How can I know if an embedded clause is a Specifier, an adjunct, or a complement?

For example, in a sentence like:

One notion that nobody has mentioned yet was proposed during the conference.

Can you please explain to me the process of how to know if the embedded clause is a Specifier, an adjunct, or a complement?

I would really appreciate an explanation.

Thank you so much!

  • 1
    If you know the terms and you know that they're different, what differences do you perceive between Specifier, Adjunct, and Complement? For your information, the terms specifier, adjunct, and complement are frequently used with different senses in linguistics, so we need to know where you're coming from. – John Lawler Oct 17 '19 at 21:51
  • My understanding is, Specifiers are clausal subjects. Adjunct are relative clauses – User384789 Oct 17 '19 at 22:00
  • You must have that backwards; not all adjuncts are relative clauses, but all relative clauses are adjuncts. And Specifiers are not always (or even ever?) clausal subjects. The problem with terminology is that there's so much of it, and it's all different. – John Lawler Oct 17 '19 at 22:15
  • Thank you! but what would be a possible explanation. – User384789 Oct 17 '19 at 22:26
  • 1
    Relative clauses are neither adjuncts nor complements: they are generally modifiers, though the non-restrictive ones are supplements. In your example, "that nobody has mentioned yet" is a relative clause modifying the noun "notion". Adjuncts, on the other hand are modifiers in clause structure, where they modify verbs and verb phases. Complements are quite different and need more explanation. Specifier is not a function term like modifier and complement, so can mean virtually anything. Do you have a decent grammar book? – BillJ Oct 18 '19 at 7:10

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