Patient As A Semantic Role
Patient is a semantic role that is usually the surface object of the verb in a sentence.
Some linguists define the patient and affected semantic roles in slightly different ways.
Longacre 1983 155–156 (following Chafe) defines a patient as the entity:
- predicated with a state or location
- undergoing a change of state or location, or
- which is possessed, acquired or exchanged.
Larson 1984 199–203 defines the affected role as the:
- thing that is affected by an event
- person or thing that undergoes a process, or
- person who experiences an event.
The entity predicated with a state or location:
- The door is open.
- John is at home.
The entity undergoing a change of state or location:
He opened the door.
- The door swung open.
He threw the ball across the yard.
- The ball rolled off the table.
The entity which is possessed, acquired, or exchanged:
John has a new book.
John bought a new book.
John gave Mary a new book
Affected semantic role
The thing that is affected by an event:
The dog ate the meat.
The tree fell on the house.
The person or thing that undergoes a process:
- The water evaporated.
- Mary became sad.
The person who experiences an event:
- John smelled the smoke.
- Mary saw the snake.
This page is an extract from the LinguaLinks Library. Version 5.0 published on CD-ROM by SIL International, 2003.