Object Obj, ObjAtr, AtrObj


In the part Definition of Obj below, we define the object to which this section is devoted. We find that our conception as compared with Šmilauer's approach is somewhat broader.

Moreover, in the part Combined functions we will be concerned with the so-called combined functions AtrObj and ObjAtr.

Then we shall deal with possibilities to express classical object, which can be found in the part Expressing Obj. An object can be expressed by a noun in accusative (Expression of object by a noun in accusative), genitive (Expression of object by a noun in genitive), dative (Expression of object by a noun in dative), instrumental (Expression of object by a noun in instrumental), further by a prepositional case (Expression of object by a noun in prepositional case), infinitive (Expression of object by an infinitive), and by a subordinate clause (Expression of object by a subordinate clause). Also a reflexive pronoun (se/si) can occur in the function Obj (Reflexive pronoun se (...self)).

Lastly, we shall come back to the types of object which Šmilauer defines in another way and which can be expressed in some other form than it has been described above. This concerns such types as origin and result in the part Object of the type Origin and Result and object after copula and semi-copulative verbs in the part Object after copulas and semi-copulas.

Definition of Obj


Object is a modifying sentence member. As a rule, it is governed by a verb (i.e. the verb determines the case form of the its Obj), or by an adjective. As Obj all kinds of objects (direct, indirect as well as effect or second object) are denoted. An object represents either what is the result of an action (napsat dopis-Acc - to write a letter), or what has been directly affected by the action (dotknout se stolu-Genitive - to touch a table), or what the action is directly aiming at (radit chlapci-Dative - to advise a boy).

Being governed by its head, the object differs from Adv, the form of which is not determined by its head (see Adverbials (and borderline cases)). The problems of verbal and adjectival government ('rection') are complicated to such an extent that even the information on these constructions in their individual entries contained in the Dictionary of Standard Czech (Slovník spisovné češtiny) often do not satisfy our needs.

We understand as Obj also the dependents mentioned by Šmilauer as special types of adverbials called “origin” and “effect” and as “constructional complement”. These two instances are dealt with in the parts Object of the type Origin and Result and Object after copulas and semi-copulas.

As noted in the part Expression of object by an infinitive, owing to our conception of predicate we also define as Obj the infinitive with modal or phasal verbs. (See the part Compound verbal predicate.)

Combined functions


The combined functions are dealt with in detail in the part Combined functions, where all of them are described. Two of them concern the problem of object - AtrObj and ObjAtr - to be only briefly mentioned here. The combined functions are used where the analysed member (node) can figure in more functions within the given sentence, without the meaning being substantially changed by this fact (the sentence is not strictly homonymous in what concerns the function of the member analysed).

Therefore, the mentioned two functions we use in case a member can figure as object (Obj) of its predicate and, at the same time, an attribute (Atr) of some node situated lower in the tree. If the annotator feels that the given member is rather an attribute, he will use the function AtrObj. Otherwise ObjAtr will be assigned.

No matter which of the two functions may be used, the given node will always take the same place in the tree, namely, that where it would be placed if it were an attribute (Atr). Therefore, it will never depend directly on the predicate.

  1. mimořádnou   splátku   části   dluhu   naší  
    extraordinary   instalment   of-part   of-debt   our  
    pojišťovně   nezaplatíme  
    insurance-company   we-are-not-going-to-pay  
    we are not going to pay the extraordinary instalment of the part of the debt to our insurance office

  2. uzavřeli   mír   s   nepřáteli  
    they-made   peace   with   enemies  

Expressing Obj


The object is expressed by a syntactic noun in accusative, genitive, dative, instrumental, prepositional case or by infinitive or a subordinate clause.

In some cases the function Obj is assigned to a reflexive pronoun se — see Reflexive se, si.

Expression of object by a noun in accusative


Accusative is the basic object case.

  1. Mirek   nenáviděl   větné   rozbory  
    Mirek   hated   sentence   analysis  

  2. zavolal   domovníka  
    he-called   doorkeeper  

  3. vykopal   jámu  
    he-dug   hole  

  4. dostal   facku  
    he-got   slap  

In some circumstances locative with the preposition po can be used instead of accusative. Partitiveness (sharing) can be expressed in this way. The construction dostala po květině (she obtained a flower (apiece, one by each admirer, friend, etc.)), corresponds to the construction of she obtained a flower.

dostala   po   květině  
she-obtained   by   flower  
she obtained a flower (apiece, by each giver, etc.)

Expression of object by a noun in genitive


  1. žák   dosáhl   cíle  
    pupil   attained   objective  

  2. pacient   byl   znalý   poměrů  
    patient   was   familiar   with-conditions-Gen  

  3. vzdal   se   svého   práva  
    he-gave-up   Refl   his   rights  

  4. dovolávala   se   minulých   výkladů  
    she-referred   Refl   past   explanations-Gen  

  5. nebyla   schopna   zdravého   úsudku  
    she-was-not   capable   of-sound   judgement-Gen  

  6. byl   plný   piva  
    he-was   full   of-beer-Gen  

  7. byla   hodna   uznání  
    she-was   worthy   of-recognition-Gen  

Partitive genitive and genitive of negation belong to this type, too, although they are not 'governed' in the strict sense. The verbs on which they depend prototypically govern accusative constructions. The genitive object just competes with the accusative pattern and its use is motivated semantically.

The partitive genitive can play the role of an Obj, but if a quantitative modification governs the genitive, this modification figures as Obj and the noun in genitive becomes its Atr. This problem is dealt with in more detail in the part Genitive in the function of Sb, Obj and in the function of their Atr.

  1. Xaver   navařil   dobrého   guláše  
    Xaver   cooked   good   goulash-Gen  
    Xaver cooked plenty of good goulash

  2. přidal   tam   soli  
    he-added   there   salt-Gen  

  3. nenašli   ani   stopy  
    they-did-not-find   any   trace  
    they failed to find any trace

  4. neřekl   ani   slova  
    he-did-not-utter   any   word  
    he did not utter one word

Expression of object by a noun in dative


Apart from the accusative, dative represents the basic object case. It is either the only (direct) object (ex. (1)), or it stands along with the accusative object, being then referred to as indirect object (ex. (2)). This type of expression comes close to the adverbial ethical dative. Distinguishing them and other problems are described in The boundary line between free and 'bound' dative.

  1. Pepík   běžel   Bobešovi   naproti  
    Joe   ran   Bobeš-Dat   across  
    Joe ran to meet Bobeš

  2. teta   píše   Emílii   dopis  
    aunt   is-writing   Emily-Dat   letter  

  3. jev   x   odpovídá   jevu   y  
    phenomenon   x   corresponds   to-phenomenon-Dat   y  

For the most part, adjectives with dative are adjectives of action.

  1. byl   přístupný   kompromisům  
    he-was   open   to-compromises-Dat  

  2. je   zdraví   škodlivý  
    it-is   health-Dat   damaging  

As Obj also the so-called subject dative is regarded, which is illustrated by the following three examples. It is also mentioned in The boundary line between free and 'bound' dative.

  1. chtělo   se   mi   spát  
    it-wanted   Refl   me-Dat   to-sleep  
    I felt sleepy

  2. nemocnému   se   dýchá   lépe  
    sick-man-Dat   Refl   it-breathes   better  
    the sick man breathed more easily

  3. předsedovi   se   sedí   dobře  
    chaieman-Dat   Refl   it-sits   well  
    the chairman is seated well

Expression of object by a noun in instrumental


Instrumental represents predominantly an adverbial case. Only rarely it happens to be a case governed by its head, preserving at the same time apparent traces of adverbial meaning, especially that of instrument. As an object it usually figures after verbs having the meaning of moving something (ex. (1)), deal with st., engage in st. (ex. (2)), handle, save up, waste (ex. (3)) and call, address s.o. as (ex. (4)).

On the borderline between adverbial and object, nouns in instrumental modify verbs of sensual perception (tábor zněl zpěvem - the camp resounded with singing) and also verbs with meaning 'provide with' (pokrýt střechu slámou - to cover the roof with straw). These cases are characterized here as Adv (see Adverbials (and borderline cases)).

  1. Vojtěch   házel   míčem  
    Albert   was-throwing   ball-Instr  
    Albert was throwing a ball

  2. Zabýval   se   sběratelstvím  
    he-engaged   Refl.   collecting-Instr  

  3. nesmíš   plýtvat   jídlem  
    you-must-not   waste   food-Instr  

  4. nazývala   ho   trubcem  
    she-called   him   drone-Instr  

The actor in passive constructions is always regarded as Obj here.

byl   pozvracen   opilcem  
he-was   stained-with-vomit   by-drunk-Instr  

Expression of object by a noun in prepositional case


Governed nouns are only accompanied by basic (simple) prepositions, which lose their meaning nuances in them, getting grammaticalized strongly. E.g., in the phrase myslet na někoho - to think of s.o., the preposition na does not display its meaning of being placed on a surface. (The original meaning remains in adverbial cases not governed by their heads - e.g. sedl si na stůl - he sat down on a table.) The transition between Obj and Adv is smooth here, which means that finding an exact boundary is impossible.

myslel   na   matku  
he-thought   of   mother  

Also the locative case with the preposition po can have the function of Obj. As we have mentioned, it is used in place of plain accusative (Expression of object by a noun in accusative). In this way partitiveness is expressed where the construction dostala po květině (she obtained a flower (by each ...)) corresponds to dostala květinu - she obtained a flower.

dostala   po   květině  
she-obtained   by   flower  
she obtained a flower (by each admirer ... etc.)

Expression of object by an infinitive


  1. nedovede   lhát  
    he-cannot   to-lie  

  2. odmítá   odejít  
    he-refuses   to-leave  

  3. slibovali   zůstat   do   konce  
    they-promised   to-stay   till   end  

  4. zvykl   si   pracovat  
    he-got-used   Refl   to-work  

If case government is signalled by means of a (pronominal) reference expression, the infinitive is regarded here as an attribute of the reference word, which obtains the function Obj. (See Referring pronoun to (that)).

snil   o   tom   žít   u   moře  
he-dreamt   of   it   to-live   at   seaside  


In our view the function Obj is also assigned to infinitives connected with modal or phasal verbs (i.e. they are parts of compound predicates) although they cannot be replaced by nouns or subordinate object clauses, as is possible in other infinitival constructions (see the part Compound verbal predicate.)

Rána   musela   přijít  
blow   had   to-come  

Expression of object by a subordinate clause


  1. cítila,   jak   na   ni   jdou   mdloby  
    she-felt   as   on   her   go   faints-Nom  
    she felt that she would fall into a faint

  2. pamatuj,   že   ďábel   se   vrátí  
    remember   that   devil   Refl   will-come-back  

  3. bránila   mu,   aby   odešel  
    she-kept-away   him   that   he-left  
    she kept him away from leaving

  4. nevěděla,   kdy   zmizí  
    she-did-not-know   when   s/he-will-disappear  

Reflexive pronoun se (...self)


For the reflexive pronoun se, si in the function Obj see Reflexive se, si.

Object of the type Origin and Result


Šmilauer regards Origin and Result as special types of adverbials. We, however, assign the function Obj to them.

  1. vyrůst   z   něčeho  
    to-grow-out   of   something  

  2. vyrůst   v   něco  
    to-grow   into   something  

  3. vyrobit   z   něčeho  
    make-out   of   something  

  4. předělat   z   něčeho  
    convert   from   something  

  5. předělat   na   něco  
    convert   into   something  

  6. vědět   od   někoho  
    know   from   someone  

  7. získat   od   někoho  
    get   from   someone  

  8. změnit   z   něčeho  
    change   from   something  

  9. změnit   na   něco  
    change   into   something  

Object after copulas and semi-copulas


  1. stane   se   ovladatelným  
    s/he-becomes   Refl   controllable  

  2. stane   se   odpadlíkem  
    s/he-becomes   Refl   dissident  

  3. jmenovali   ji   předsedkyní  
    they-appointed   her   chairperson  

  4. pokládám   to   za   diskriminaci  
    I-regard   this   as   discrimination  

  5. označila   návrh   za   špatný  
    she-declared   proposal   as   bad  

  6. označil   návrh   jako   blbost  
    he-declared   proposal   as   rubbish  

  7. to   mi   připadá   idealistické  
    this   me   seems   idealistic  
    I find it idealistic

  8. číslo   se   mi   zdá   závratné  
    number   Refl   me   seems   extremely-high  
    the number seems extremely high to me

  9. shledal   ji   nevěrohodnou  
    he-found   her   untrustworthy  

  10. otázka   zůstává   otevřena  
    question   remains   open  

  11. zákazník   se   jeví   chudým  
    customer   Refl   appears   needy  

  12. zákazník   se   jeví   jako   chudý  
    customer   Refl   appears   as   needy  

When the above expression of objects is introduced by jako (as), the latter word is assigned afun AuxY and gets suspended under the node Obj (see also the part The conjunction jako introducing complement or object).

označil   jej   jako   ignoranta  
he-denounced   him   as   ignoramus