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This page pertains to UD version 2.

nsubj: nominal subject

A nominal subject (nsubj) is a nominal which is the syntactic subject and the proto-agent of a clause. That is, it is in the position that passes typical grammatical test for subjecthood, and this argument is the more agentive, the do-er, or the proto-agent of the clause. This nominal may be headed by a noun, or it may be a pronoun or relative pronoun, or in ellipsis contexts, other things such as an adjective.

Special cases are nsubj:pass for when the subject is not the proto-agent argument due to valence changing operations; and nsubj:outer for when the subject is of a copular clause whose predicate is itself a clause. (See csubj, csubj:pass, and csubj:outer for when the subject is clausal.)

The nsubj role is only applied to semantic arguments of a predicate. When there is an empty argument in a grammatical subject position (sometimes called a pleonastic or expletive), it is labeled as expl. If there is then a displaced subject in the clause, as in the English existential there construction, it will be labeled as nsubj. The governor of the nsubj relation might not always be a verb: when the verb is a copular verb, the root of the clause is the complement of the copular verb, which can be an adjective or noun, including a noun marked by a preposition, as in the examples below.

In English, the nsubj normally precedes the predicate that it depends on, but this need not be the case, both for the displaced subjects of expletive constructions and in other cases of stylistic inversion, such as the example headed by the predicate come below.

Clinton defeated Dole
nsubj(defeated, Clinton)
The car is red .
nsubj(red, car)
Sue is a true patriot .
nsubj(patriot, Sue)
We are in the barn .
nsubj(barn, We)
Agatha is in trouble .
nsubj(trouble, Agatha)
There is a ghost in the room .
expl(is, There)
nsubj(is, ghost)
These links present the many viewpoints that existed .
acl:relcl(viewpoints, existed)
nsubj(existed, that)
From China comes news of a new super-small mobile phone .
nsubj(comes, news)

Some infinitival clauses have a nominal subject preceded by for:

It is important for/SCONJ everyone to remain calm .
expl(important, It)
csubj(important, remain)
mark(remain, for)
nsubj(remain, everyone)
mark(remain, to)
xcomp(remain, calm)

nsubj in other languages: [bej] [bg] [bm] [cop] [cs] [de] [el] [en] [es] [ess] [et] [eu] [fi] [fr] [fro] [ga] [gd] [gsw] [hy] [it] [ja] [ka] [kk] [kmr] [ky] [mr] [myv] [no] [pa] [pcm] [pt] [qpm] [ro] [ru] [sl] [sv] [swl] [tr] [u] [uz] [vi] [yue] [zh]