The study of the rules that govern the arrangement of words to create well-formed sentences in a given language.

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influence of the structure of a sentence on its semantics

A friend told me : "The syntax is different from semantics. Semantics are concerned with the meanings of single words, not the structure of the sentence" Is that true ? If not, how can the ...
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42 views

Is there some article/book containing history/comparison of different systems of syntax diagramming used in modern linguistics?

There is a dissertation from 1973 by Richard Coulter Brittain "Critical History of Systems of Sentence Diagramming in English" which outlines development of syntax diagramming until the work of ...
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80 views

Drawing tree diagrams of ambiguous sentences generated by a CFG

Suppose I have the following CFG rules: S -> NP VP NP -> (D) NOM VP -> V (NP) (NP) NOM -> N NOM -> NOM PP VP -> VP PP PP -> P NP X -> X+ CONJ X How should I draw the tree ...
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52 views

Non-projective S in lexical-functional grammar

I'm a student doing some basic research into LFG and I've read some of Falk 2001 Lexical Functional-Grammar: an Introduction to Parallel Constraint-Based Syntax and there's an exercise in the chapter ...
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57 views

Resource that gives examples of many different sentences described in tree diagrams

I've devoured the book "Beginning Syntax" by Linda Thomas, but there are areas it doesn't go into in enough depth (presumably to keep it simple). For example, modal auxiliary "ought to" - it doesn't ...
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47 views

Is a sentence, composed of mainclause and subclause, represented by one or two syntax-trees?

I read, that one sentence can have different syntax-trees what is considered a phrase is dependent on the grammar used there are a lot of grammars, basically divided into two groups: ...
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52 views

Who introduced the concept of phrases in grammar?

My impression is that this term is used in prescriptive works teaching grammars as well as in scientific context dealing with syntax. How can one trace the emergence of this concept back in ...
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49 views

How many different syntax patterns exist in standard English ?

My command of the English language is quiet poor, I write by my feeling, and each sentence is just another chain element left behind not knowing how many Errors are within it. The feeling comes close ...
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75 views

Can every language express any lexical aspect?

Wikipedia tells about the difference and relation between lexical aspect and grammatical aspect. Whereas the lexical aspect is a specific way to put focus onto how to observe an event on a semantic ...
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29 views

What linguistic subfield(s) deals with the esthetics of syntax?

In advance, to prevent missunderstanding, I want to underline, that I am not talking about Prescriptive Grammar. A certain idea, event, chain of events or a whole story can be realised in more than ...
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2answers
86 views

What is an affix called that is interlocked?

Wikipedia mentions 4 subgroups of affixes: prefix, the affix is in front of the word suffix, the affix is behind the word infix, the affix is within the word circumfix, the afix is separated into ...
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41 views

Raising aspectual verb “stop”

On this webpage http://www.lel.ed.ac.uk/~gpullum/grammar/nonfiniteclauses.html prof.Geoffrey Pullum's explains basic syntactic tests used in distinguishing raised from ordinary subjects/verbs. The ...
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68 views

X-bar analysis of Copular verbs?

Can someone help me with the analysis of copular or linking verbs in X-bar theory. What would be the position of subject in sentences like "Mary is beautiful". Is "Mary" the theme of adjectival ...
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29 views

What is A-movement ? Can I find a short essay that can explain it?

I have been trying to get a summarized idea about A-movement. I wish you could help me out with this . Thanks
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1answer
51 views

Are imperative verbs starting a command subordinating conjunctions?

I have come across a syntax tree with a subordinate clause phrase (as opposed to just a sentence) whose left daughter is a verb in the imperative, e.g. Wash your laundry tonight. I have read this ...
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1answer
45 views

What exactly is the SBAR label from the Penn TreeBank?

From this list of tags: SBAR - Clause introduced by a (possibly empty) subordinating conjunction. This site explains what a subordinating conjunction is. But how can you have an empty ...
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79 views

Intransitive verbs that take Indirect objects

Can there be intransitive verbs which take an indirect object? In the sentence "It pleases me" is "me" an indirect or direct object? What languages frequently have indirect objects in a sentence ...
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3answers
76 views

Mandative construction verb form problem

A question asked on another forum concerned the use of different verb forms in the subordinate clause in the following "mandative" sentences: It's important that you do not be late It's ...
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3answers
128 views

Why are infinitive complements analysed as separate clauses?

Why is the sentence John wants to read. normally analysed as consisting of 2 clauses? (John wants, PRO to read) I understand the idea of PRO but why must to read be a completely different ...
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70 views

What are phi features?

How are some interpretable and some not? Where do they come from? There is a claim that in some languages, like Hebrew, finite T can have either a 'full' set or a partial set - but how is that ...
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18 views

neonatal syntax acquisition

How do infants use the patterns of distribution among closed class words to acquire syntax? Has anyone simulated the process? If we start formulating our theories as we begin to recognize words, and ...
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1answer
54 views

How do both traditional grammar and linguistics categorize addressees within sentences?

By traditional grammar I am referring to the grammar used in books about teaching languages, this grammar uses terminology, that is not perceived as standard in linguistics. For example terms like ...
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3answers
134 views

Are the rules for comma placements universal?

When i write, i put a comma according to my gut feeling. therefore i left a lot of marks on my way to the end of the sentence that sum up to a bubble of insecurity. Anyway, i am not even sure it comma ...
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27 views

Is the determination of the parts of sentence within a sentence without exception nonambiguous?

Is there always one unique way to partition a sentence in its parts of sentence or, like in the following picture, is it possible to analyze a sentence several different ways ? The three rows of ...
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85 views

Do all languages share the same set of parts of sentence?

I know, that there is a relation between part of sentence and part of speech, namely elements from parts of speech can be combined following certain rules in order to be used as a part of sentence ...
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58 views

What is the difference between case marking particles and adpositions?

Apparently there is some relevant book which claims, more or less: Case marking particles and adpositions are not identical, one is a morphological, one a syntactic unit. This claim was heard ...
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58 views

What part of speech is “probably”, and how can it be substituted?

In the sentence: Daenerys should probably keep that green dragon-egg. What is the syntactic category of "probably" here? Is it an adverb? If so, what substitution test should I use to verify ...
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26 views

What kinds of nested sentences exist in languages?

I am not sure if my examples are technically really considered nested sentences, but i try anyway, if i got it right a nested sentence is one or more separated sentences fused into one: David hates ...
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83 views

Is this tree diagram correct? [closed]

the sentence is: Lucy reported that scientists wonder if the medicine will work /Users/tcalnitsky/Desktop/assignment2.jpg
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71 views

why can't quotative “be like” be fronted?

Consider the following data (spoken American English): John said "I'll come." John was like "I'll come." What John said was: "I'll come." ?What John was like was: "I'll come." Does anyone have an ...
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42 views

“an” -> “a” When Describing a Noun With Adjectives

Observed in fluent speech: a unrounded vowel To a native English speaker, the following would be expected instead: an unrounded vowel What's happening here? It looks like the speaker is ...
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71 views

in the definion of government, why can't we allow asymmetrical c-command while we accept symmetrical c-command?

When we define the term 'government' in syntax, we should exclude the interfering nodes which asymmetically c-command node B.Why can't we allow asymmetrical c-command while we accept symmetrical ...
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80 views

Why is a matrix clause called “matrix”?

I understand what a matrix clause is, but was curious why it's called a "matrix" clause.
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2answers
202 views

Why are syntax trees binary trees?

In p.26 of An Introduction to Syntactic Analysis by Sportiche et al. (2013), the authors specify that syntax trees aren't allowed to have more than two children: We never find morphological trees ...
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69 views

What does the term cascade refer to in syntax?

In Uriagereka's 1999 article, Multiple Spell-out, the term cascade is used in several places. I just conjecture its meaning but don't get exact one. What does a cascade mean in syntax.
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118 views

Binding theory - coindexes that produce grammatical sentences

Binding Principle C states that an R-expression must be free. Consider the following sentence: [Steven King]i is [Richard Bachman]i. (Richard Bachman is Steven King's pen name) The sentence is ...
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175 views

Does word order really not matter in Latin?

New to Latin, I can't help but wonder about the following: Every text I found online claims that since words are inflected (enough) to indicate the roles they play in a sentence, word order has no ...
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2answers
128 views

Languages with different open and closed word classes

The prototypical example of languages with unusual open and closed categories, which is mentioned almost every time that the topic comes up, is Japanese, where pronouns are an open category and verbs ...
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1answer
97 views

What is the scope of negation (again)?

I recently asked a question concerning the scope of negation. I received helpful feedback from a number of linguists who frequent this forum. My efforts to discern the scope of negation continue, and ...
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59 views

What are some alternative communities/forums that are home to engaged linguists? [closed]

I have made accounts on some forums that seem quite lackluster. Quora can be fun, but it's not really enough. Reddit fails in this regard. I would love to find a forum for discussion that I can look ...
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1answer
95 views

Case matching asymmetry in German dislocation

Left- and right-dislocation in German behave differently regarding the case the dislocated expression takes. Left-dislocation seems to be lenient, as it allows the nominative as well as the case the ...
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3answers
116 views

Is there a paradigmatic formalism for dependency grammars?

When looking on the web, wikipedia for example, at the concept of constituent, it is associated with the concept of phrase structure, and rather quickly with context-free languages (as the ...
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113 views

Can a language have both nominative/accusative and ergative/absolutive syntactic systems in its syntactic structure?

These examples are from Kui, a Trans New Guinean language spoken on Alor island, Indonesia. (1) nya yai umasingin u=ga=sam u=ga=bur=i. 1pl.Sub v. n. ...
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131 views

Introduction to linguistics from a practical application standpoint

I currently have a project that I need to do that involves quite a bit of computational linguistics. My background in linguistics is very high level - I wonder if there are any good introductory ...
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61 views

Egocentric constraint

What does it mean that a sentence is an egocentric constraint? I have this sentence: "They really released the bird from the cage" and I have to argue that this is an egocentric constraint. I would ...
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2answers
134 views

NP + “had better” + Infinitive V

It just occurred to me that this construction is very peculiar. Pronoun: I had better get going. NP: The cat had better be home. Expletive: There had better be food on the table. ...
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2answers
107 views

Theory behind the semantics of predicates

My goal is to build semantic representation of Russian sentences, i.e. to extract verb predicates and fill in the actant words. The tool I have is some kind of a shallow syntactic parser which works ...
2
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1answer
127 views

Nouns and Interrogative Complements

In English, there are many different verbs which can combine with clausal complements. These verbs can be further sub-categorised as to whether they embed a propositional that-clause, or an embedded ...
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70 views

In the Minimalist Program, can valued uninterpretable features still act as goals before they are deleted?

the title pretty much says it, if deletion happens with shipping to the interfaces SEM/PHON, can a valued, uninterpretable feature still be a goal for another probe of this feature? In a DP, maybe as ...
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44 views

What currency does the term “flip sense verb” have in linguistics?

In a recent comment on the question Ergative Verbs and some discussion about them, jlawler introduced a term I had not previously encountered: The rose smells good is completely different; this ...