Clauses consist of two obligatory parts: predicates and 'arguments. Arguments are the participants in the action or state described by the predicate.
The number of arguments is often determined by the particular predicate in use. Take paint and give as examples.
- 1a) Jones painted a picture.
- 1b) Jones gave the picture to Smith.
In (1a), Jones and a picture are both required by the verb paint.
- Valence Changing Operation (definition)
- Clause (definition)
- Passive Voice (definition)
- Adjunct (definition)
Be very careful with wikipedia articles, which can be edited by anyone and often contain inaccurate information.
- wikipedia article on arguments: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verb_argument
- Crystal, D. (2008) Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics. 6th Edition. Wiley-Blackwell.