The teacher (S) wishes (V) to resign
It is no doubt that 'to resign' is a complement of something, but is it a complement of the noun
The teacher or the verb
Subject complement [analysis 1]:
In '[The teacher] wishes [to resign]', '[to resign]' can be analysed as the subject complement because it is ascribing a property related to that of the subject noun 'The teacher' and hence, modifying it.
In contrast [This is how, under this analysis, object complement is defined]:
John (S) told (V) Stephanie (D.O) some great advice (Object complement)
In 'John told [Stephanie [some great advice]]', we know 'some great advice' is the object complement because it is describing/ascribing/modifying the direct object 'Stephanie', not 'John' (the subject).
Object complement [analysis 2]
In '[The teacher] wishes [to resign]', '[to resign]' is an object complement which functions as the direct object of the verb 'wishes'. In terms of clauses, 'to resign' is an infinitive object complement clause functioning as the direct object. This is John Lawler's analysis as described in here.
Furthermore in the paper, he notes:
There are four different types of complement (noun clause, either subject or object – the ones above are all object complements): respectively, they are called infinitive, gerund, that-clause, and embedded question. These types, and their structures and markers (like to and –ing) are often called complementizers. Other names for these types include for-to complementizer (infinitive), POSS-ing (or ACC-ing) complementizer (gerund), inflected (or tensed) clause (that), or WHcomplementizer (embedded question). Which term you use is of no concern; they’re equivalent.
My questions are in 'The teacher wishes to resign', is:
- 'to resign', a subject or object complement?
- what would you analyse 'to resign' as?
- if either subject or object complement: why and which analysis is more supported?
I will not accept the reasoning that 'Stephanie' is an indirect object because you can insert a (to) in my sentence as @tchrist states so simplistically:
When you tell someone something, the direct object is the something not the someone. The someone is the indirect object.
No, you have it exactly backwards. Syntax is what drives the syntactic classification, and here the direct object is the thing not the person. When you tell your husband a story, the story is the thing you tell. Your husband is whom you've told that story to. Syntax is why it's an 'indirect object'.
CaGEL provides counterfactual information:
[1c] They gave me the key
Example [1c] has the same propositional meaning as
They gave the key to me, but
to meis not an indirect object, not an object at all: it is syntactically quite different from me in [1c]. Objects normally have the form of NPs;
to mehere is a complement with the form of a PP.
"Kim gave the key to Pat"
An NP indirectly related to the verb through the preposition is referred as an oblique. The phrase "to Pat" is a non-core compliment of the verb give, but the NP Pat is an oblique.
To be precise "They gave the key to me" 'to me' is neither a direct or indirect object but a non-core complement (with a PP) to the verb 'gave'.