Depósito Legal: B-48039-2000
126.96.36.199.2. Intermediate Roles
Among the mediated mapping accounts with intermediate
roles, two stand out prominently: Role and Reference Grammar’s macroroles
and Dowty’s Proto-roles mentioned above. They postulate intermediate roles
to carry out the mapping to the syntax. These roles are assigned to arguments
based on their semantic properties.
Role and Reference Grammar (Foley and van Valin 1984;
van Valin 1990, 1993; van Valin and LaPolla 1997) makes use of Macroroles,
two intermediate roles functioning as the interface between thematic and
grammatical relations. The two macroroles are actor and undergoer. They
represent the two main arguments of a transitive predication. They are
called macroroles because they subsume a number of specific thematic relations.
They are assigned to arguments according to how these are placed in the
thematic hierarchy below:
(5.45) Agt > Effector > Exp > Loc > Th > Pat (van Valin
The prototypical actor is an agent and the prototypical
undergoer is a patient. Effectors and experiencers can also be actor, and
locatives and themes, undergoer. This assignment is dependent on the logical
structure (LS) of each verb. The number of macroroles that a verb takes
ranges from 0 to 2. Verbs with one macrorole match the traditional intransitive
verbs, and verbs with two, the transitive. The assignment principles are
(5.46) General Macrorole Assignment Principles: (van
Number: the number of macroroles a verb takes is less than or equal
to the number of arguments in its LS.
1. If a verb has two or more arguments in its LS, it will
take two macroroles.
2. If a verb has one argument in its LS, it will take
Nature: for verbs which take one macrorole,
1. If the verb has an activity predicate in its LS, the
macrorole is actor.
2. If the verb has no activity predicate in its LS, the
macrorole is undergoer.
Thus, the mapping between the semantic arguments of
verbs and the grammatical functions in a clause takes place in two steps.
The first step assigns semantic relations and macrorole to the arguments
in the LS of a verb. This is done following the hierarchy of thematic roles
above, which applies universally to all languages. The second step maps
the macroroles to the grammatical function. The relationship between the
macroroles and the grammatical function is language specific. In English,
for example, the unmarked mapping is for the actor of a transitive verb
to be subject, but there is also a marked linking from the undergoer to
subject, as in the passive. In other languages, like Dyirbal, the undergoer
will be above the actor when selecting for subject.
Dowty’s Agent and Patient Proto-roles discussed above
can be thought of as another type of mediated mapping with intermediate
roles. They are different from macroroles in that each proto-role is associated
with a set of entailments that can hold of the arguments of a verb, depending
on its semantics. The mapping from the proto-roles to the grammatical relations
is carried out by the "Argument Selection Principle", which states that
the argument for which the verb entails the greatest number of Proto-agent
properties will be the subject, and the argument with the greatest number
of Proto-patient properties, the object. There is a competition, then,
between the arguments to determine which of them will occupy the subject
position and which will be the object.
capítulo 5 I
Depósito Legal: B-48039-2000