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What is agent as a semantic role?



Agent is the semantic role of a person or thing who is the doer of an event.


An agent is usually the grammatical subject of the verb in an active clause. A prototypical agent is conscious, acts with volition (on purpose), and performs an action that has a physical, visible effect.

Examples (English)
  • The boy ran down the street.
  • He was chased by the dog.
  Agent is a kind of
See also
  See the following to contrast agent with force:

Larson 1984 199–203


Longacre 1983 156–157

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Go to SIL home page This page is an extract from the LinguaLinks Library, Version 5.0 published on CD-ROM by SIL International, 2003. [Ordering information.]

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