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What is source as a semantic role?

 

Definition
 

Source is the semantic role of the following referents:

 
  • The place of origin (with verbs of motion, locomotion, and propulsion)
  • The entity from which a physical sensation emanates (with verbs of sensation, attention, and speech)
  • The original owner in a transfer (with verbs of acquisition, transfer, and grab)
Examples (English)
 
  • As the place of origin:

    • John fell off the chair.(with a motion verb)

    • The baby crawled from the kitchen to the door. (with a locomotion verb)

    • John threw the knife into the box. (with a propulsion verb)

      Note:

      With propulsion verbs, the source is coreferential with the agent.

  • As the entity from which a physical sensation emanates:

    • John smelled the odor of onions. (with a sensation verb)

    • The people watched the performance of the dancers. (with an attention verb)

    • The mother told her child a story. (with a speech verb)

      Note:

      With speech verbs, the source is coreferential with the agent.

  • As the original owner in a transfer:

    • John obtained an application form from the office. (with an acquisition verb)

    • John bought the book from Tom. (with a transfer verb)

    • John grabbed the book from Tom. (with a grab verb)

Generic
  Source is a kind of
 
Source
 

Longacre 1983 161–163


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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.]

Page content last modified: 5 January 2004

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