A General Summary On Sentence Semantics English Language Essay

August 2, 2017 English Language

There are certain entities in a sentence which novice, experience and carryout the action. They are all by and large termed as thematic functions harmonizing to their topographic point and function. In this chapter we examine the thematic functions, its grammatical map, its unfavorable judgments and linguistics descriptions. For illustration, in the sentence Gin raised auto with a doodly-squat, Gin is the entity responsible for originating and transporting out the action, and the auto is acted upon, and doodly-squat is the agencies by which Gin is able to do the action. The writer lists out the undermentioned thematic functions in this chapter. They are moving as agent, patient, subject, experience, beneficiary, instrument, location, end and beginning in the undermentioned statements severally, 1.David cooked the vermillion rockfishs 2.The Sun melted the ice 3.The book is in the library 4.Mary saw the fume 5.They baked me a bar 6.They signed the pact with the same pen 7.The monster was concealing under the bed 8.Pat told the to his friends 9.The plane came back from London

The noun phrase the stone would be a patient and a subject in the undermentioned sentences.

1.Fred shattered the stone.

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2.Fred threw the stone.

Some authors have suggested that agent is the peculiar type of more general thematic function histrion where histrion expresses the participant which performs, instigates or controls the state of affairs denoted by predicate.

Eg. The auto ran over the porcupine.

While these functions histrion, agent, patient, experience, subject, instrument, my seem intuitively clear, in pattern it is sometimes hard to cognize which function assign to a peculiar noun phrase.

Eg. Fergus carried the bag to the beacon.

Babu bought him a athleticss auto.

Raju received a gift of flowers.

It raises the inquiry whether a individual entity can carry through two or three thematic functions at the same clip. That ‘s why the thought that one entry might carry through more than one function is elaborated into a theory of grades of thematic functions. Here, the thematic grade describes spacial dealingss whereas the action grade describes actor-patient type dealingss.

Action grade functions: histrion, agent, experience, patient, beneficiary, instrument.

Thematic grade functions: subject, end, beginning, location.

There are matchings between thematic functions and grammatical dealingss. The topic of the sentence frequently corresponds to the agent, the direct object to the subject, while the instrument frequently occurs as a prepositional phrase.

Grammatical dealingss and thematic grids is the following portion examined by the writer. There are two basic state of affairss where the general subject-agent is non a instance. The first is where functions are merely omitted, and the grammatical dealingss displacement to respond to this. The second is where the talker choose to change the usual matching between functions and grammatical dealingss.

Eg. Ursula broke the ice with the pickaxe.

The pickaxe broke the ice.

The ice broke.

In these statements the verb interruption allows all the three thematic functions to busy capable place. Several authors have suggested that this procedure of different functions busying the capable place is a hierarchal procedure. Using this we can build a simple illustration of a cosmopolitan capable hierarchy like the following one.

Agent & gt ; Recipient/Benefactive & gt ; Theme/Patient & gt ; Instrument & gt ; Location

It is small hard to believe of English illustrations with location as topic, unless we include sentences like

1This bungalow slumbers five grownups.

2The table seats eight.

But the other places on the hierarchy occur on a regular basis in the undermentioned statements.

Agent topic: The stealer stole the billfold.

Experience topic: I forgot the reference.

Recipient topic: The edifice suffered a direct hit.

Patient topics: The bowl cracked.

In the productive grammar literature this listing of thematic functions is frequently caiied a thematic-role grid or theta gridfor short.

Eg. putV: & lt ; Agent, Theme, Location & gt ;

The above thematic grid for put in the undermentioned sentence predicts that this verb might organize a sentence like

John put the book on the shelf.

Of class, non all noun phrases in a sentence are statements of a verb and therefore specified in verbal theta grids in the lexican.

Eg. Roland put the book in the bathroom.

Roland read the book in the bathroom.

In the above two sentences, the former gets in the bathroom as an statement while the latter does n’t. So adjuncts are seen as less structurally attached to the verb in a sentence.

English has a set of transportation or giving verbs which in one subclass includes the verbs spring, lend, supply, wage, donate, contribute. These verbs encode a position of the transportation from the position of the agent. Their thematic grid is V: & lt ; Agent, Theme, Recipient & gt ;

Vishwa loaned the money to Raju.

Another subclass of these transportation verbs encodes the transportation from the position of the receiver. These verbs include receive, accept, borrow, purchase, purchase, rent, hire. Their thematic grid follows


Michael borrowed the money from Barbara

The jobs associated with the simple image of thematic functions

Writers disagree about what, if any, differentiations are to be made between PATIENT and THEME, for illustration, or between AGENT and related functions like ACTOR, EXPERIENCER, etc.

Dixon identifies eight types of affectedness: a scope including the minimum contact of the verb touch where

Possibly no alteration occurs in the PATIENT, through hang-up where the surface of the PATIENT might be affected, and squash where a impermanent alteration of form in the PATIENT occurs, to nail where the PATIENT loses its physical unity:

John touched the lamp with his toe.

The captain rubbed the cricket ball with soil.

Henry squeezed the gum elastic duck in his custodies.

Alison smashed the ice regular hexahedron with her heel.

Dowty proposes that we view the functions non as distinct and delimited classs but alternatively as paradigms, where there may be different grades of rank. He suggests that there are two basic paradigms: Proto-Agent and Proto-Patient, each of which would incorporate characteristic lists of deductions such as those in the followers

Properties of the Agents Proto-Role

volitional engagement in the event or province


doing an event or alteration of province in another participant


Properties of the Patient Proto-Role

undergoes alteration of province

increment subject

causally affected by another participant

stationary relation to motion of another participant

We can see that this attack allows fluctuation amongst AGENTS: some will be more typical and affect a greater figure of characteristic deductions ; other will be more fringy.

One fact we have to account for is that there is a conventional linkage between the participant functions and the grammatical dealingss, such that in this instance the EXPERIENCER will be capable and the PERCEPT, direct object.

The dealingss between capable place and theta-role in the sentences below:

Captain Nemo sank the ship with a gunman.

The gunman sank the ship.

The ship sank.

Captain Nemo has the Proto-gent belongingss of will, awareness, causing and motion and is therefore linked to capable place, as predicted by the choice rules. In the gunman has the Proto-Agent belongingss of causing and motion, and therefore in the absence of an entity with stronger bunch of such belongingss, becomes subject. Finally in the ship has merely belongings of motion, but in this sentence that is adequate for it to go the topic.

Dowty ‘s version of capable hierarchy is below

Agent & gt ; { Instrument/Experiencer } & gt ; Patient & gt ; { Source/Goal }

Theta-roles as explanatory devices in accounting for linkage between semantic and syntactic statement construction. Second justification for utilizing thematic functions is to assist qualify semantic verbal categories.

Theta-role grids have been used to depict statement altering procedures like inactive, or statement construction alternations like those below, where in each instance the illustration sentences are in a, the nexus between theta-grids and syntactic statements is given in B, and some illustration verbs in C:

He banged the broom-handle on the ceiling.

He banged the ceiling with the broom-handle.

She tapped the can against the window.

She tapped the window with the can.

b. V: & lt ; AGENT, INSTRUMENT & A ; THEME, LOCATION, & gt ;


c. knock, knock, round, hit, knock, lb, blame, pat, whack

The claim that in some linguistic communications they play function in the morphology of verbal understanding. Mithun gives illustrations of the pronominal verbal prefixes in Lakhota ( Siouan ; USA, Canada ) . In the transitive verbs in a below we see a prefix Washington which marks an AGENT statement and in a prefix mom, which marks a Patient:

awa? u ‘I brought it. ‘

waktekte ‘I ‘ll kill him. ‘

ama? u ‘He brought me. ‘

maktekte ‘He ‘ll kill me.

The grammatical class of voice affords speakers some flexibleness in sing thematic functions. Many linguistic communications allow n resistance between active voice and inactive voice.

Ex. Bas groomed the Equus caballuss.

The Equus caballuss were groomed by Bas.

There are other lexical and syntactic schemes which alters perspective in this manner.

Eg. The house stood in forepart of the drop.

The drop stood behind the house.

What Joan bought was a Ferrari. ( pseudo-clift )

It was Joan who bought the Ferrari ( clift )

We can demo whichever statement occupies object place can be passivised, while the statement in the prepositional phrase can non.

Eg. Paint was sprayed on the auto. The auto was sprayed pigment on.


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