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The Case for Case Reopened ‘Agents and Agency Revisited’. Written by David Wilkins & Van Valin Presented by Jinho Choi. Introduction. Agent vs. Effector Before: Agent = Central & Primary notion Here: Effector = Dynamic participant doing something in an event Thematic relation

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The Case for Case Reopened ‘Agents and Agency Revisited’

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The case for case reopened agents and agency revisited

The Case for Case Reopened‘Agents and Agency Revisited’

Written by David Wilkins & Van Valin

Presented by Jinho Choi


Introduction

Introduction

  • Agent vs. Effector

    • Before: Agent = Central & Primary notion

    • Here: Effector = Dynamic participant doing something in an event

  • Thematic relation

    • Roles: Agent(A), Force(F), and Instrument(I)

    • Goals: 1) To show the basic of the effector relation(ER)

      2) To show how (A), (F), and (I) interpretations derive from ER

  • Outline

    • Section 2: Agents, Agency, and semantic roles

    • Section 3: Role and Reference Grammar (Van Valin)

    • Section 4: Agents, Effectors, Forces, and Instruments


Fillmore and case grammar

Fillmore and Case Grammar

  • The Case for Case

    • Goal: Syntactical relations(subject) Semantical relations(agent)

    • Why: Semantical relations are more cross-linguistic

  • What is 'Case‘?

    • Relationship between a verb(predicate) and its associated NP(arguments)

    • Roles: Agentive(A), Instrumental(I), and Objective(O)

    • Discrete, Independent, etc.

    • Obligatory vs. Optional: Agentive > Instrumental > Objective

  • Advantage vs. Flaws

    • Advantage: Case roles assigned to NPs remains the same

    • Flaws: No attention to detailing the nature of the semantics representations


Lyons and ravin

Lyons and Ravin

  • Lyons

    • Agent: animacy, intention, responsibility, and internal energy-source

    • Agentive situations: Affect, Produce(Cause, effect), Produce(Agent, effect)

    • Assumption: Languages are designed to handle the paradigm instances particular morphemes handle paradigm instances of agency

  • Ravin

    • Before: Agent = animacy + causation + action

    • Argument: A verb 'put' does not necessarily require animacy

    • Question: Can thematic roles be viewed as a function of the interaction of semantic level, syntactic level, and pragmatic level


Dowty and talmy

Dowty and Talmy

  • Dowty

    • Theory: All roles are event-dependent in meaning (argument selection)

    • Lexical entailments: Roles cannot be treated as discrete categoriesProto-roles: proto-agent, proto-patient

    • Advantage: 1) Not any less clear than the traditional ones 2) More straightforwardly relevant to human life

  • Talmy

    • Two events: causing event vs. caused event

    • Agent: An entity whose act initiates an intended causal sequence leading to an intended final event

    • Ex) The ball broke the window.The ball  Sailing into window  The window broke


Langacker jackendoff and delancey

Langacker, Jackendoff, and Delancey

  • Langacker

    • Roles archetypes: Agent, Instrument, Patient/Mover/Experiencer

    • Flow of energy: Agent > Instrument > Patinet/Mover/Experiencer

  • Jackendoff

    • Thematic relations: Derived from decompositional representations of verbs

    • Agent: Motion tier [CAUSE(w), GO(x,y,z)], Action tier AFF(actor, patient)

    • [+vol]Actor vs. [-vol]Actor

  • Delancey

    • Agent: A clausal-level phenomenon that is dependent on both verb structure and inherent semantic properties of NP


Things in common

Things in common

  • What is ‘Agent’?

    • A crucial notion to explain grammatical phenomena

    • Prototypically nominal properties (animacy and volition) +Prototypically event properties (activity and causation)

    • Primary interest: Verb/event-structure (not NP)

    • Opposition of ‘Patient’


Role and reference grammar rrg

Role and Reference Grammar(RRG)

  • Case Grammar vs. RRG

    • Similarity: Mapping between semantic and syntax

    • Difference: Discourse-pragmatics crucial in RRG

  • Semantic Macroroles

    • Case roles: Derived from argument positions in lexical rep. of verbs

    • DO: abstract operator, optionalex) The girl saw the picture vs. The girl looked at the picture

  • Problems

    • Agency depends entirely on the verb  sometimes on NP

    • Different lexical representation for the same verb

    • Agent becomes the secondary interpretation added to others


Agent as a pragmatic implicature

Agent as a pragmatic implicature

  • Another view of 'Agent‘

    • Agent is often not a property of the semantic structure of the predicate.

    • Pragmatic principle: You may interpret effectors and effector-themes, which are human as agents.

    • Examples to show that the principle breaks down (p15)

    • DO vs. State/Activity

  • Factors to determine 'Agent‘

    • Lexical semantic properties of the verb: activity > achievement > state

    • Inherent lexical content of the NP argument

    • Grammatical construction in which the verb and NP co-occur


Agent as a pragmatic implicature continue

Agent as a pragmatic implicature (continue)

  • Inherent lexical content of the NP argument

    • Volition: Non-conscious of wills

    • Intention: Conscious of will + ability to plan

    • Rationality: Intention + knowledgeable about what the result

    • Ex) The looter broke the window  The looter rationally broke the window. The baby broke the window  The baby accidentally broke the window.

  • Grammatical constructions

    • Depends on effector-arguments

    • Causative const.: Causee may or may not be interpreted as an agent

    • Purposive const.: Main subject intends for the situation forces an agent interpretation


The derivation of instrument and force from effector

The derivation of instrument and force from effector

  • Focus

    • Before: How agent derives from effector for most verbs

    • Here: The nature of force and instrument

  • Roles redefined

    • Agent: animate, effector

    • Force: inanimate(motive), effector, instigator

    • Instrument: inanimate(non-motive), effector, non-instigator

  • Structure representation

    • [[do(instigator)] CAUSE[do(effector, action)]] CAUSE[BECOME pred(change of state)]


Case study open

Case study: 'open'

  • John/The wind/The key opened the door.

  • The key is opening the door.

  • John/The wind opens the door.

  • Pat and Robin/The wind and the rain/The key and the combination opened the door.

  • Pat and the wind opened the door.

  • The key and the wind opened the door.

  • Pat and the key opened the door.

  • John opened the door by throwing the key.

    • Animate, self-motive(internal energy), or function

    • Different meanings of ‘open’


Concluding remarks

Concluding remarks

  • Agent: not a basic or fundamental semantic role

  • Solution: using ‘Effector’ instead

  • Agent is still important

    • Effector-arguments are very often to be human Definition of Agent

  • Force and Instrument: 'less good' members


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