Patient (grammar)

Patient (grammar)

In linguistics, a grammatical patient is the participant of a situation upon whom an action is carried out. A patient as differentiated from a theme must undergo a change in state. At the very least, there is debate to this effect. Also, "patient" is the name of the thematic relation with the above definition.

Typically, the situation is denoted by a sentence, the action by a verb in the sentence, and the agent by a noun phrase.

For example, in the sentence "Jack ate the cheese", "the cheese" is the patient. In certain languages, the patient is declined for case or otherwise marked to indicate its grammatical role. In Japanese, for instance, the patient is typically affixed with |o| (the hiragana を). Although Modern English does not mark grammatical role, patienthood is represented irregularly in other ways; for instance, with the morphemes "-en", "-ed", or "-ee", as in "eaten", "used", or "payee".

The grammatical patient is often confused with the direct object. However, there is a significant difference. The former is based explicitly on its relationship to the verb, whereas the latter is based primarily on its relationship to the subject. For example, in the phrase "The man bites the dog", "the dog" is both the patient and the direct object. By contrast, in the phrase "The dog is bitten by the man", "the dog" is still the patient, but now stands as the phrase's subject; while "the man" is the agent and the direct object. The term theme is often used to describe the same relation as patient.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Patient (disambiguation) — Patient may refer to: *Patient, any person who receives medical attention, care, or treatment *Patient (grammar), in linguistics, the participant of a situation upon whom an action is carried out*In music: ** Patient , a song by Peter Hammill… …   Wikipedia

  • HEBREW GRAMMAR — The following entry is divided into two sections: an Introduction for the non specialist and (II) a detailed survey. [i] HEBREW GRAMMAR: AN INTRODUCTION There are four main phases in the history of the Hebrew language: the biblical or classical,… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • English grammar — is a body of rules (grammar) specifying how phrases and sentences are constructed in the English language. Accounts of English grammar tend to fall into two groups: the descriptivist , which describes the grammatical system of English; and the… …   Wikipedia

  • Colognian grammar — Articles Adjectives Prepositions Nouns Pronouns Declension Verbs Tense Aspect Mood Modal particle Conjugation Adverbial phrases Sentence structure The Colognian grammar describes the formal systems of the modern Colognian language being used in… …   Wikipedia

  • Voice (grammar) — Grammatical categories Animacy Aspect Case Clusivity Definiteness Degree of comparison Evidentiality Focus …   Wikipedia

  • Role and Reference Grammar — Die Role and Reference Grammar (RRG) ist eine strukturalistische und funktionale Grammatiktheorie, die von den beiden US amerikanischen Sprachwissenschaftlern Robert D. Van Valin Jr. und William A. Foley in den 1980er Jahren entwickelt wurde.… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Otomi grammar — The grammar of the Otomi language is mostly agglutinative, constructing words by combining roots with suffixes, prefixes and clitics. Affixes are often portmanteaus, carrying more than one part of meaning, making Otomi also a fusional language.… …   Wikipedia

  • Object (grammar) — Linguistics …   Wikipedia

  • Functional grammar — is a model of grammar motivated by functions. The model was originally developed by Simon C. Dik at the University of Amsterdam in the 1970s, and has undergone several revisions ever since. The latest standard version under the original name is… …   Wikipedia

  • Functional Grammar — (FG) ist eine linguistische Theorie, die Ende der 1970er Jahre von Simon Cornelis Dik in Amsterdam entwickelt wurde, ausdrücklich als Gegenmodell zum Standard Modell der Transformationsgrammatik von Noam Chomsky. Nach dem Tod Diks 1995 wurde die… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”