Recent developments and open questions in the field of semantic roles

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This introductory chapter briefly introduces a few milestones in the voluminous previous literature on semantic roles, and charts the territory in which the chapters of this volume aim to make a contribution. This territory is characterized by fairly disparate conceptualizations of semantic roles and their status in theories of grammar and the lexicon, as well as by diverse and probably complementary ways of deriving or identifying them based on linguistic data. Particular attention is given to the question of how selected roles appear to relate to each other, and we preliminarily address the issue of how roles, subroles, and role complexes are best thought of in general.


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