Could someone explain to me the constituent type of “laugh” as in “I saw her laugh”? Best with an X-bar graph. I know it's a lot of trouble. You don't have to draw the whole thing, a simplified version is immensely appreciated!

Along the same lines, what about “walk across the street” as in “I saw her walk across the street”? Is that just an extra branch of an AdvP?

  • Does this help? Non-finite clause complementation of complex transitive verbs
    – Laurel
    Commented Dec 25, 2021 at 3:00
  • 3
    "I saw her laugh" is a complex catenative construction with "see" as the catenative verb and the subordinate non-finite clause "laugh" as its catenative complement. The intervening NP "her" is the syntactic object of "see" and the semantic (understood) subject of the subordinate clause. The same applies to your other example but with the addition of the PP "across the street" functioning as complement of "walk".
    – BillJ
    Commented Dec 25, 2021 at 9:06

1 Answer 1


In the terminology of Huddleston & Pullum (2002), "laugh" and "walk across the street" are bare infinitival catenative complements.

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