a structure containing a (visible or invisible) subject and a predicate.


the study of meaning. It covers both lexical meaning and the meaning of sentences with special emphasis on their truth conditions (under what circumstances a sentence is true/false).

vP (pronounced: little vP)

a phrase headed by a light verb taking a VP complement hosting agent or experiencer arguments in its specifier position. For a list of elements that can appear in vp see light verb.

Basic English Syntax with Exercises

5.5 Conclusion

In this chapter we have taken a detailed look into various aspects of the structure of the VP. We have seen how the semantics of the verb, particularly in its argument and event structures, influence the way the VP is built. The argument structure to a large extent determines the complementation of the verb and the event structure plays a role in determining the extension of the VP into various vPs built on top of it.

In numerous places we have mentioned the sentence, which the VP is a major part, but have so far refrained from discussing, using the symbol S to stand instead of a proper analysis. One important aspect of clausal structure for the VP is the position of the subject, which as we have maintained throughout this chapter starts off inside the VP, but moves to the nominative position somewhere higher in the clause. We will consider issues such as this in the following two chapters when we discuss clause structure in more detail.