yesterday with the help of a tool.  A typical cause o Is inanimate o Brings about an event through its own power Semantic properties of thematic roles  A typical experiencer (it’s aware/similar to a theme/no choice in whether if to participate in the event) o Is animate & sentient o Does not necessarily exert power or choice in the event Thematic Roles often map to grammatical roles  Agents are often… show up in subject position [not a rule, but its kind of a default] Ex. Ilona broke an icicle. Walter introduced the g
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