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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.

Ուզում ՞ ես լողալ ։ \n Do-you want to-swim ?
xcomp(Ուզում, լողալ)
xcomp(want, to-swim)
Երեկ ես սկսեցի աշխատել այնտեղ ։ \n Yesterday I started to-work there .
xcomp(սկսեցի, աշխատել)
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.

Ղեկավարը հրամայեց փորել ։ \n The-boss ordered to-dig .
ccomp(հրամայեց, փորել)
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 Armenian examples is there any overt subject, yet only the second example contains an xcomp.

Գրում եմ , որովհետև խոստացել եմ ։ \n I-write , because I-have promised .
advcl(Գրում, խոստացել)
advcl(I-write, promised)
Խոստացել եմ գրել ։ \n Promised I-have to-write .
xcomp(Խոստացել, գրել)
xcomp(Promised, to-write)

Secondary Predicates

The xcomp relation is also used in constructions that are known as secondary predicates or predicatives. Examples:

We could paraphrase the sentence using a subordinate clause: She declared that the decision was worrying. There are two predicates mixed in one clause: 1. she declared something, and 2. the decision was worrying (according to her opinion). The secondary predicate will be attached to the main predicate as an xcomp:

Նա որոշումը մտահոգիչ համարեց ։ \n She declared the-decision worrying .
nsubj(համարեց, Նա)
nsubj(declared, She)
obj(համարեց, որոշումը)
obj(declared, the-decision)
xcomp(համարեց, մտահոգիչ)
xcomp(declared, worrying)

In the enhanced representation, there is an additional subject link showing the secondary predication:

Նա որոշումը մտահոգիչ համարեց ։ \n She declared the-decision worrying .
nsubj(համարեց, Նա)
nsubj(declared, She)
obj(համարեց, որոշումը)
obj(declared, the-decision)
xcomp(համարեց, մտահոգիչ)
xcomp(declared, worrying)
nsubj(մտահոգիչ, որոշումը)
nsubj(worrying, the-decision)

Remember that xcomp is used for core arguments of clausal predicates so it will not be used for other instances of secondary predication. For instance, in Նա մոլոր մտավ սենյակ “She entered the room errant” we also have a double predication (she entered the room; she was errant). But մոլոր “errant” is not a core argument of մտնել “enter”: leaving it out will neither affect grammaticality nor significantly alter the meaning of the verb. On the other hand, leaving out մտահոգիչ “worrying” in նա որոշումը մտահոգիչ համարեց “she declared the decision worrying” will either render the sentence ungrammatical or lead to a different interpretation of համարեց “declared.”

The result is that in Նա մոլոր մտավ սենյակ, “She entered the room errant”, մոլոր “errant” will depend on Նա “She” and the relation will be acl instead of xcomp.


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]