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But if we're talking about syntactic roles then SVO et al aren't
applicable at all to many languages which organise such things
differently. So universals talking about SVO etc are meaningless for
many languages, which makes them kind of useless.

> Chris írta: "[Why] don't we say AVP instead of SVO etc?"
>
> The terms "subject" and "object" deal with syntactic roles. OTOH, "agent"
> and "patient" deal with argument roles. The terms are not
> interchangeable,
> since in many Western languages at least, subjects can be agents,
> patients,
> or experiencers (even tho they're marked with different cases-- but
> that's a
> different story altogether!).
> Trebor
>