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The class was composed of thirty students, including Jonathan and Kelly.

In this sentence, the prepositional phrase 'including Jonathan and Kelly' is a non-restrictive element in the clause structure (a supplementary adjunct). It does not modify 'thirty students' but provides additional information about them.

Can we call this a predicative adjunct? I am familiar with the concept of 'supplementary adjectives', which are said to be classified this way (see this forum discussion). They, too, provide information about a noun phrase.

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    You can call it anything you want. "Predicative adjunct" is a nice, meaningless phrase that will work as a name until a good description gets made and accepted. And I would call including Jonathan and Kelly a participial phrase, since including is a participle. To the extent it's related to a relative clause, the antecedent would be the count expressed in thirty students, since the number included Jonathan and Kelly. Mar 4, 2022 at 17:29
  • There are two schools of thought here: (1) "Including" is a preposition, so "including Jonathan and Kelly" is a preposition phrase functioning as an adjunct. (2) "Including" is reanalysed as a marginal member of the coordinator category, so it would be an NP functioning as second coordinate in the coordination "thirty students, including Jonathan and Kelly". I wouldn't call it a predicative adjunct since it has no predicand.
    – BillJ
    Mar 4, 2022 at 18:16
  • Incidentally, the term 'predicative adjunct' applies to such expressions as A proud teetotaller, John stuck to water while the others drank champagne (NP) / In a bad temper, as usual, John walked on ahead of the main party (PP) / She ran through another set of rooms, breathless, searching for a way out (AdjP).
    – BillJ
    Mar 4, 2022 at 18:58
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    There are far more than two schools of thought. As I said, "predicative adjunct' can be applied to anything you like. Mar 4, 2022 at 20:42
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    Boy, I really do not get it. How can: A proud teetotaller, John [etc] OR John, a proud teetoller [etc] be anything other than an apposition? And isn't a predicate adjunct part of a predicate?? Isn't John the subject?
    – Lambie
    Mar 4, 2022 at 22:03

2 Answers 2

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The class was composed of thirty students, including Jonathan and Kelly.

No, it's not a predicative adjunct since it doesn't relate to a predicand. Compare, for example, Unwilling to accept these terms, Max resigned, where the AdjP "unwilling to accept these terms" is an adjunct in clause structure and it is also predicative in that it relates to a predicand, i.e. "Max".

In your example, the expression including Jonathan and Kelly does not relate to a predicand. It does not provide ascriptive information about "the class" or "thirty students".

The received wisdom seems to allow for two possible interpretations:

  1. "Including" is a preposition, so "including Jonathan and Kelly" is simply a preposition phrase functioning as an adjunct, probably a supplementary one.

  2. "Including" is reanalysed as a marginal member of the coordinator category, so it would be an NP functioning as second coordinate in the NP coordination "thirty students, including Jonathan and Kelly". This interpretation is weakened by the fact that it can be fronted, as in Including Jonathan and Kelly, the class was composed of thirty students.

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    Is this all CGEL, or do the two analyses you offer have different sources? Mar 5, 2022 at 12:45
  • Does the same analysis hold when you interpose the including 𝓧 between subject and verb? Thirty students, including Jonathan and Kelly, composed the class. Here the including 𝓧 phrase seems to function like along with 𝓧, as well as 𝓧, and not to mention 𝓧 all do. Does it? And does this construction differ grammatically from Two students, (namely) Jonathan and Kelly, led the class yesterday because the professor was ill is? Does dropping namely even matter for that analysis?
    – tchrist
    Mar 5, 2022 at 14:08
  • @tchrist 2. holds in your first example, where the including phrase would then be part of the subject. "As well as" and "not to mention" function like coordinators. In your last example, "(namely) J&K" is undoubtedly a supplementary appositive NP, where "namely" is optional.
    – BillJ
    Mar 5, 2022 at 15:10
  • Ok good, that makes sense to me.
    – tchrist
    Mar 5, 2022 at 15:14
  • +1 (I'm sure some readers won't be familiar with predicand. Might be useful to give a quick explanation in brackets on first usage?) Mar 6, 2022 at 16:18
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The class was composed of thirty students, including Jonathan and Kelly.

including Jonathan and Kelly is a participle phrase.

It is an adverbial free modifier, i.e. it does not modify the specific verb "composed", rather it modifies the entire main clause: The class was composed of thirty students

The positioning is also quite free as the phrase is in parentheses:

Including Jonathan and Kelly, the class was composed of thirty students.

The class, including Jonathan and Kelly, was composed of thirty students.

The class was composed, including Jonathan and Kelly, of thirty students.

The class was composed of thirty students, including Jonathan and Kelly.

for further information see ThoughCo:

Free modifiers can come in several forms. There is no single format or construction required, but many of them will use the present participle form of a verb. Most of the time, these phrases will give more information about the subject, further developing it or adding specificity. A free modifier phrase is not necessary to the sentence (the main clause will still be grammatically and logically sound without it), but enhances it with further ideas or details.

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  • How can "including Jonathan and Kelly" possibly be a participle phrase when "including" is not even a verb here?
    – BillJ
    Mar 6, 2022 at 8:04
  • @BillJ including" is not even a verb. ! The semantics give it away: The class was composed of thirty students, and I am including Jonathan and Kelly.
    – Greybeard
    Mar 6, 2022 at 11:55
  • It's a preposition, as dictionaries confirm: see link link
    – BillJ
    Mar 6, 2022 at 11:58
  • I remain unimpressed by what seems to be a fudge and miscategorisation. We are talking about the function here. How would one differential "and I am including Jonathan and Kelly"? These participle phrases are invariably parenthetical and simple ellipsis of a larger clause - as in reduced relative clauses.
    – Greybeard
    Mar 6, 2022 at 12:24
  • So all dictionaries miscategorise it? I don't think so. There are no grounds for considering it to be a verb here. FYI the preposition "including" arises through the conversion of the non-tensed form. It's analysed as a prep because there is no understood subject. Others preps that are homonymous with a participle include "excepting", "barring", "excluding" and "given". There are quite a few others.
    – BillJ
    Mar 6, 2022 at 12:36

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