Small clause

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Small Clause is subject-predicate construction without a finite verb.


The PP in (i) and the NP in (ii) are analyzed as small clauses with him the subject.

(i)  I want [PP him out of my sight]
(ii) They consider [NP him a fine teacher]

In general a small clause is an XP with a subject, where X = N, A, V or P. It is a point of debate whether the subject is in the specifier position of XP, or adjoined to XP at D-structure.


Utrecht Lexicon of Linguistics


  • Hoekstra, T. & R. Mulder 1990. Unergatives as Copular Verbs The Linguisitc Review 7,
  • Stowell, T. 1983. Subjects across Categories, The Linguistic Review 2, .