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Re: Replying to Rodlox (Re: Spanish-related question ((q)SVO ?) and obliques)

From:Thomas R. Wier <trwier@...>
Date:Thursday, September 23, 2004, 15:24
Rodlox wrote:

> <<out of curiosity...what is an oblique?>> > > An example from English: > > "I ate a hot dog." > > Both "I' and "a hot dog" are core arguments of the verb "ate". > If you passivize it, though... > > "A hot dog was eaten (by me)." > > ...only "a hot dog" is a core argument. "By me" is now considered > an oblique--that is, it is *not* a core argument of the verb.
Well, sorta. The term 'oblique' is not terribly well-defined in the literature. Some people use the term only for arguments alligned with particular thematic roles which have some explicit case or adposition, while others use it (like in this example) use it for what are more precisely adjuncts alligned with a particular thematic role (adjuncts being phrases which are not arguments, and are optional). Generally, in underived contexts, obliques are usually alligned with a noncore role, like location or theme or experiencer, and not with agent or patient. But this example shows that sometimes people use for agent, too, and presumably for patient in antipassive constructions. ========================================================================= Thomas Wier "I find it useful to meet my subjects personally, Dept. of Linguistics because our secret police don't get it right University of Chicago half the time." -- octogenarian Sheikh Zayed of 1010 E. 59th Street Abu Dhabi, to a French reporter. Chicago, IL 60637