Although neither theoretical nor computational linguists did provide sufficiently careful insight into the problem of semantic roles, recently some progress is being achieved in robotics (study of the simulation of human interaction), and mostly in multi-agent systems. Taking advantage of this motivation and applying it to the study of languages, the author distinguishes between various abstract ontological levels. Instead of using such concepts as agentive, objective, experiencer, etc., on the highest (generic) ontological level, he postulates generalised agents which are defined by the following ontological features, among others: (1) features of control (autonomy): goal and feedback, (2) features of emotion (character): desire and intention, (3) epistemic features (reason): belief and cognition, (4) communication features (language faculty): verbal and visual. In accordance with such ontological concepts, natural and artificial entities are obviously suited to fulfil the semantic roles of agents and figures respectively in the widest sense of these terms. He further proposes to distinguish between three classes of generic ontological roles, namely Active, Median or Passive. Here are examples of generic roles: (1) active role (Initiator, Causer, Enabler, Benefactor, Executor, Stimulant, Source, Instigator etc.), (2) passive role (Terminator, Affect, Enabled, Beneficient, Executed, Experiencer, Goal, etc.) and (3) median role (Mediator, Instrument, Benefit, Motor, Means etc.). Figures can play quasi-active (Q-active) roles.
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SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.