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This page pertains to UD version 2.

xcomp: open clausal complement

An open clausal complement (xcomp) of a verb or an adjective is a predicative or clausal complement without its own subject. The reference of the subject is necessarily determined by an argument external to the xcomp (normally by the subject of the next higher clause). This is often referred to as obligatory control. These complements are always non-finite, and they are complements (arguments of the higher verb or adjective) rather than adjuncts/modifiers, such as a purpose clause. The name xcomp is borrowed from Lexical-Functional Grammar.

Nechceš si zaplavat ? \n Don't-you-want yourself to-swim ?
xcomp(Nechceš, zaplavat)
xcomp(Don't-you-want, to-swim)
Začal jsem tam pracovat včera . \n Started I-have there to-work yesterday .
xcomp(Začal, pracovat)
xcomp(Started, to-work)

Note that the above condition “without its own subject” does not mean that a clause is an xcomp just because its subject is not overt. The subject must be necessarily inherited from a fixed position in the higher clause. That is, there should be no available interpretation where the subject of the lower clause may be distinct from the specified role of the upper clause. In cases where the missing subject may or must be distinct from a fixed role in the higher clause, ccomp should be used instead, as below. This includes cases of arbitrary subjects and anaphoric control.

Šéf nařídil vykopat příkop . \n Boss ordered to-dig ditch .
ccomp(nařídil, vykopat)
ccomp(ordered, to-dig)

Pro-drop languages have clauses where the subject is not present as a separate word, yet it is inherently present (and often deducible from the form of the verb) and it does not depend on arguments from a higher clause. Thus in neither of the following two Czech examples is there any overt subject, yet only the second example contains an xcomp.

Píšu , protože jsem to slíbil . \n I-write , because I-have it promised .
advcl(Píšu, slíbil)
advcl(I-write, promised)
Slíbil jsem psát . \n Promised I-have to-write .
xcomp(Slíbil, psát)
xcomp(Promised, to-write)

xcomp in other languages: [bg] [bm] [cop] [cs] [de] [el] [en] [es] [eu] [fi] [fr] [fro] [ga] [gsw] [hy] [it] [kk] [no] [pa] [pcm] [pt] [ru] [sv] [swl] [tr] [u] [yue] [zh]