Adjunct (grammar)

The term adjunct (also specified ) refers in various modern generative syntactic theories certain syntactic units that are attached to a different phrase. Unlike complements, adjuncts are optional; a clear distinction, however, is sometimes difficult.


In (1) Hans Peter is the subject and a complement, while adjuncts yesterday and in the park:

While adjuncts as in (2 ) and ( 3) may be absent, the sentence is ungrammatical if the complement is missing ( 4). While the number of adjuncts in the sentence is not limited to, the sentence is ungrammatical, if more than one complement is present, as accurately requires a complement in (5), see here due to its valence.

Role in theories of grammar

Transformational grammar

In transformational grammar and its successors Government and Binding Theory and Minimalism an adjunct is an element which is added to another element, without acting as a specifier or as a supplement ( complement). Thus, the complex expression does not change after addition of Adjunkts its original category ( projection principle ).

Structural linguistics

In the structural linguistics (Z. Harris, J. Lyons, etc.) denotes " adjunct " » Syntakt. optional or peripheral expressions "( Lyons 1983). » An adjunct is by definition a ' modifier ' attached to a ' head', upon Which It is dependent and from Which It can be ' detached ' without any consequent syntactic change in the sentence " ( J. Lyons 1968, 344; dt translated. edition (1971 ) ' adjunct ' as ' adjunction ').

Lyons is one of the co-factors:

  • Internal attributes of the noun phrase (eg, a beautiful woman )
  • Internal Adverbialergänzungen the verb phrase (eg He formulates the best )
  • Satzadverbiale (special Adverbialangaben regarding time, place, condition, result, etc, such as why Peter went for a walk on Saturday at the zoo )