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Re: Pulse-Pounding Semantics Question

From:Jim Grossmann <steven@...>
Date:Saturday, August 14, 1999, 18:04
Hi, Daniel,

From what I've read since posting the "pulse-pounding" question, there
simply isn't a sovereign list of semantic roles for arguments that applies
across all languages.

So, for example, both analyses of "sleep," which you mentioned, are

As for your scheme, it looks good to me!


> In the sentence "John sleeps," is "John" > an experiencer or a patient?
Just the thing I'm working on for Rinya. (Not that it matters there, because both go under the case 'absolutive'). But my guess would be experiencer (EXP), since 'sleeping' doesn't involve a change of state. At least to my knowledge that's one of the differences between patient (PAT) and experiencer. On the other hand, if you look at Tokana, 'sleep' is defined as one of the verbs "which denote conscious, volitional activities" and "normally take an ergative subject". I.e. the subject of 'sleep' is 'agent' (AGT). Semantic roles are tricky business I guess. It would be cool to be able to distinguish between "to put to sleep" (i.e. anaesthetize), "to fall asleep" and "to sleep" just using different cases. PAT = ABSolutive and AGT = ERGative Examples: 1) I.ERG sleep him.ABS = I.AGT put him.PAT to sleep. 2) I.ERG sleep. = I.AGT sleep. 3) I.ABS sleep. = I.PAT fall asleep. In 3) compare "John died" in which "John" is patient. What do you think? Daniel