Semantic role labeling, the computational identification and labeling of arguments in text, has become a leading task in computational linguistics today. Although the issues for this task have been studied for decades, the availability of large resources and the development of statistical machine learning methods have heightened the amount of effort in this field. This special issue presents selected and representative work in the field. This overview describes linguistic background of the problem, the movement from linguistic theories to computational practice, the major resources that are being used, an overview of steps taken in computational systems, and a description of the key issues and results in semantic role labeling (as revealed in several international evaluations). We assess weaknesses in semantic role labeling and identify important challenges facing the field. Overall, the opportunities and the potential for useful further research in semantic role labeling are considerable.