Thus I distinguish the argument-taker argument relation the relation between the function and its arguments from the semantic-role-assigner semantic-role-assignee relation. The roleassigner role-assignee relation holds between a constituent bearing a semantic role and the item that determines which semantic role the constituent will bear.
The 'give' function in 2. For a constituent to serve as argument to 'give,' it must be assigned the theme role or goal role first. In the present theory, I separate the organization of arguments into a predicate, performed by the function that a verb names, from the assignment of semantic roles to these arguments. Since it is crucial to this book, the notion of semantic role assignment warrants further clarification. Consider sentence 2. Page 18 Speakers of English know from sentence 2.
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One general approach to accounting for this knowledge is to suppose that the verb gave in 2. On this account, speakers may deduce the semantic roles of the various NPs from the semantic interpretation of the sentence. This is basically Jackendoff's approach. I adopt the alternative view that constituents in sentences assign semantic roles todetermine the semantic roles ofother constituents independent of the semantic organization of the entire sentence or clause in which the constituents appear.
For example, the preposition to assigns the goal or recipient role to Hortense in 2. On this view a speaker's knowledge of the semantic role of a constituent need not be deduced from the semantic representation of a sentence but may be computed directly from a syntactic analysis of the sentence. A determination of the semantic roles borne by constituents is in fact logically prior to the derivation of a semantic representation since verbs, for example, name functions from constituents bearing certain semantic roles to predicates.
In sentence 2. The preposition to assigns the goal role to Hortense , and the predicate x give the porcupine to Hortense assigns to Elmer the role of "giver of the porcupine to Hortense.
Consider verbs like give, put, and steal, which I assume to have P-A structures something like those shown in 2. Page 19 Note that the prepositions used to mark the second arguments of these verbs assign the semantic roles of these arguments to their objects when they are used to head adjectival PPs and not to mark the arguments of verbs. Compare the sentences in 2. Elmer gave two porcupines to Hortense. Elmer put the porcupine on the table.
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Elmer stole a porcupine from the zoo. The train to Pittsburgh arrived at the station. The porcupine on the table slipped its leash. The porcupine from the zoo was tamer than the rest. The italicized NPs in the sentences in 2.
dandvalsmanny.cf If one assumed that arguments receive their semantic roles simply by virtue of filling argument slots in P-A structures, then it would be an accident that the same items e. If the source argument of steal, for example, received its semantic role simply by occupying the second slot in P-A structure 2.
Since steal in this case would, in effect, be assigning the source role itself, from would be unnecessary. Joan Bresnan has pointed out personal communication that one can explain the use of semantically appropriate prepositions to mark a verb's arguments even if these arguments are treated on par with a verb's subject or object.
Within Lexical-Functional Grammar, for example, what I have been calling direct and indirect arguments are all associated with essentially equivalent slots in a predicate-argument structure. However, some slots may be linked to semantically unrestricted grammatical functions like subject and object, while others are linked to semantically restricted functions like oblique object, marked by various prepositions.
For an argument position to be linked to a semantically restricted grammatical function, the argument occupying that position must bear a semantic role appropriate to the restriction. For example, in order for an argument of a verb to be associated with the oblique from-object function, it must bear the source role.
Page 20 It should be clear that, at the present level of discussion, the Lexical-Functional notion of an argument bearing a semantically restricted oblique function and my notion of an indirect argument of a verb are equivalent. In both cases, the semantic role of the argument in question is constrained not only by the verb the verb takes only certain types of arguments but by something elsethe preposition from for example. In the framework of this book, the preposition assigns a certain semantic role; in Bresnan's terms, the preposition marks a constituent bearing a grammatical function that is restricted to a certain semantic role.
In both frameworks the explanation for the data in 2. If all of a verb's arguments received their semantic roles from the verb, one might expect all the arguments to be marked in the same manner, or with some arbitrary marking to specify which argument goes in which slot in a P-A structure. That some arguments of a verb are marked in the same manner as NPs bearing identical semantic roles but not serving as arguments of a verb is the strongest evidence for viewing the assignment of semantic roles to arguments as independent of P-A structures.
In fact, the data in 2. The distinction between the assignment of a semantic role to a constituent and that constituent's serving as an argument to an argument-taking item is crucial in distinguishing direct arguments of argument-taking items arguments that also receive their role from their argument takers and indirect arguments arguments that do not receive their roles from their argument takers.
Relational Grammar distinguishes between pure grammatical relations like 1's and 2's and impure relations like benefactives and locatives. Lexical-Functional Grammar Bresnan b employs a similar classification of relations. Although there are a number of ways of formulating the basic distinction between direct and indirect arguments, the particular formulation chosen for the present theory plays a central role in the explanation of a range of grammatical phenomena. For example, the treatment of passivization provided in chapter 4 interacts with my characterization of direct and indirect arguments to explain why only.
Page 21 direct arguments passivize in most situations, that is, show up as subjects of passive verbs. So in the present theory constituents do not receive semantic roles by virtue of occupying slots in predicates like GO x, y, z but rather are assigned their semantic roles. Semantic roles may be assigned by at least the items listed in 2. Similarly, other argument-taking lexical items may assign semantic roles to their direct arguments. For example, I assume that some derived nominals assign semantic roles to their of-objects but see Rappaport So in 2.
Although a general principle yet to be discussed ensures that the argument of a predicate will always be a direct argumentthat is, it cannot receive its semantic role from some constituent other than the predicatethe separation of semantic role assignment and argument taking in the case of the subject proves essential to the analysis of certain derived causative constructions in chapter 7. In the most normal situation, the case markings that assign semantic roles are the markings usually called the semantic cases, such as locative, benefactive, or instrumental case. When a case marking is associated with a certain semantic role and the constituent bearing the case also bears the role, then one says, usually, that the case marking assigns the constituent its semantic role.
Like a particular case marking, when a structural position becomes associated with a particular semantic role, it too may assign this role. Page 22 tree , which is the canonical expression of themes and patients in English.
According to this account, a porcupine in 2. It seems that, in the unmarked case, each semantic role assigner may assign only one semantic role. To derive some results in chapters 5 and 7 concerning double object constructions and applied verbs, I need to elevate this observation to the status of a principle: 2. Moreover, an argument-taking item tends to assign a role to its argument, if it can.
I incorporate this apparent tendency into principle 2. Principle 2. In contrast, principle 2. Since predicates are phrases, not lexical items, they lack lexical entries, which might contain exceptional features. Page 23 its semantic role from the predicate; that is, the subject of the predicate will be a direct argument. The notions of semantic role assignment and argument structure provide definitions for the two basic semantic relations of l-s structure: that between an argument-taking item like a verb or predicate and its arguments, and that between a semantic role assigner and the constituent to which it assigns a semantic role.
Other semantic relations may be defined in terms of these basic relations and the constituent types of l-s structure. For example, I define the logical object of a verb as the constituent that both serves as argument to and receives a semantic role from the verb. The logical subject of a predicate is the constituent serving as argument and semantic role assignee of the predicate. Another important difference between P-A structures of this book and the sort of predicate notation employed by Jackendoff and others is that the former but not the latter imply an asymmetry among the inherent semantic roles associated with a verb.
In the Jackendoff framework and in many current theories all semantic dependents of a verb simply fill slots in n-ary predicates such as GO x, y, z.
This equality of arguments characterizes Bresnan's Lexical-Functional Grammar, Williams's argument structures Williams , and Montague Grammar Dowty a, b as well. In a theory with symmetric argument structures, the choice of one argument can in no way affect the semantic role assigned to another argument of the predicate. All arguments are independent and on par. In contrast to the symmetric argument structures of these other frameworks, the asymmetric P-A structures incorporated into the present theory assure that the choice of arguments to fill P-A slots will affect the semantic role assigned to the logical subject.
Since the P-A structures of verbs are functions from arguments to predicates, which arguments one inserts into the P-A structures determines what predicate the function will yield. As the predicate assigns the logical subject its semantic role, choice of arguments for P-A structures determines the semantic role of the logical subject. By way of illustration, consider the sentences in 2. The verb give provided with the arguments in 2.
Page 24 2. Elmer gave the porcupine to Hortense. Elmer gave two aardvarks to Horace.