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I am having trouble drawing a syntax tree for 3 sentences and I would appreciate it if someone could help me.

The sentences are:

  1. This giraffe reads books about psychopharmacology.
  2. Monarchs will fly to Mexico.
  3. The computer said that a fatal error occurred.

I would also be thankful if you can explain to me how to draw them, because I do not understand them very well.

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2  
What syntactic theory? GB? MP? HPSG? Something else? –  Alex B. Mar 20 '12 at 21:06
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Why are you asking here? Is it an assignment you were supposed to do by yourself? I'm not sure if you should be asking such questions in the first place. And I'm not sure if it's a good idea to encourage it here. –  prash Mar 21 '12 at 0:01
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@prash I think the issue here is a bit more complex than it seems. First of all, this is the OP's first question, so I think that even if we could ask for some effort from the OP on questions like this one, we could go easy on new users and provide some help. Second, the OP asked also about some guidance about how syntax trees should be done, so I don't think this is a "gimme teh codez" question. If you wish to discuss about this matter, consider posting a Meta question, so we can discuss on it. :) –  Alenanno Mar 21 '12 at 0:21
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@Alenanno: Done :-) –  prash Mar 21 '12 at 10:06
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This question appears to be off-topic because it is about help with particular syntax trees. –  hippietrail Apr 1 at 10:19
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2 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

The sentences are parsed as follows:

  1. This giraffe reads books about psychopharmacology.

    enter image description here

  2. Monarchs will fly to Mexico.

    enter image description here

  3. The computer said that a fatal error occurred.

    enter image description here

The trees have been made in the site phpSyntaxTree.

What is a tree?

A tree is a mathematical object consisting of a set of points called nodes between which certain relations hold. The nodes correspond to syntactic units; left-right order on the page corresponds to temporal order of utterance between them; and upward connecting lines represent the relation ‘is an immediate subpart of’. Nodes are labeled to show categories of phrases and words, such as noun phrase (NP); preposition phrase (PP); and verb phrase (VP). (Scholz et al 2011)

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I inserted the trees. It's not a problem if the answer is too long. This way it's easier to see them. :) –  Alenanno Mar 20 '12 at 22:17
    
... don't forget LFG-trees :) remembers maan I'm rusty –  kaleissin Mar 20 '12 at 22:48
    
thanks @Alenanno –  jlovegren Mar 20 '12 at 23:20
    
Thank you very much to the person who posted the trees. I actually tried myself to find software for such trees, but it seems like I do not understand very well how they work. Thank you again!! –  Visitor Mar 21 '12 at 0:39
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@Visitor If this answer helped you, remember to accept it! :) Click on the √ symbol under the upvote/downvote buttons. –  Alenanno Mar 21 '12 at 9:40
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In my opinion, and I'm not entirely sure about the PP and the DetP (could be DP that splits into 'this' and NP 'giraffe'), it should rather look like this (using Redford's structure)

(I used http://mshang.ca/syntree/ to draw the tree.)

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1  
In terms of the bracketing, as far as i can make out this is more-or-less equivalent to the answer previously given, only the more standard X'-theory notation (Jackendoff, 1977) has been used. The substantive difference is the introduction of a tense/inflection node, which is indeed a better analysis - as it allows us to draw parallels between sentences with finite verbs and sentences with auxiliaries. In this instance, the tense morphology lowers from I to V. As for DPs vs. NPs, in vast majority of recent lit., NP is embedded in a DP across the board, following Abney (1987). –  P Elliott Aug 8 '13 at 18:56
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