Thematic roles: a semantic feature analysis

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University of Calgary
Frawley has proposed three argument roles which are grouped under the category of logical actors: the roles of agent, author and instrument. Based on his descriptions of the category of logical actors, and the roles themselves, I propose to make two points in this paper. First, I will show that based on syntactic evidence there exists a fourth role in this category, which I will name causer. Secondly, in my opinion there is not a clear theoretical discussion of the relationship between the roles in the category of logical actors. I will propose that, through use of a binary feature system, we can show more clearly the relationship the roles have to each other with respect to their semantic and syntactic function.
Linguistics, Semantics, Distinctive features (Linguistics), Syntax
Armstrong, S. (1995). Thematic roles: a semantic feature analysis. Calgary Working Papers in Linguistics, 17(Winter), 51-56.