In this book I will deal with certain aspects of the syntactic and semantic structure of sentences, clauses and phrases in Latin. Pragmatic aspects will be taken into account as well, though less frequently and systematically. I have decided not to provide a treatment of syntax and semantics separately because this would lead to excessive repetition. I will take syntax as my point of departure because at present there are too many uncertainties in the field of semantics and a lack of agreement among linguists about even central issues.
I will describe the structure of sentences  using a linguistic framework in which the constituent functioning as Predicate is regarded as the central element of the sentence. Examples of predicate constituents are laudat and simile est in sentences (1) and (2):
(1) pater filium laudat (`The father is praising the son')
(2) ovum ovo simile est (`One egg is similar to another one')The constituents functioning as Predicates are lexemes (or groups of lexemes)  which belong to various lexical categories. Not only may verbs function as Predicates,  as in (1), but adjectives in combination with a copula (as in (2)) and nouns in combination with a copula, as in (3), may do so as well:
(3) Alexander erat rex Macedonum  (`Alexander was king of the Macedonians')In examples (1)–(3) the other constituents of the sentence are closely related to the predicate.  In (1), for example, the noun pater fulfils the syntactic function Subject. The noun filium, on the other hand, has the syntactic function Object. Neither of these constituents (pater, filium) can be omitted without making the remaining sentence ungrammatical unless under specific contextual or situational conditions.  With the verb laudare in example (1), both constituents are non-omissible or `obligatory'.
The reason for assigning the predicate a special status is precisely that the number of obligatory constituents and the type of these constituents depend
on the specific predicate, whether a verb, adjective (plus copula) or noun (plus copula). Due to its meaning, a predicate creates a number of positions, or slots, for constituents that have a specific semantic function with respect to the Predicate. Each predicate has a particular `predicate frame' (or, under certain circumstances, a number of frames, see crosssection 2.1.1.). Thus, laudare requires two constituents, ambulare only one, inicere three:
(4) pater ambulat (`Father is out for a walk')
(5) pater hostibus timorem iniecit (`Father filled the enemies with fear')In other words: laudare is a two-place or `bivalent' verb with a `valency' of two; ambulare is a one-place or `monovalent' verb with a valency of one; and inicere, finally, is a three-place or `trivalent' verb with a valency of three.  In the same way the adjective simile in (2) is bivalent, whereas the adjective niger (`black') is monovalent. Similarly, one might call the noun laudator a two-place noun (someone is laudator of somebody or something, for example laudator temporis acti (se puero), Hor. Ars 173, `someone given to praising the time he spent (as a boy)'), The noun orator `speaker', on the other hand, is a one-place noun. [7a]
Apart from the predicate and one or more obligatory constituents sentences often contain other constituents that may be omitted without the remainder of the sentence becoming ungrammatical. Examples are interea (`in the meanwhile') and ea legione quam secum habebat (`the legion which he had with him') in example (6):
(6) interea ea legione quam secum habeat … murum … fossamque perducit (`In the meanwhile he constructed a wall and a trench with the legion he had with him', Cases. Gal. 1.8.1)Constituents like these are called `omissible' or `facultative'. Their being `facultative' does not imply, of course, that they are superfluous in the context in which they occur. In fact, they may convey quite important information concerning the Time, Place, Circumstances, Cause, Conditions, Purpose, Manner or Instrument related to the action or state denoted by the predicate and its obligatory constituents. Another group of optional constituents includes those which either convey the personal, subjective evaluation of the speaker (or writer) of the action or state (like iure `rightly', ut opinor `in my opinion') or convey a judgment about the particular wording chosen (breviter `to put it briefly'). Examples of these two types of constituents are stulte (`foolishly') in (7) and breviter in (8), respectively:
(7) num stulte anteposuit exilii libertatem domesticae servituti (`Surely it was not foolish of him to prefer the freedom of exile to slavery at home?', Cic. Tusc. 5. 109)
(8) Narbonensis provincia … amplitudine opum nulli provinciarum post-ferenda breviter que Italia verius quam provincia (`The province of
Narbonne is by the vastness of its wealth the equal of any other province and, in a word, not so much a province as a part of Italy', Plin. Nat. 3.31.
From now on I will use the term `arguments' to refer to obligatory constituents, those that are required by the predicate. Facultative constituents will be called `satellites'. Arguments and satellites together with the predicate from a `predication'. In a `predication' I will make a distinction between a `nuclear predication', or `nucleus', on the one hand, and a `periphery', on the other. The nuclear predication consists of the predicate and its arguments. The periphery consists of one or more satellites. Within the nuclear predication arguments have a particular semantic relationship with respect to the predicate (see crosssection 2.3.), or, to put it in another way, they have a particular `semantic function'. We see the role of Agent in pater and that of Patient in filium in example (1). Which semantic functions may occur with a specific predicate depends on the meaning of that predicate. The arguments not only fulfil a specific semantic function, they also have a syntactic function, as we have already seen. Thus, pater in (1) has the syntactic function Subject in this sentence. The syntactic functions of arguments will be discussed in some detail in crosssection 2.2.
Turning to satellites now, we have already noted a distinction between two types. The first type consists of those satellites that specify the nuclear predication, indicating, for example, the Manner in which a certain action is performed. These satellites will be said to have the syntactic function `Adjunct'; in Latin grammars they are usually called `adverbials'. Adjuncts
will be discussed more fully in chapter 3. The second type of satellites consists of those which contain information about the whole of the nuclear predication and its Adjuncts. They will be called `Disjuncts' or `sentence adverbials'. Disjuncts and the semantic functions they may fulfil will be dealt with in chapter 4. The distinctions made so far can be represented graphically, as in figure 1.1. 
Constituents in a sentence have been shown to fulfil both a syntactic and a semantic function. They may also fulfil a specific `pragmatic' function. Pragmatic functions are a relatively recent addition to the description of sentence structures, and the incorporation of pragmatic information in linguistic analysis has not yet found general acceptance among specialists. However, it will become clear further on in this book that a number of characteristics of Latin cannot be described in an adequate way if we do not take into account the particular communicative setting in which sentences appear. Therefore, it is useful at this point to introduce a few notions, viz. that of `Topic' and that of `Focus'. Consider the following two sentences:
(9) Where did you buy that hat, John?
(10) I bought it/that hat at the flea market
In (10) the constituent at the flea market is the requested, new, and therefore relatively `salient', information with respect to John's buying a hat. We will say that the constituent at the flea market has the pragmatic function `Focus'. The hat, on the other hand, is `given' information and it is the entity about which sentence (10) presents new information. The constituent about which something is predicated henceforth will be called the `Topic' of the sentence.
A further example of `Focus' can be found in (11), which provides another possible answer to the question in (9):
(11) I didn't buy it, I found itIn this sentence found replaces bought or, in other words, is contrastive with respect to bought. As a matter of fact, we will see that it is useful to make a distinction between several types of Focus. In Latin Topic constituents can often be omitted in context. Focus constituents may be marked by certain intensifying particles like et … et, quidem and sane.  In chapter 9, which concerns word order, pragmatic functions will be shown to be extremely important for explaining the order of constituents in Latin sentences and phrases. However, pragmatic notions will be shown to be relevant to other sections of Latin syntax as well.  See chapter 4 for the pragmatic function `Theme'. 
The model chosen in this book for describing sentences, with its privileged position for the Predicate, is adopted from Dik (1978; 1989) and Pinkster
(1972c). It was introduced into linguistics in a systematic way by Tesnière (1959) (a refined version of his theory can be found in Lambertz (1982)). In Latin linguistics the model has been used by Happ (1976) and Scherer (1975). In general linguistics, a number of scholars can be mentioned who present the same model, among them Chafe (1970), Halliday (1967), Helbig (1971), Korhonen (1977), Lyons (1977: 147–54; 434–8) and Matthews (1981: chapter 6). An elementary introduction is Allerton (1982). Various labels are attached to this model, for example `Valenzgrammatik' and `Dependency Grammar'. First steps in this direction can be discerned in K.–St. (I. 1–2; 250–1). The same model can be found in studies of logic (for example Allwood et al. 1977: 60).
Instead of the notions `argument' and `satellite' (taken from Dik 1978) we also find `actant' and `circonstant', respectively, in Tesnière and `Ergänzung' and `Erweiterung' or `freie Angabe' in Scherer and Happ.
For pragmatic functions in Latin the reader is referred to Bolkestein (1981a) and Panhuis (1982). The terminology used in this book is that of Dik (1989).
Pinkster, Harm (1942-) , Latin Syntax and Semantics [info], xii, 320 p.: ill.; 24 cm. [word count] [Pinkster].