Grammatical relation - Wikipedia
"Thematic roles are a property of grammatical relations, and are linked to . case (abstract or not) and grammatical relations as they appear for example in. For example, in Japanese the normal word order is SUBJECT OBJECT VERB, and in Irish (In such languages the different grammatical relations can often be . Grammatical relations must be carefully distinguished from thematic roles. As the examples in (1) illustrate, a great variety of thematic roles can be expressed.
Marge has fixed the coffee table. The coffee table has been fixed by Marge. The torpedo sank the ship. Marge is the agent in the first pair of sentences because she initiates and carries out the action of fixing, and the coffee table is the patient in both because it is acted upon in both sentences. In contrast, the subject and direct object are not consistent across the two sentences.
The subject is the agent Marge in the first sentence and the patient The coffee table in the second sentence. The direct object is the patient the coffee table in the first sentence, and there is no direct object in the second sentence. The noun phrase the ship is the theme in both sentences, although it is the object in the first of the two and the subject in the second.
The grammatical relations belong to the level of surface syntax, whereas the thematic relations reside on a deeper semantic level. If, however, the correspondences across these levels are acknowledged, then the thematic relations can be seen as providing prototypical thematic traits for defining the grammatical relations. Configurational criteria[ edit ] Another prominent means used to define the syntactic relations is in terms of the syntactic configuration.
The subject is defined as the verb argument that appears outside of the canonical finite verb phrasewhereas the object is taken to be the verb argument that appears inside the verb phrase. This "configurational" understanding of the grammatical relations is associated with Chomskyan phrase structure grammars Transformational grammarGovernment and Binding and Minimalism.
The configurational approach is limited in what it can accomplish. It works best for the subject and object arguments. For other clause participants e. Furthermore, even concerning the subject and object, it can run into difficulties, e. There were two lizards in the drawer. The configurational approach has difficulty with such cases.
The plural verb were agrees with the post-verb noun phrase two lizards, which suggests that two lizards is the subject. But since two lizards follows the verb, one might view it as being located inside the verb phrase, which means it should count as the object. This second observation suggests that the expletive there should be granted subject status.
Morphological criteria[ edit ] Many efforts to define the grammatical relations emphasize the role inflectional morphology.
In English, the subject can or must agree with the finite verb in person and number, and in languages that have morphological casethe subject and object and other verb arguments are identified in terms of the case markers that they bear e. Inflectional morphology may be a more reliable means for defining the grammatical relations than the configuration, but its utility can be very limited in many cases. A Representation of Grammatical Relations Figure: The HEAD element is, intuitively, the most important element from the point of view of the grammar of the whole phrase the element which makes the phrase what it is.
Second, in this grammatical relations representation, the order of the branches is unimportant. Figure could be redrawn with the branches in any order, and it would still be a representation of The temperature affects the printer, since this is the only sentence that has these items with these relations.
It is called present perfect because the auxiliary verb is in a present tense form has not had.
This definiteness indicates that the writer and reader have some particular object of the appropriate kind in mind. Compare, for example, The printer has stopped where one particular printer which is in some sense known to both writer and reader is being discussed, with A printer has stopped, where this is not the case.
These three differences are all intended to represent what is expressed by the sentence, abstracting away from the way it is expressed: One such rule might look like this: The rule can then be interpreted as an instruction to transform the constituent structure tree into a tree like Figure. The reader may also notice that the arrow used in this rule is bidirectional.Grammatical roles and relations
Thus, the idea is that one could equally well use the rule to transform Figure into Figure and vice versa.