[developers] on-line demo / simple sentence

paul at haleyai.com paul at haleyai.com
Sat Apr 7 00:21:52 CEST 2018

Thanks Olga and Woodley.  


I understood the passive but had not considered “X did him”!   The others, to the best of my knowledge, leave X as the subject (not ARG2 or ARG3), no??


You are correct regarding what I expected Woodley and it may not be in the ERG.  The top parse for “he is done cooking” has him as the subject (with some interesting variations).  


I understood the possibility that some unspecified agent was doing something to him (as in one interpretation of “he is done cooking”) and would have been impressed to see some “unknown” in the MRS to that effect.


At least I can make sense of this interpretation now, even though I was hoping for something else.


Thanks again,




From: Woodley Packard <sweaglesw at sweaglesw.org> 
Sent: Friday, April 6, 2018 6:04 PM
To: paul at haleyai.com
Cc: developers <developers at delph-in.net>
Subject: Re: [developers] on-line demo / simple sentence


As Olga pointed out, these are passive readings.  They correspond to something like:


X did a good job.

X did him.

He is done( by X).


X did his neighbor a favor.

X did his homework a favor.

? X did his homework him.

?? He is done his homework( by X).


I suspect the reading you are looking for instead involves a sense of "done" conveying completion of an unspecified event, rather than a passive variant of "do".  I’m not sure that sense is implemented in the ERG, although I can’t speak for Dan for sure on that.  I see parses with that sense when the event in question is an explicit complement of the adjective "done", e.g. for:


He is done eating.





On Apr 6, 2018, at 2:36 PM, <paul at haleyai.com <mailto:paul at haleyai.com> > <paul at haleyai.com <mailto:paul at haleyai.com> > wrote:




I’m afraid I have a stupid question, but am a bit surprised at the following results (the MRS, in particular, having “he” as ARG2 or ARG3).


Does this look right to those of you who know more than I?  Can you help me understand the subject of the “do” predication here, if so?


Thank you,










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