Questions tagged [theta-role]

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a term for the type of ambi-transitive verb that can do away with an object

I found some terms like (non)ergative, inchoative, but neither quite fits the type of transitive verb that can do without an object, for example, "eat" I ate. Have you eaten? I ate an apple. ...
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How do I know if ECM happens in a foreign language?

I have learned about ECM and how it works within the English language, but I don't understand it thoroughly. How would we be able to decide whether a language has ECM?
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After movement, do theta roles stay the same after wh-movement and verb raising?

The example sentence is "Which purse has Lena bought?" which stems from the statement "Lena has bought which purse". Do the theta roles that bought assigns stay the same after the ...
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What is the difference between the term "actor" and "agent"?

I've worked quite a lot on agency so far. Today i've read the paper "Two routes to actorhood: lexicalized potencx to act and identification of the actor role" (Franzel et al. 2015) and i'm wondering ...
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Theta Criterion Violation

Is the Theta Criterion violated in the following sentence: [I saw [the tall kid]] provided that: saw theta marks [the tall kid]--see is the main predicate (V). tall theta marks [kid] -- tall is ...
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What is the Theta Role of "It" in "It seemed that ..."

How do I identify the theta role of "It" in "It seemed that there was no escape."? I understand theta roles such as THEME, AGENT, LOCATION, GOAL, FORCE, EXPERIENCER etc. However, I cannot work out ...
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Do non-verbal predicates discharge thematic roles?

I'm fairly familiar with verbal predicates (VP-shell, passivisation, PISH etc.) but every time I have a non-verbal predicate, like NP or AP, I seem to struggle - partially because I don't know whether ...
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Why can't we explain exceptional case-marking as sentences with a three-place predicate?

In this sentence: I consider him a good person. What is prohibiting us from positing a three-place predicate here? In such a scenario, consider would discharge three theta-roles to agent (I), ...
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Theta-Marking, Case-Marking and Argumenthood in Copular Sentences

Nominal predicates in copular sentences are peculiar because in certain languages, they acquire case other than accusative case. Even English was so, e.g. "it is I (NOM)" vs. "it is me (ACC)." Perhaps ...
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Is v-spec Specific for agent? If so, How to Solve This Problem?

In my syntax classes, I learnt that v-spec is specific for agent role. The thing is, I came across a structure in the resource below: Radford, A. (2004). Minimalist Syntax: Exploring the Structure ...
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How does the view that theta-roles are features work exactly? For example, in Hornstein 1999 Movement and Control

Hornstein 1999 says that theta-roles are features on verbs and a DP receives a theta-role by checking a theta-feature of a VP that it merges with. How would this be represented in a syntactic tree? ...
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How can we account for head-final PPs and VPs in Classical Chinese?

According to Koopman (1983), there is an explanation for why Chinese, despite being a head-final language, has SVO and prepositional features. She suggested that Chinese assigns Case to the right but ...
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Thematic roles adjunct

I am a little confused when it comes to giving a theta role to some of my sentences. I got: James got a ball yesterday. where James has the role as BENEFICIARY. Got is the main predicate. a ball is ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Are theta roles universal?

Is the theta role in one language (ex. English) - L1 the same as in another language - L2, when this two sentence are about the same ? Can anybody give me example, when they are different ?
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Example of a 'grammatical' (vs thematic) dependency

This question may be a bit basic - I'm reading Rowlett's "The Syntax of French" (great text), without much background in syntax. He states, This approach to theta-role assignment also means that ...
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Can adjuncts be arguments?

I hear that only complements and specifiers can contain the argument for a verb. But there are certain structures with ditransitive verbs I believe you can represent as an adjunct. Here's an example: ...
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Theta-role Assignment in Infinitival Clauses

I'm finding it difficult to figure this out in sentences like the following: a) I have a job to do. b) I need you to go. Surely, "have" and "need" assign theta-roles to "a job" and "you" ...
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What is a theta role?

What is a theta role? Is it the same as a thematic role? And what does it mean for a theta role to be undischarged/unsaturated? I came across these terms in a syntax paper. It seems like both ...
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