Argument

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An argument is a noun phrase (or sometimes adpositional phrase) that is required to cooccur with a verb (or other argument-taking expression).

Examples

In the following sentences, the italicized noun phrases (or adpositional phrases) are arguments:

  • Tasaku bought a ticket on Friday.
  • Please give my regards to your husband.
  • On the boat the passengers rely on the captain.

Comments

Arguments are typically contrasted with adjuncts, i.e. noun phrases or adpositional phrases that are not syntactically required, but serve to modify the clause or another constituent.

Subtypes

Synonyms

  • actant (Tesnière's term)
  • complement (though this term only refers to nonsubject arguments)

Polysemy

Argument also refers to

  • an argument of a function (in mathematical logic)

other languages