I have the following examples from a corpus (ICNALE corpus)

"They can grow as a member of society."

"At university, students are regarded as adults not children."

"I worked in a hotel as a service staff."

According to Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written English (Biber, Johannson, Leech, Conrad, Finegan, 1999, p.776-783), circumstance adverbials can be classified semantically into Place, Time, Process (manner, comparison, accompaniment, means, instrument), Contingency (cause, reason, purpose, concession, condition, result), Extent, Addition/Restriction.

I am having trouble classifying the adverbials in the above three sentences: as a member of society, as adults, as a service staff member.

EDIT: As BillJ points out below, the adverbials in the three sentences are complements (not adjuncts / circumstance), but I am still looking to see if they can be assigned a semantic category.

Any help appreciated! Thanks!

  • 2
    I'd say that "as a member of society" is not an adjunct at all, but a complement licensed by "grow". "At university" is clearly a locative adjunct. "As service staff" is also a complement, licensed by "worked". – BillJ May 29 '20 at 12:15
  • @BillJ thanks, you have me thinking more. Thanks for pointing out the complement/adjunct difference. Complements are necessary to complete the meaning, adjuncts are not. This example from thefreedictionary.com/Adverbial-Complements.htm offers "Please put the book on the table" where "on the table" is a complement, so not circumstance, but can it still be semantically categorised as locative? – Parsons Daniel May 29 '20 at 15:41
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    Yes, in "Please put the book on the table", the PP "on the table" is obligatory, so it must be a complement (locative). Note that obligatory elements are always complements: they are needed to complete the verb phrase; optional elements may be either complements or adjuncts. – BillJ May 29 '20 at 15:58
  • @BillJ thanks again, very helpful. I should edit my question a little since I am still looking for semantic categories for these complements. – Parsons Daniel May 29 '20 at 16:36
  • Hi @BillJ just another thought - "worked as", "regarded as" and "grow as", could these be predicates with the following noun phrases as object complements? That would mean they are not adverbials at all. – Parsons Daniel Jun 4 '20 at 21:49

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