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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

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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