Complement (linguistics)

The term complement is used in linguistics in several slightly different meanings in certain types of syntactic additions.

Complements in the structural syntax

In formal theory of syntax is referred to as complement phrase that connects directly with a syntactic head before any other devices can be added. In a tree, a complement is thus the "sister" of a head (ie, an X ° category). In a schematic example below, the phrase YP is a complement of the head X °, but ZP is not a complement, even if ZP is also dependent on X °:

...   / \ ZP X '        / \      X ° YP The term of the complement in this sense, is thus a part of a general theory of the structure of the syntax structure (such as the X-Bar Theory). This means in particular that the term complement is used regardless of the part of speech of each head ( noun, verb, adjective, preposition, conjunction, etc.). In this sense, then, for example, can Nouns as complements of verbs such as have, whereas they are named differently in traditional grammar, as it related to a noun traditionally used by " attributes " speaks instead of " supplements ".

Examples of complement are therefore both direct objects of transitive verbs (as opposed to their subjects ) and certain attributes of a possessive noun (as opposed to adjective attributes), such as in:

...    / \              N '            / \          N ° NP ( the ) assassination of Caesar If X ° a content word that assigns a semantic role, then the Komplementposition is the place for the first argument, which is connected to the Prödikat. The term "argument" is to keep but separately, since it mainly refers to a semantic function in this context, whereas " complement" is the name for the position in the structure.

Complements in the sense of Valenzgrammatik

In the literature on Valenzgrammatik (as well as in the influenced by their Germanic literature) is often the term " complement" "supplement" used as a synonym for ( mandatory ), and for these cases, and practically interchangeable with the term of the syntactic " argument ".

A major difference to the structural Komplementbegriff is then, for example, that subjects indeed count as supplements to the valence of the verb, but as a rule can not be complements in the sense of Komplementposition. Furthermore, the term of the complement is true in the sense of Valenzgrammatik only on units that depend on a predicate, whereas the structural Komplementbegriff also refers to cases purely structural neighborhood, such as those exists between a next set introductory conjunction, and the rest of the subordinate clause. ( Subordinating conjunctions are at least in the classical formulation of the Valenzbegriffes at Tesnière about the concept of "translation" rather than that of " valence " recorded).