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sub- +‎ categorization


subcategorization (countable and uncountable, plural subcategorizations)

  1. Placing something into a subcategory.
  2. (grammar) The practice of specifying what types of complements a word may take when that word acts as the head of a phrase of a certain category; this specification restricts the wordʼs category, making it smaller, hence a “subcategory” of the wordʼs category.
    • 1988, Andrew Radford, chapter 7, in Transformational grammar: a first course, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, page 365:
      It seems a simple enough matter to extract a general principle of subcategorisation out of (81), along the lines of:
      (82)      Any lexical item of category X will be subcategorised with respect
      (82)      to the range of idiosyncratic Complements (i.e. sister constituents)
      (82)      which it permits within the (minimal) X-bar containing it
      The subcategorisation frame for X will simply be an unordered list of the sets of categories which X permits as its Complements: we assume that the relative ordering of X and its Complements will be determined by independent principles (e.g. the HEAD FIRST PRINCIPLE).