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This page pertains to UD version 2.

ccomp: clausal complement

A clausal complement is a full clause that functions like an object of verb. It has its own subject and it is not obligatorily coreferent with any of the arguments of the matrix verb (for more on “obligatory control”, see xcomp).

# visual-style 2 5 ccomp	color:blue
# visual-style 2	bgColor:blue
# visual-style 2	fgColor:white
# visual-style 5	bgColor:blue
# visual-style 5	fgColor:white
1	我	_	PRON	_	_	2	nsubj	_	1SG
2	知道	_	VERB	_	_	0	root	_	know
3	你	_	PRON	_	_	5	nsubj	_	2SG
4	很	_	ADV	_	_	5	advmod	_	very
5	孝順	_	ADJ	_	_	2	ccomp	_	have-filial-piety

1	"I	_	_	_	_	0	_	_	_
2	know	_	_	_	_	0	_	_	_
3	that	_	_	_	_	0	_	_	_
4	you	_	_	_	_	0	_	_	_
5	are	_	_	_	_	0	_	_	_
6	full	_	_	_	_	0	_	_	_
7	of	_	_	_	_	0	_	_	_
8	filial	_	_	_	_	0	_	_	_
9	piety."	_	_	_	_	0	_	_	_

The subject of the embedded clause may sometimes be absent, but pragmatically understood, such as in the below example where the thing being mentioned as being stinky may be a room or a pair of socks that was previously discussed or known to be the topic of discussion.

# visual-style 2 4 ccomp	color:blue
# visual-style 2	bgColor:blue
# visual-style 2	fgColor:white
# visual-style 4	bgColor:blue
# visual-style 4	fgColor:white
1	你	_	PRON	_	_	2	nsubj	_	2SG
2	覺得	_	VERB	_	_	0	root	_	think
3	很	_	ADV	_	_	4	advmod	_	very
4	臭	_	ADJ	_	_	2	ccomp	_	stinky
5	嗎	_	PART	_	_	2	discourse:sp	_	Q

1	"Do	_	_	_	_	0	_	_	_
2	you	_	_	_	_	0	_	_	_
3	think	_	_	_	_	0	_	_	_
4	it's	_	_	_	_	0	_	_	_
5	very	_	_	_	_	0	_	_	_
6	stinky?"	_	_	_	_	0	_	_	_
7	(talking	_	_	_	_	0	_	_	_
8	about	_	_	_	_	0	_	_	_
9	a	_	_	_	_	0	_	_	_
10	room,	_	_	_	_	0	_	_	_
11	for	_	_	_	_	0	_	_	_
12	example)	_	_	_	_	0	_	_	_

In some rare cases, a verb may have different meanings, one taking a ccomp dependent, and another an xcomp dependent. For example, the verb 覺得 juédé may mean “feel, think, consider” or “feel a sensation”. The first meaning takes a clausal complement, as in example (2) above; the second meaning requires xcomp, as in (3) below, which exhibits a case of “subject control”, where the subject of the second predicate 很 開心 / hěn kāixīn “very happy” is necessarily understood as the subject of the matrix verb 覺得 / juédé “feel (a sensation)”.

1	我	_	PRON	_	_	2	nsubj	_	1SG
2	覺得	_	VERB	_	_	0	root	_	feel
3	很	_	ADV	_	_	4	advmod	_	very
4	開心	_	ADJ	_	_	2	xcomp	_	happy

1	"I	_	_	_	_	0	_	_	_
2	feel	_	_	_	_	0	_	_	_
3	very	_	_	_	_	0	_	_	_
4	happy."	_	_	_	_	0	_	_	_

Additionally, ccomp is used for “extent compounds” (see compound:ext) where a clause with its own subject follows V + 得 (for a subjectless predicate following V + 得, xcomp is used).

# visual-style 1 6 ccomp	color:blue
# visual-style 1	bgColor:blue
# visual-style 1	fgColor:white
# visual-style 6	bgColor:blue
# visual-style 6	fgColor:white
1	熱	_	VERB	_	_	0	root	_	hot
2	得	_	PART	_	_	1	compound:ext	_	DE
3	連	_	ADV	_	_	6	advmod	_	even
4	塑膠袋	_	NOUN	_	_	6	nsubj	_	plastic-bags
5	也	_	ADV	_	_	6	advmod	_	also
6	出汗	_	VERB	_	_	1	ccomp	_	sweat
7	了	_	PART	_	_	6	discourse:sp	_	SP

1	"It's	_	_	_	_	0	_	_	_
2	so	_	_	_	_	0	_	_	_
3	hot	_	_	_	_	0	_	_	_
4	that	_	_	_	_	0	_	_	_
5	even	_	_	_	_	0	_	_	_
6	plastic	_	_	_	_	0	_	_	_
7	bags	_	_	_	_	0	_	_	_
8	are	_	_	_	_	0	_	_	_
9	sweating."	_	_	_	_	0	_	_	_

The ccomp relation is also used for the copula 是 shì when its argument is a clause (although in copular constructions, 是 shì is a cop dependent of the predicate when the predicate is non-clausal).

# visual-style 2 5 ccomp	color:blue
# visual-style 2	bgColor:blue
# visual-style 2	fgColor:white
# visual-style 5	bgColor:blue
# visual-style 5	fgColor:white
1	原因	_	NOUN	_	_	2	nsubj	_	reason
2	是	_	VERB	_	_	0	root	_	be
3	他	_	PRON	_	_	5	nsubj	_	3SG
4	沒	_	AUX	_	_	5	aux	_	NEG.PERF
5	來	_	VERB	_	_	2	ccomp	_	come

1	"The	_	_	_	_	0	_	_	_
2	reason	_	_	_	_	0	_	_	_
3	is	_	_	_	_	0	_	_	_
4	he	_	_	_	_	0	_	_	_
5	didn't	_	_	_	_	0	_	_	_
6	come."	_	_	_	_	0	_	_	_

是…(的) constructions

The cleft-like focus constructions involving 是 shì and 是…的 shì…de are treated similarly to copular constructions with a clausal complement illustrated in (5). In these constructions 是 shì is considered the head, and the verb phrase or clause following it its clausal complement. Any noun phrase or adverbial to the left of 是 shì is treated as a dislocated dependent of 是 shì (rather than subject, adjunct, or oblique nominal of the complement clause), unless the adverbial is meant to modify 是 shì itself. Note that clausal subjects to the left of 是 shì are also treated as dislocated. The sentence-final particle 的 de is attached to the complement clause (although note that 的 de may also be a nominalizer or a genitive marker on a nominal predicate depending on the context).

# visual-style 2 3 ccomp	color:blue
# visual-style 2	bgColor:blue
# visual-style 2	fgColor:white
# visual-style 3	bgColor:blue
# visual-style 3	fgColor:white
1	張三	_	PROPN	_	_	2	dislocated	_	Zhang-San
2	是	_	VERB	_	_	0	root	_	be
3	戴	_	VERB	_	_	2	ccomp	_	wear
4	隱形眼鏡	_	NOUN	_	_	3	obj	_	contact-lenses
5	的	_	PART	_	_	3	discourse:sp	_	SP
6	嗎	_	PART	_	_	2	discourse:sp	_	SP:Q
7	?	_	PUNCT	_	_	2	punct	_	_

1	"Is	_	_	_	_	0	_	_	_
2	it	_	_	_	_	0	_	_	_
3	the	_	_	_	_	0	_	_	_
4	case	_	_	_	_	0	_	_	_
5	that	_	_	_	_	0	_	_	_
6	Zhangsan	_	_	_	_	0	_	_	_
7	wears	_	_	_	_	0	_	_	_
8	contact	_	_	_	_	0	_	_	_
9	lenses?"	_	_	_	_	0	_	_	_

Subject-less ccomp vs. subject-control xcomp

It may be difficult sometimes to differentiate between (i) ccomp with the subject of the complement clause (non-obligatorily) dropped and (ii) a case of subject-control xcomp where the subject is obligatorily absent.

One can reinsert a subject into the complement clause as a test to separate the above two situations. If the result is perfectly grammatical AND the meaning of the matrix verb does not change, it is likely situation (i) where the clausal complement should be linked to the matrix verb with ccomp (as shown in 2’ below). Otherwise, if the sentence becomes ungrammatical OR the meaning of the matrix verb changes, then it would likely be situation (ii) with xcomp (as shown in 3’ below). In the following sentences, the reinserted subjects are emphasized, the matrix verbs italicized, and the complement clauses in brackets:

See xcomp for another test for differentiating between ccomp and object-control xcomp.


ccomp in other languages: [bej] [bg] [bm] [cop] [cs] [de] [el] [en] [es] [et] [eu] [fi] [fr] [fro] [ga] [gsw] [gub] [hy] [it] [ja] [kk] [no] [pa] [pcm] [pt] [ro] [ru] [sv] [swl] [tr] [u] [urj] [vi] [yue] [zh]