Θ-role

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The term Θ-role (or theta role) is a synonym of thematic role or semantic role.

Comments

This is a typical Chomskyan abbreviated term (cf. terms like D-structure, R-expression, m-command), used by many syntacticians working in a Chomskyan framework.

Synonyms

Origin

This Greek-letter based abbreviation of thematic role was introduced by Chomsky (1981), for unknown reasons. However, since Chomskyan syntax has generally not been interested in the actual semantic content of semantic roles, use of the term Θ-role (Theta role) probably also indicates the user's primary concern with the syntactic aspects of semantic roles.

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