# Thread: query on syntactic analysis

1. ## query on syntactic analysis

I would like to discuss how to analyse this sentence:
I saw her crying.
In my opinion, crying cannot be analysed as an objective complement because, according to R.Quirk, an o.complement shares the same characteristics of the subjective complement. Then, i should say the relationship is not an intensive one in this sentence.
As far as i am concerned, i would analyse HER CRYING as an object relised by a non finite clause with its own subject (not the same subject as the one in the main clause)
What is your view on the topic?
Thanks

2. ## Re: query on syntactic analysis

I am not a teacher.

I would call "crying" an adjective modifying "her", pure and simple. I saw her green with envy. I saw her enraged. You saw a crying Matilda.

"Saw" cannot operate on "her" in a way that permits "crying" to be an object complement, and it is not copulative, either.

I can think of no objection to your view that "her crying" is a clause used as an object, though.

3. ## Re: query on syntactic analysis

Originally Posted by YaninaG
I would like to discuss how to analyse this sentence:
I saw her crying.
In my opinion, crying cannot be analysed as an objective complement because, according to R.Quirk, an o.complement shares the same characteristics of the subjective complement. Then, i should say the relationship is not an intensive one in this sentence.
As far as i am concerned, i would analyse HER CRYING as an object relised by a non finite clause with its own subject (not the same subject as the one in the main clause)
What is your view on the topic?
Thanks
***** NOT A TEACHER *****

Ms. G.,

(1) I do not know what Professor Quirk said, but I know that

many people respect his opinions.

(2) I have found, however, two examples from grammar books that

feel a sentence such as yours is an example of an objective complement.

(a) We found him strumming a guitar. The words in bold modifies the

direct object him.

Source: Pence & Emery, A Grammar of Present-Day English (New York:
Macmillan Publishing, 1963), p. 50.

(b) We saw them eating peanuts. The same analysis as for (a).

Source: House & Harman, Descriptive English Grammar (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1950), page 291.

*****

By the way, House & Harman agree with you on one point:

The object and ... the objective complement have the force

of a clause, though they do not constitute a true clause, for a

clause should contain a finite (predicating) verb; and participles

are nonfinite verb forms.

4. ## Re: query on syntactic analysis

IMO it goes like this:

1. I saw [her (to) cry].
2. I saw [her (to be) crying].

In either sentence, the bracketed part, a nonfinite clause, is the direct object of "saw". It is "she was crying" or "she cried" that received my seeing, and not "she".

5. ## Re: query on syntactic analysis

Originally Posted by Coolfootluke
I am not a teacher.

I would call "crying" an adjective modifying "her", pure and simple.
Let us take a look at what implications your view would have:

I saw her very crying.
I saw her crying intensely.

"intensely" is a VP adverb and hinges on "crying.

The present participle "crying" seems to have more like a verbal force than an adjectival force.

6. ## Re: query on syntactic analysis

Thank you very much, indeed and sorry for replying so late. The thing is, i did not receive an e mail to let me know i had been replied. This is how it works, isnt it? Sorry, but i´m new here.
It´s great to share opinions. TA!

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