Jump to content


Grammar/Diagramming Question

Recommended Posts

Okay, grammar nerds, I need your help!  Can the object of a preposition have a complement?  Here's the sentence:


"Webster gave a series of lectures which were published under the title Dissertations on the English Language."


The italicized portion of the sentence is what I'm wondering about.  Is this a complement, renaming "title"?  I don't think it could be an appositive, because it is needed to complete the meaning of the sentence and/or the grammatical structure.  Appositives can be left out w/o changing the structure of the sentence.


So, the only other option I can think of is that the title in italics could be another prepositional object, with the "understood" preposition of going on the slanted line in the diagram.  (i.e.  "....under the title (of) Dissertations....").


Anyone wanna tackle this?


Follow-up question:  If I had a copy of Descriptive English Grammar, would all my problems be solved?  



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was thinking appositive as well, as that is normally what I consider to be the names of already established nouns.


In Latin it would be considered a second accusative which is allowed with words concerning "making", "naming", or "choosing".  The second accusative is also called a predicate accusative or an object complement.  My Latin grammar is better than my English grammar. (I learned Latin from scary nuns, but English in public school.)  So often I go back to the Latin.  It sounds like it could be secondary compliment if you went with Latin.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Does Latin have secondary complements?  Also, the word "title" would be in the ablative case, right?  It's not a direct object.  If it were, then what follows would definitely be an object complement, as in the sentence "They named their baby Jane."  


I think I can concede that it's an appositive, but something doesn't seem quite right about it.  It seems too essential, and I thought that you could remove an appositive from a sentence w/o affecting it's structure, or central meaning.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...