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    #1

    Question distinguish adjunct from compliment

    i do not know the method that distinguishing adjunct from compliment.
    for example:i present a car to my sister brand new

    what is the function of the word "brand new",is it a object complement
    could any one detail it?
    thanks a lot


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    #2

    Re: distinguish adjunct from compliment

    Quote Originally Posted by nono1994 View Post
    i do not know the method that distinguishing adjunct from compliment.
    for example:i present a car to my sister brand new

    what is the function of the word "brand new",is it a object complement
    could any one detail it?
    thanks a lot
    An adjunct is an extranuclear element in the sentence, ie removable.
    A complement is part of the nucleus of the sentence and can't be removed.

    I present a car to my sister, brand new. -- With a comma preceding 'brand new', this is very loose colloquial style at best.

    In this sentence, in my opinion, there is an example of reinforcement, a feature of colloquial style, resorted to for purposes of emphasis. An amplificatory noun phrase is added at the end of the sentence, part of whose words is ellipted.

    I present a car to my sister, (a) brand new (car).

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    #3

    Re: distinguish adjunct from compliment

    I agree partially with Kondorosi's comments, insofar as the particular example cited here

    ?I present a car to my sister brand new.

    is too stylistically poor/structurally questionable for the application of any strict syntactic analysis, and concur that - at the very least - we would need to amend its punctuation to

    I present(ed) a car to my sister
    , brand-new.

    for it to be considered even marginally acceptable.

    This does not, however, mean that all such cases of deferred adjectivals are necessarily to be treated simply as structurally misplaced 'afterthoughts'. By means of a grammatical phenomenon known as prolepsis, some - functioning as a kind of pseudo-adverbial - form an integral part of structurally standard locutions, e.g.

    He died penniless.


    (correct without the comma!)

    Prolepsis, it should further be noted, is not confined entirely to adjectivals, since noun phrases also can be added on after intransitive verbs, e.g.

    They parted friends.
    He died a hero.

    and is arguably a more suitable term than 'object complement' to denote the anticipatory use of e.g. 'red' in

    He painted the walls red.


    since while - as Kondorosi aptly points out - a complement is by definition obligatory in terms of either syntax or semantics,

    He painted the walls.


    is grammatically complete and meaningful without the proleptic adjective.

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    #4

    Re: distinguish adjunct from compliment

    i am grateful for your help,but i want to confirm the following:

    1.I presented a car to my sister ,a brand new car

    "to my sister"is a prepositional phrase and a direct object that function as a object complement can't be removed.
    "a brand new car "is a adjunct that can be removed.

    is that right?
    Last edited by nono1994; 02-Dec-2009 at 12:21.

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    #5

    Re: distinguish adjunct from compliment

    Quote Originally Posted by nono1994 View Post
    i am grateful for your help,but i want to confirm the following:

    1.I presented a car to my sister ,a brand new car

    "to my sister"is a prepositional phrase and a direct object that function as a object complement can't be removed.
    "a brand new car "is a adjunct that can be removed.

    is that right?
    Not really: 'a brand-new car' here is not an adjunct to anything, (nor is it even proleptic); it is simply a deferred appositive. We could order the sentence more naturally to

    I presented a car (a brand-new car) to my sister.

    An adjunct to something must be syntactically SUBORDINATE to it (as e.g. adjective 'brand-new' vis-a-vis 'car'), but the entire phrase 'a brand-new car' is clearly not subordinate to 'a car' but a syntactically 'equal partner', so to speak, simply tagged on for the sake of semantic amplification. Naturally the phrase here is optional and can be removed.

    As for the other phrases that you cite - direct object NP 'a car' and prepositional indirect object 'to my sister' - both are structurally obligatory in this case and therefore qualify technically as complemental.

    Note, however, that in general grammarians tend to reserve the term 'complement' to denote - among substantives - nominative rather than objective case-forms, e.g. 'dog' in

    This is a dog.

    rather than the same word in

    I have a dog.

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    #6

    Re: distinguish adjunct from compliment

    It may be worth pointing out that "complement" is used differently in generative grammar and in traditional grammar. Since terminology from both is often found in English grammar teaching, it can be a bit confusing.

    Quote Originally Posted by nono1994 View Post
    for example:i present a car to my sister brand new

    what is the function of the word "brand new",is it a object complement
    could any one detail it?
    thanks a lot
    These expressions, described by Philo under proleptic constructions, are also known as secondary predicates ("brand new" is predicated of the object "car", though it is not the main predicate of the sentence). In this particular example we have what is sometimes called a "depictive secondary predicate". There was a discussion of these a few months ago which you might like to look up. Depictive secondary predicates are classed as adjuncts, because (as has already been discussed) they are optional and rather loosely integrated into the sentence structure.

    The previous discussion I mentioned can be found here: https://www.usingenglish.com/forum/a...mentation.html
    Last edited by orangutan; 03-Dec-2009 at 11:48. Reason: added link

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