Is this prepositional phrase a resultative complement?


At this moment the boat bumped gently into the harbor wall. Hagrid folded up his newspaper, and they clambered up the stone steps onto the street.
(Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone)

Judging by the appearance, ‘onto the street’ seems like an adverbial. But semantically, it needs to be the result of the previous action (resultative complement). Would the latter be the right view?


Posted 2013-10-08T14:11:15.037

Reputation: 25 811

4I think in this case both PPs would be termed more narrowly locative complements. Doubtless somebody has come up with terms for distinguishing intermediate and terminal locative complements. – StoneyB on hiatus – 2013-10-08T14:31:45.217



Similar to your previous question, the term "resultative complement" relates to Chinese (Mandarin) grammar, rather than English.

Semantically, "onto the street" could be considered a final adjunct but more likely a locative adjunct as it establishes to where the action happened.

Since removal of the phrase does not render the sentence ungrammatical and meaningless, it suggests the phrase is not an adverbial complement.


Posted 2013-10-08T14:11:15.037

Reputation: 482