What is the function of the complement shown in parentheses in this sentence " The coach gave the team a few last (words) of encouragement"?
In the given sentence, the word 'words' is not a complement.
The word 'words' is functioning as the direct object of the verb 'gave'.
A complement is a noun, a pronoun, or an adjective that follows a linking verb called a subject complement that restates the subject; or follows a direct object called an object complement that restates the direct object.
Example subject complements :
The coach was happy with the team's performance (the adjective 'happy' restates the subject noun 'coach'; coach=happy)
His team was the favorite to win the championship. (the noun 'favorite' restates the subject noun 'team'; team=favorite)
Example object complements :
The team heard the coach's words , his encouragement. (the noun 'encouragement' restates the direct object 'words'; words=encouragement)
The team thanked Mr. Wise , the coach . (the noun 'coach' restates the direct object 'Mr. Wise'; Mr. Wise=coach)