Verbum Search through Tip of the Day #34b

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Posted: Mon, Oct 5 2020 3:16 PM

Tip 34b: Factbook Biblical Person: Lemma: Bible Word Study: Clause Participants --Semantic

Please be generous with your additional details, corrections, suggestions, and other feedback. This is being built in a .docx file for a PBB which will be shared periodically.

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Relevant documentation is available in:

  • Thompson, Jeremy. 2016. Semantic Roles and Case Frames: Dataset Documentation. Bellingham, WA: Faithlife.
  • Thompson, Jeremy. 2014. The Lexham Glossary of Semantic Roles. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

When Clause Participants is viewed in the Semantic Roles view, the display contains:

  • A semantic role whether filled by a word, phrase, or clause which is why the terminology is “within <role>” rather than simply role
    • Mouse over provides definition in preview
    • Click opens the Glossary to the semantic role definitiong
    • An expand/contract arrowhead
    • An entity icon
    • Entity name e.g. Abraham (note it is not the Abram of the general BWS)
    • Number of occurrences of entity in this semantic role
    • Bible reference
    • Bible text with highlighting in two colors – one for the verb and one for the semantic role word, phrase, or clause.

As semantic roles are unfamiliar to many users, grammatical roles are often used where a semantic role would better fit the users’ needs. Rather than simply reading a list of definitions, it is more useful to:

  • read the example Biblical verse
  • read the definition of the semantic role
  • consider how the definition applies to this specific case

Agent — The person or thing that instigates an action or causes change in another person or thing; for example, “David (Agent) struck Goliath” or “David (Agent) killed Goliath.”[1]

Experiencer — The person or thing that experiences a state or a mental event or activity; for example, “David (Experiencer) saw Goliath.”[2]

Patient — The person or thing that is acted upon or caused to change; for example, “David killed Goliath (Patient).”[3]

Benefactive — The person or thing for which an action is performed or for which something exists or happens; for example, “God fought for David  (Benefactive)” or “The gifts were for David (Benefactive).”[4]

Theme — Something that is moved from one place to another or that is located in a place; for example, “David threw the spear (Theme).”[5]

Content — The content of a speech act or of a mental activity, such as thought; for example, “David said to Bathsheba, ‘Solomon will be king’ (Content)” or “David thought to himself: Solomon should be king (Content).”Devil

God is speaking. The addressee/speaker filters, the context menu, and the information panel will verify the speech act aspect of this role.

Event — A complete action or event; for example, “David started to fight with the Philistine (Event).” [7]

The Event is likely flagged as an event in the context menu and the information panel. However, there is no indication that the Faithlife Biblical Events is a comprehensive set so it may be necessary to read the verse in context to find the relevant event.

Locative — The place where a person or thing is situated or where an event occurs; for example, “David was found in the field (Locative).”Music

The clause search should easily verify the contents of this view of Clause Participant. In analysis view, substantial additional information can be added. Unfortunately, this does not happen because the results in the Clause Participants includes only those cases where the names (proper nouns Abram/Abraham) are used while the clause search includes all references to the person of Abraham:

In the clause search one cannot use the operator INTERSECTS or the datatype <Person Abraham> to resolve the issue. . These are available in Bible, Basic, and Morph searches but not Clause searches.



[1] Jeremy Thompson, The Lexham Glossary of Semantic Roles (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2014).

[2] Jeremy Thompson, The Lexham Glossary of Semantic Roles (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2014).

[3] Jeremy Thompson, The Lexham Glossary of Semantic Roles (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2014).

[4] Jeremy Thompson, The Lexham Glossary of Semantic Roles (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2014).

[5] Jeremy Thompson, The Lexham Glossary of Semantic Roles (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2014).

Devil Jeremy Thompson, The Lexham Glossary of Semantic Roles (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2014).

[7] Jeremy Thompson, The Lexham Glossary of Semantic Roles (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2014).

Music Jeremy Thompson, The Lexham Glossary of Semantic Roles (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2014).

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