'The chairman was met by his subordinates on his return from Chennai.' What is the adverbial phrase used in this sentence?

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    The PP "on his return from Chennai" is an adjunct of temporal location (your 'adverbial'). It tells us when the chairman was met by his subordinates. – BillJ Mar 23 at 15:05
  • Isn't "by his subordinates" also adverbial? – remarkl Mar 23 at 15:59
  • @remarkl The language of syntax is in flux. The chairman was met by his subordinates is the passive form of His subordinates met the chairman; at least for those who refer to met by as a compound verb. – Hugh Mar 23 at 16:23
  • The by phrase is mandated by the Passive construction; it's not an adverb, since it indicates the agent instead of the time, place, manner, instrument, or circumstance. Plus it can't niche anywhere the way a true adverbial can. – John Lawler Mar 23 at 21:14
  • @remark No, the PP "by his subordinates" is a complement of "met". – BillJ Mar 24 at 7:59

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