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

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Syntactic Tree help [on hold]

Draw the syntactic tree for the deputy’s recent discovery of incriminating evidence; for full credit, you must put all specifiers, all complements, and all adjuncts in triangles & Draw the ...
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Classical Greek vs. Colwell's Rule vs. Subset Proposition

Question: In Classical Greek, how is identification of Subject / Predicate Nominatives accomplished in constructs consisting of "Untagged/Anarthrous Nominatives w/tagged Nominatives"? Notably, in ...
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21 views

INFL as Maximal Projection [closed]

Argument that advanced for the emergence of INFL as the maximum projection in sentential construction under the X-bar theory
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66 views

German object raising?

In the following sentence, why is Disesen Artike in the front? Does this means it is being raised from some other position in the sentence? Diesen Artikel wird der Burgermeister gelesen ...
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19 views

are words more independent from syntax in non-analytical languages? Does this affect language processing?

When we think about the morphology and syntax, the debate arises. Even if they are protagonist parts of linguistic debates, and even if they are usually address separately, the importance of each ...
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1answer
38 views

How do I diagram this sentence in a tree diagram? [closed]

You must complete your research paper before I can give you a grade. *Having challenges with before.
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79 views

Has Ray Jackendoff's Parallel Architecture paradigm received a formal review or criticism(s) from Chomsky and/or others?

(obligatory differentiation from a co-occurring question: In the HFC/PJ discussion alluded to in my other question, RJ's Parallel Architecture does not appear to have been reviewed. Thus, the ...
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1answer
74 views

What prevents verbs from taking more than a two or three complements/arguments?

So I'm writing a term paper for my introductory syntax class on Larson's and Jackendoff's theories of the structure of double object verbs. Jackendoff argues for a more linear, tertiary branching ...
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5answers
106 views

Is the concept of a verb-subject complete sentence a cultural/linguistic invariant?

In english, a 'complete sentence' seems to refer to having at least a single, complete clause — i.e. a subject (noun) and verb — e.g. "I run". This seems to be engrained in the concept of a complete ...
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2answers
54 views

Analogs of Lambek grammar that can encode structural ambiguity?

My understanding (mistaken, see below) is that in basic lambek/categorial grammar, the basic objects are strings. Does anyone know of variants where one can have multiple trees for the same string?
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Why is 'internal Merge' possible at all in a theory that rests on Economy and Strict Cyclicity?

In his March 2014 MIT lectures, Chomsky continues to claim that 'internal Merge', which yields the traditionally problematic 'displacement' property, is, in fact, the simplest and most economical ...
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1answer
93 views

Evidence for/against Lexical integrity principle

Some (mostly lexicalist) theories of syntax assume that there's a 1-to-1 relationship between the words in a sentence and the nodes in its syntax tree. It seems pretty obvious to me. Is there ...
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3answers
122 views

Vocatives and Case Assignment

Vocatives, which are basically nouns that refer to the person to whom the speech event is directed, are said to be detached from the sentences in which they occur. Mary, I hate you. I don't think I ...
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1answer
83 views

Where can I find a list of abbreviations used in tree diagrams of sentences?

When I visited the EzTreeSee website at http://eztreesee.coli.uni-saarland.de/ and entered "Mary had a little lamb," I immediately encountered abbreviations that I had never seen before, to wit... ...
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2answers
70 views

Dependency tree with “seem”

Could someone please tell me what's the dep. tree of "John seemed to fall asleep"? The problem is I don't know if "John" depends on "seem" or "fall".
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2answers
60 views

How do dependency grammars account for information structure

In phrase structure grammars, discourse functions (topic, focus) have structural positions (cf. topicalization in English, right-edge focus in Russian, clause-initial focus in Welsh, preverbal focus ...
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1answer
78 views

Suggestions for subjects about syntax [closed]

My professor asked us to do a presentation about syntax..and don't know which topic I should present...it'll be a 20 min. presentation. I hope someone could help me with list of topics so I could ...
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1answer
50 views

Thematic roles adjunct

I am a little confused when it comes to giving a theta role to some of my sentences. I got: James got a ball yesterday. where James has the role as BENEFICIARY. Got is the main predicate. a ball is ...
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3answers
114 views

How do formal theories analyse the syntax of polysynthetic languages?

How is syntax of polysynthetic languages (e.g. Inuktitut, Mohawk) represented in formal theories of syntax? In many cases, a sentence consists of only one or two words so the syntax tree is rather ...
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3answers
76 views

Formalization of information structure

There are many different accounts of "information structure" ("information packaging", "topic-comment", "theme-rheme distinction"). Is there a "frameworkless" formal definition of what topic/focus is? ...
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2answers
70 views

Are there languages, other than Mandarin, in which negation differs depending on the time interval at which a non-event fails to occur?

Assuming that languages do not create complexities in vain, the existence in Mandarin of two different propositional negation devices - via “bù”, an adverb, and “méi” or “méiyou” (verbs) - seems to ...
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2answers
57 views

Is it common to analyze grammatically motivated vowel alternation as an occurence of discontinuous morphemes?

For example, are the triconsonantal roots in Arabic (like k-t-b --write) considered to be discontinuous morphemes? How about the English roots (s-ng -- sing, sang, sung, song) and (beg-n -- begin, ...
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4answers
85 views

Syntax and linguistics

I know that syntax deals with the ways words are put together to form phrases and sentences, I would like to know how does it relate to linguistics more broadly.
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2answers
44 views

What heads can an adverbial phrase have?

What heads can an adverbial phrase have? Consider the following examples: I'll go to bed [soon]_AdvP. I'll go to bed [in an hour]_AdvP. I'll go to bed [when I've finished my book]_AdvP. ...
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1answer
78 views

Wordplay in ancient texts

I learned once that ancient texts (for example in Latin) did not separate words. Was that always true or only in specific kinds of documents and writings. Since I have been a bit interested in ...
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1answer
101 views

Nominative Case Assignment and VP-Internal Subjects

From what I've learnt, structural case is assigned in certain structural configurations. For example, nominative case is assigned by tensed I/T to nominals in SpecIP/TP. Therefore, the case filter ...
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37 views

Parallel dependency grammars

Is there something like ParGram but dependency-based? Note that I'm not looking for a corpus but for a formal grammar (set of rules) with a parser and a corpus of test sentences.
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90 views

How is the dative case for help being used here?

Swiss-German has dative and accusative case-marking for its objects. In the sentence "I gave him the book," "him" must be marked as dative and "the book" must be marked as accusative. It's clear that ...
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2answers
107 views

Where did generative semantics go wrong? Why was their conception of language faulty?

Where did generative semantics go wrong? Why was their conception of language faulty? What were the main weaknesses of generative semantics adherents' claim that "a grammar starts with a description ...
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2answers
102 views

Distinguishing between types of ellipsis where different parts of a sentence remain

How can I distinguish between elipsis type 1, 2 and 3, below? Type 1 and type 2 "nice day" and "sleeping dog" are both NPs. Type 3 "very sexy" in an AdjP. [Have a] nice day! [I see] a sleeping ...
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22 views

Researching extraposition in a syntactic treebank

I'm writing a paper on extraposition in English (and other right-branching discontinuities). I have found a lot of interesting theory on this but the instructions say that if possible concrete corpus ...
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1answer
112 views

Is lambda calculus only applicable if syntax trees are binary branching?

Lambda expressions are evaluated "hierarchically"--we resolve functions in the daughter node before we resolve functions in the mother node. In a given constituency, a sister node may define a ...
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1answer
59 views

Syntax trees and comparatives? Maybe adjuncts?

Okay I'm trying to make a tree and I keep getting stuck and I'm not quite sure where. The structure I'm stuck on is something like "think of the boy as my son" or "think of the president as America's ...
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2answers
91 views

How is case assigned in elliptical answers?

I am interested in cross-linguistic variation in case assignment to single-NP elliptical answers – for example “What did they see?”; “A goat”. By “case” I mean a distinct form of a word selected to ...
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1answer
92 views

Interrogatives and Copulas in Malay

In Malay, the wh-phrase in interrogatives remains in-situ, but may move to the left periphery of the clause. Declarative Malay: Awak makan ayam Gloss: You eat chicken Eng: You eat chicken ...
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4answers
133 views

Is word order a method of implementing case in English language

I often read that English retains 'vestigal' case markers, particularly for the genitive, although some argue that 's is a clitic. Pronouns remain the largest source of marked words indicating the ...
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2answers
77 views

Where can I find formal grammars?

Where can I find formal grammars? By 'formal grammar' I mean 'a mathematically precise set of rules that generate all (or at least a significant portion of) the grammatical sentences of a language.' ...
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1answer
217 views

Infinitive verbs in syntax tree

I am just a little curious about the construction of syntactic trees when they involve infinitives in English. Basically, I want to know what role does the the "to" play? I don't think it is like a ...
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2answers
170 views

How do I deal with an infinitive verb in a syntax tree?

The sentence in question is "Chomsky innocently asked Baker to comment on the changes to the theory during the lecture." I'm unsure of how to handle the "to" in "to comment." I asked my TA and she ...
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1answer
71 views

Sentences using the X bar theory [closed]

I am studying linguistics and currently have Syntax and am trying to understand the X bar theory. Could someone please draw a tree of the sentence down below for me so I could get a better ...
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36 views

Alternative subject positions in Spanish questions, economy and markedness

The following six Spanish sentences are different versions of the question/different questions corresponding to the unmarked declarative sentence Alguien más podría haber estado usando su ordenador (= ...
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103 views

At what point in the syntactic hierarchy inside a clause do phrases acquire ‘propositional’ status?

In standard propositional logic, both p and –p are ‘propositions’. In natural language, however, what phrases smaller than TP are ‘propositional’ is much less obvious. For example, take the simplest ...
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1answer
45 views

Are Spanish “que” clauses following “parece” complements or postponed subjects?

The Spanish equivalent of It seems that they hate each other is Parece que se odian. In both languages seem/parecer are one-place predicates (well, both can optionally accept a second argument with ...
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2answers
83 views

Is the use of abbreviation and ellipsis as codified as the basic syntax of a language?

I had a style discussion on another SE site. Part of the discussion boiled down to whether the following sentence is appropriate: It was a bird. It had a black head and wings with a golden ...
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2answers
105 views

Is the agent in an ergative language a subject or an object?

Imagine a language with PVA/APV dominant word order and SV in intransitive clauses. We see that it's tightly PV and SV whereas both VA and AV are possible. We also know that P and S are both ...
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1answer
51 views

Isn´t there a contradiction between 'feature-checking' and 'no tampering'?

I have always perceived an inherent contradiction between Chomsky's 'no tampering' idea and ANY version of Merge (or any Merge-like operation) driven - under the principle of Economy - by the need for ...
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113 views

What is this trait of answer ellipsis?

I am researching answer fragments. I have come upon some interesting data: What have you been telling John to try to get? a. -- A new bicycle. b. -- *Get a new bicycle. c. -- *To get a new ...
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1answer
87 views

Looking for a good mid-level reference on modern syntax

I've studied syntax out of Kroeger's Analyzing Grammar, so I'm familiar with the basic ideas of generative syntax, like trees, constituent structure, and syntactic categories. I later read a paper ...
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50 views

Lexicosemantic and lexicosyntactic?

I am reading a paper that distinguishes between lexicosemantic patterns and lexicosyntactic patterns (page 4, paragraph 2). I am unfamiliar with these terms and am having trouble understanding what ...
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3answers
125 views

Which languages allow right-branching nominal pre-modifiers?

In English, as in German, Spanish, French, or Italian, non-lexicalized noun pre-modifiers cannot be 'right-branching' (i.e., they cannot carry either complements or modifiers of their own placed ...