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According to this example, arrive takes only one subject valent.

Can somebody specializes in syntax help me apprehend this notion of valence? Specifically, what factors are used to determine the valence of predicates?

  • 1
    I'm afraid your question is still not clear, because of different possible meanings for "determine". Are you asking what are the factors in a language (or in language in general) which cause a particular predicate to have a particular valence? Or are you asking about how grammarians analysing a language decide what valence the predicates actually have?
    – Colin Fine
    Commented Oct 7, 2021 at 22:16

1 Answer 1


This tree(8a) shown is a mistake. The author did it on purpose to show that we can't draw like that, I suppose.

8a shows that "arrive" has two dependency, one is "Fred" and the other is "Tom". However, the correct thing to do is that "arrive" has just one dependency and it is "Fred and Tom" as a whole.

Then "arrive" has just one dependency and it has just one valency.

I hope it can make sense to you.

  • Hmm I might misunderstand your question..... Sorry
    – Yili Xia
    Commented Oct 7, 2021 at 3:32

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