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Agent is a type of argument or thematic role which designates an entity which is the cause of and has control over the action denoted by the predicate.

Agent is a semantic role denoting a participant that is actively involved in a situation (generally described by an action verb).


in (i)-(iii) Miguel is the Agent.

(i)   Miguel chased Gianni
(ii)  Miguel gave Pedro some water
(iii) Pedro was hit by Miguel


Utrecht Lexicon of Linguistics


  • Grimshaw, J. 1990. Argument Structure, MIT-press, Cambridge, Mass.
  • Gruber, J. 1965. Studies in lexical relations, doctoral dissertation, MIT
  • Jackendoff, R. 1990. Semantic Structures, Cambridge, MIT-Press.
  • Jackendoff, R. 1972. Semantic interpretation in generative grammar, MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass.

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