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I'm reading Goldberg's Constructions and find her employing the symbol 'OBL' to represent a category of syntactic constituent.

SUBJ OBL OBJ

I take it that 'OBL' is read 'oblique' in some sense; but I am puzzled to understand exactly what sense, since it seems to embrace both preposition phrases and adjective phrases (e.g. 'OBLPP/AP'), standing in for what I would categorize as adjectival and locative predicate complements. I have found no instance where 'OBL' is realized as a nominal, and it's not the object of a preposition, so it doesn't appear to be an oblique object in either of the senses I'm familiar with.

Can anyone provide a name and definition for this symbol? And for lagniappe, can anyone tell me how folks who use this symbol represent a nominal predicate complement?

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Arguments that are neither subject nor object nor adjunct are obliques. For example, indirect objects and causees are obliques. They are usually indexed by θ roles.

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  • This appears to be exactly what I want. Just to make sure, though: in this use, the bolded terms in these sentences would all be properly named "obliques"? -- Barack Obama was elected president. My car is black. We painted the living room blue. I put my keys on the table. He was eventually found by the forest rangers. Jul 18, 2016 at 11:54
  • @StoneyB In the second sentence "blue" is a nominal predicate. In the first sentence "president" is a secondary object. In most languages it would be an oblique though.
    – Atamiri
    Jul 18, 2016 at 12:36
  • In other words, it's not a very useful term :)
    – curiousdannii
    Jul 18, 2016 at 12:56
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    @curiousdannii It is useful and well-established.
    – Atamiri
    Jul 18, 2016 at 13:53
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    @StoneyB "My" definition of OBL comes from LFG. Moreover whether something is an OBL or not is language-specific. It seems that as with other linguistic terms, the definition depends on the theory used.
    – Atamiri
    Jul 18, 2016 at 14:46

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