Indication (grammar)

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In the German tradition of grammar writing, an indication is typically a part of a sentence that can always be omitted. The term specification is mainly in contrast to the supplement . The term can also be broader and, in addition to clauses, can be applied to all kinds of additions, so that attributes can also be information.

Semantically , the term “specification” mostly corresponds to the function of the modification , whereas additions are arguments . Information must therefore also be differentiated from supplements that can be omitted. Exceptions, however, are some argument expressions that can always be omitted, such as the free dative and the agent specification in the passive ; In the German grammar tradition, these are also classified as information.

The term adverbial , in contrast to the specification, describes certain types of meaning or grammatical functions of expressions (circumstance specification of the manner, the place, etc.). Adverbials often have the status of information, but there are also obligatory adverbials that are then part of the additions.

The term adjunct is often equated with indication, but the definitions differ. While the information about omission is defined, the term adjunct relates more to the free addability, and in a narrower sense to a linkage rule (the adjunction) that is defined in syntax theory for structure descriptions . Therefore, mandatory adjuncts are also conceivable, however, a "mandatory information" would be conceptually excluded.

See also


  • Duden - The grammar. 8th edition. Dudenverlag, Mannheim 2009.
  • Karin Pittner & Judith Berman: German Syntax. A work book. 4th edition. Narr, Tübingen 2010.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ According to the definition in Dudengrammatik (2009), p. 776.
  2. Dudengrammatik (2009), p. 780.
  3. Pittner & Berman, p. 47
  4. Pittner & Berman, p. 45.
  5. Jane Grimshaw, Sten Vikner: Obligatory adjuncts and the structure of events In: Eric Reuland, Werner Abraham (eds.): Knowledge and language, vol. 2, Lexical and conceptual structure. Kluwer, Dordrecht 1993. pp. 143-155.