Semantic description

Complements are semantically described in two layers: firstly by the verb-specific description of a participant, i.e. an individual semantic role, and secondly by the assignment of a semantic category to a specific complement. For each complement, the individual semantic role is defined on the basis of the definition of verb's meaning (e. g. to Nominative Complement of the ver bojati se ‘to be afraid’ is described as onaj koji je u strahu od koga/čega ‘the one who is in fear of someone/something’. Semantic categories can be chosen from a list amounting to 34 categories, most of which have been adopted from the VALBU dictionary. Categories such as animate, person, animal, plant, etc. are not organized hierarchically, so both animate and person must be chosen for each complement which can refer to a person. The semantic category is not recorded if any noun can qualify as a realization of a specific complement. In such cases, the complement is described as ‘without restrictions’.

In addition, every semantic category can be preceded by the label pren., which means ‘figurative’. In cases where words are used metaphorically or metonymically, the figurative label is used. The semantic categories of adverbial complements are separated from all other semantic categories. In this respect we follow other valency dictionaries which have this pratice. For the time being there are only seven semantic categories of Adverbial Complements, but we think their number will increase (location, time, instrument, manner, cause, purpose, and quantitiy /dimension /grade/ size).