From Omzinesý's examples, I would go with your first version. So the proper disambiguation in English isn't so much the two phrases you suggested but more like:shimobaatar wrote: ↑20 Mar 2018 14:08"I saw him sitting on a bench" is an ambiguous sentence. You seem to mean "I saw him, while he was sitting on a bench". For that interpretation of the sentence, "(sitting) on a bench" modifies "him", which is the direct object of "saw/to see". It modifies "him" because it describes something about this person. More specifically, it describes where he was when he was seen.Omzinesý wrote: ↑20 Mar 2018 11:10How are constructions like "I saw him sitting on a bench." analysed?
Is it "I saw him [sitting on the bench]" [sitting on the bench] modifying "him"
or "I saw [him sitting on the bench]" [him sitting on the bench] being the complement/object of "to see"
And why so?
However, if you interpret the sentence as "I saw him, while I was sitting on a bench", then "(sitting) on a bench" modifies the verb "saw/to see", because it is thought of as describing something about the verb. In this case, it describes where the action of seeing took place.
"I saw [that he was sitting on the bench]." vs "I saw him, [and he was sitting on the bench]."
As for the actual question, I'm certainly no expert on this, but I'd think it would depend on the language whether "sitting on the bench" would modify "him", or if the entire phrase "he/him sitting on the bench" was the object of "I saw".