Glossary of Linguistic Terms

Oblique Object


An oblique object is a grammatical relation proposed for a noun phrase clause constituent with the following characteristics:

  • Its nature and behavior are more readily describable in semantic terms than syntactic.
  • It is likely to be the most constrained in the semantic roles it may individually express.
  • It is likely to be marked by an adposition or case affix.
  • It is not likely to be a target of syntactic rules, such as
    • agreement with the verb, or
    • strategies of relativization.

English prepositional phrases, as clause constituents, can be considered oblique objects.

  • She was bitten by a spider.
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