What is the difference between an actor and subject?
My understanding of traditional grammar is that:
“John threw the ball”
Which you describe as
John is an actor in this case, and the “subject” (as I was taught in school, anyway).
“The fruit fell from the tree”
In this sentence, one might think the actor is gravity, or the wind. Since that is what caused the change in state.
From a testimonial or vitruvian measurement, though, it would be more like:
“I saw the fruit fall from the tree.”
The actor is myself as an observer? And the subject is the fruit?
Any clarification on terms “actor” and “subject”?
by Adam Jacob Robert Walker:
You could consider the tree as an actor as well.
The tree produces fruit.
But a tree isn’t necessarily following incentives. But rather it’s “act” is a result of nature adaptations or mechanisms of survival.
I think you are correct that you’d have to switch it to the orientation of the observer.
I saw the fruit fall from the tree (actor-action), after I went outside to get my mail (incentive to go outside and observe), and the fruit splattered on my driveway (state change on the ground).
I think “subject” refers to the concept in which the whole of the testimony describes, but through the description of operations by an actor or group of actors.
by Bill Joslin:
In english grammar the subject is the agent subject-verb-object. the subject “acts upon” the object (side note: this distinction subject “that which acts upon”and object “that which is acted upon” lay the foundation for the initial use of the terms subjective, objective. prior to the 19th century of so, religion was considered the pursuit of “objective truth” in that one would he changed by the truth (truth acts upon the seeker) and subjective truth was what one did when they sought truth to a specific ends (such as science investigates a particular phenomenon to eventually be able to do something with it). the rise of science (seeking truth to a specific ends) “killed” objective truth – this was the assertion in Horkhiemer and Adorno’ Dialectic of enlightenment.
by Adam Jacob Robert Walker
Nice. That puts it in a philosophical context for me. I wasn’t aware of all that.
by Curt Doolittle
I [gravity cause] the fruit [fall/fell] [from the tree] [to the ground.]
Promise, Testimony, Actor, Subject of testimony, Transaction.
Use subject or object if you want, but my point is that we need to use “actor, and in the OP that I started this discourse with, I was making the point that we habitually start sentences with the subject being acted upon to provide context, and the cost of ‘thinking’ in operational terms is the extra step required to start with actor instead – which eliminates the problem of the verb to be from the sentence structure.
If you have a difficulty with eliminating the verb to be, start with the actor not the object( or as I prefer, subject).
ADAM IS CORRECT:
—“I think “subject” refers to the concept in which the whole of the testimony describes, but through the description of operations by an actor or group of actors.”—