last changed in 2002
A dependent which normally precedes its parent and also has a number of other typical characteristics such as not being extractable.
For example, a verb's subject is a pre-dependent because:
(1) *Who do you wonder whether # came?
(2) *Who do you think that # came?
But a word's pre-dependent is always a pre-dependent even if it actually follows. For example:
(3) *Who do you think that not only will # come but will also tell us?
(4) I already know the answer.
(5) I have already seen it. (already is pre-adjunct of have.)
(6) This course is for keen students. (Not: *students keen)
(7) This course is for students keen on syntax. (Not: *keen on syntax students)
The same is true of post-dependents, which are still post-dependents even when they actually precede their parent because of extraction. In short, the contrast between pre- and post-dependents is not merely the contrast between dependents that are before or after their parent; it is a fundamental classification of grammatical functions.
This is an article from the Encyclopedia of Word Grammar and English grammar. If you refer to it, please give the url as "http://tinyurl.com/wg-encyc".