Is there any purpose for the role attribute?

I was making a WordPress template and noticed the use of the attribute:

Is there any purpose for this attribute? Most mark up would be self explanatory
ie: <div id=‘main’ > <div id=‘footer’>

Thanks for your comments,


Potentially, theoretically it allows the author to annotate markup languages with machine-extractable semantic information.

The role attribute comes from ARIA.

See this thread: