Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 26 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses central concepts in clause structure such as the notion of ‘head’ and the distinction between ‘complements’ and ‘adjuncts’. The different ways in which constituency and dependency grammars approach clausal heads are examined, and modern analyses are juxtaposed with the grammatical tradition. Regarding the distinction between complements and adjuncts, two important issues are discussed: its relevance to the clause’s semantic structure and how to determine obligatoriness, the defining characteristic of complements. The use of the term ‘complement’ to refer to clauses construed as core arguments of main predicates is also explored, particularly the challenge of explaining complement choice with individual verbs, either by means of a general complement binding hierarchy or particular subcategorization features attached to each verb.

Keywords: clause structure, clausal heads, complements, complementation, adjuncts, dependency grammar, constituency grammar, subcategorization, binding hierarchy, X-bar theory

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.