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What is agent as a semantic role?

 

Definition
 

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

Discussion
 

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.
Generic
  Agent is a kind of
 
See also
  See the following to contrast agent with force:
 
Sources
 

Larson 1984 199–203

 

Longacre 1983 156–157


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