Glossary of Linguistic Terms



A subject is a grammatical relation that exhibits certain independent syntactic properties, such as the following:

  • The grammatical characteristics of the agent of typically transitive verbs
  • The grammatical characteristics of the single argument of intransitive verbs
  • A particular case marking or clause position
  • The conditioning of an agreement affix on the verb
  • The capability of being obligatorily or optionally deleted in certain grammatical constructions, such as the following clauses:
    • Adverbial
    • Complement
    • Coordinate
  • The conditioning of same subject markers and different subject markers in switch-reference systems
  • The capability of coreference with reflexive pronouns

The identification of the subject relation may be further confirmed by finding significant overlap with similar subject relations previously established in other languages. This may be done by analyzing correspondence between translation equivalents .

Page/s: 458-459
Source: Pike and Pike 1982

Pike, Kenneth L., and Evelyn G. Pike. 1982.Grammatical analysis. Dallas, TX: Summer Institute of Linguistics.

Page/s: 205
Source: Pei and Gaynor 1954

Pei, Mario A., and Frank Gaynor. 1954.A dictionary of linguistics. New York: Philosophical Library.

Page/s: 1174
Source: Mish 1991

Mish, Frederick (editor). 1991.Webster's ninth new collegiate dictionary. Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster. 1,564 pages. 0877795088; indexed 0877795096; deluxe 087779510X.

Page/s: 224
Source: Hartmann and Stork 1972

Hartmann, R.R.K., and F.C. Stork. 1972.Dictionary of language and linguistics. London: Applied Science.

Page/s: 293
Source: Crystal 1985

Crystal, David. 1985.A dictionary of linguistics and phonetics. 2nd edition. New York: Basil Blackwell.

Page/s: 66
Source: Comrie 1989

Comrie, Bernard. 1989.Language universals and linguistic typology. 2nd edition. Chicago: University of Chicago.

Page/s: 68-69, 103-117
Source: Andrews, A. 1985

Andrews, Avery. 1985. "The major functions of the noun phrase." In Shopen 1985b

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