ETRs and Semantic Roles

  • Mário A. Perini


How far can assignment by default go? When do we need to specify a semantic role in a diathesis, either by diathesis or by prototype rule, and when do we have to make the assignment by direct reference to the schema? Or, in our analyses, can we discard semantic roles and their attribution in diatheses entirely, and reduce them all to the bare syntactic structure? The answer is negative: we cannot do without semantic roles in all cases. But, on the other hand, the delimitation of the situations where semantic role specification is needed is something that will have to be established by detailed research of individual cases. Here the first part of the problem is considered, and it is shown that the postulation of a semantic role is needed for some constituents in the structures of the language. There is a lot of evidence for this, as is shown in this chapter and the subsequent chapters.


Assignment by default Complement vs. adjunct Core vs. peripheral role Prototype rule Semantic role 


  1. Bennett, D. C. (1975). Spatial and temporal uses of English prepositions. London: Longman.Google Scholar
  2. Borba, F. d. S. (Ed.) (1990). Dicionário gramatical de verbos do português contemporâneo do Brasil [Grammatical dictionary of verbs of contemporary Brazilian Portuguese]. São Paulo: Ed. UNESP.Google Scholar
  3. Bosque, I. (1989). Las categorías gramaticales: relaciones y diferencias [Grammatical categories: Relations and differences]. Madrid: Síntesis.Google Scholar
  4. Bugarski, R. (1968). On the interrelatedness of grammar and lexis in the structure of English. Lingua, 19, 233–263.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chomsky, N. (1965). Aspects of the theory of syntax. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  6. Culicover, P., & Jackendoff, R. S. (2005). Simpler syntax. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dik, S. C. (1980). Studies in functional grammar. London: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  8. Dik, S. C. (1989). The theory of functional grammar. Dordrecht: Foris.Google Scholar
  9. Fillmore, C. J. (1970). The grammar of hitting and breaking. In R. Jacobs & P. Rosenbaum (Eds.), Readings in English transformational grammar. Waltham: Ginn. Reprinted in Fillmore (2003).Google Scholar
  10. Franchi, C. (2003). Teoria da adjunção: predicação e relações ‘temáticas’ [Adjunction theory: Predication and ‘thematic’ relations]. Revista de estudos da linguagem, 11(2). Belo Horizonte: UFMG.Google Scholar
  11. Hirsch, E. D., Jr. (1987). Cultural literacy: What every American needs to know. New York: Vintage Books.Google Scholar
  12. Jackendoff, R. S. (1990). Semantic structures. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  13. Langacker, R. W. (1991). Foundations of cognitive grammar—Vol. II, Descriptive application. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Langacker, R. W. (2008). Cognitive grammar—A basic introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Lima, M. L. C., Pinha, V., & Perini, M. A. (n.d.) (ms). Relações temáticas nucleares e periféricas : um estudo experimental [Nuclear and peripheral thematic relations: an experimental study].Google Scholar
  16. Perini, M. A. (2015). Describing verb valencies: Practical and theoretical issues. Cham: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Pustejovsky, J. (1995). The generative lexicon. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  18. Ruppenhofer, J. et al. (2006). Framenet II: Extended theory and practice. Retrieved from <>
  19. Santana, L. (2009) Nominalizações como construções valenciais [Nominalizations as valential constructions]. In E. Pezzati (Ed.). Pesquisas em gramática funcional [Research in functional grammar]. São Paulo: Editora UNESP.Google Scholar
  20. Sells, P. (1985). Lectures on contemporary syntactic theories. Stanford: CSLI.Google Scholar
  21. Talmy, L. (1996). The windowing of attention in language. In M. Shibatani & S. A. Thompson (Eds.), Grammatical constructions: Their form and meaning. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mário A. Perini
    • 1
  1. 1.Universidade Federal de Minas GeraisBelo HorizonteBrazil

Personalised recommendations