Depictive construction

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Depictive construction is a type of secondary predication which predicates a property of a participant in an event.


English (Germanic, Indo-European):

Malcolm left home young.

Alan walked around naked.

David went away angry.

Latin (Italic, Indo-European). (Vroom 1938:74)

mendicus a me tristis stipem petivit from me gift.ACC ask.PERF.3sg
The beggar asked me sadly for a gift.


See also


The term depictive secondary predication was apparently first used in Halliday (1967:63), and becamse widely known through Jackendoff (1990). It contrasts with resultative secondary predication (as in Malcolm hammered the metal flat). Depictive construction is used in Schultze-Berndt & Himmelmann (2004).


  • Loeb-Diehl, Flora. 2005. The Typology of Manner Expressions. Diss. Ponsen & Looijen.


  • Halliday, Michael Alexander Kirkwood. 1967. Intonation and grammar in British English. The Hague: Mouton.
  • Jackendoff, Ray. Semantic structures. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Schultze-Berndt, Eva & Himmelmann, Nikolaus P. 2004. Depictive secondary predicates in crosslinguistic perspective. Linguistic Typology 8(1): 59-131.
  • Vroom, H. 1938. Latijnse Spraakkunst. Hilversum: Brands.