H. Fontański, R. Molencki, O. Wolińska, A. Kijak (red.), "W kręgu teorii : studia językoznawcze dedykowane profesorowi Kazimierzowi Polańskiemu in memoriam" (S. 70-78). Katowice : Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego
The school of thought revolving round semantic functions of Noun
Phrases, which was initiated by Fillmore (1968), has been developed by next
generations of linguists (Cruse 2000, Dixon 1991, Downing, Locke 1995).
It defines agent as “any entity that is capable of operating on itself or others,
usually to bring about some change in the location or properties of itself or
others.“ (Downing and Locke 1995: 114).
Prototypical agents are human and are characterized by such properties
as animacy, intention, motivation, responsibility and the use of one’s own
energy to cause the event or trigger the process. What actually is of interest
of the author of the presentation is the situations where discourse is systematically
deprived of agents. What this research focuses on is the constructions
where the presence of the agent is precluded.