Is there not a term that refers universally to "the thing that verbs"?
The word isn't "subject" (in "It is eaten by me", the subject is a patient, I am the one "verbing") EDITED
The word isn't "agent" (in "I saw", the thing 'verbing' is the experiencer)
The word isn't "experiencer" (in "I eat", the thing 'verbing' is the agent)
I'm don't speak any languages with a developed case system, but I think that maybe what I'm talking about does corelate to nominative cases (I'm not sure about this because I'm not familiar with how nominative cases work with passive constructions). Maybe the term is "nominative", or some related word?
Surely there is a simple linguistic term to refer universally to "the thing that verbs"... right?! ...right?! ...right?!
Also, same questions for "the thing that is verbed (ie. direct object in active phrases)" and "the thing that is verbed to" (ie. the recipient) too...