Hello,I used X-bar theory to analyze this sentence ( The big brown dog with fleas watched the birds beside the hunter) The subject of the sentence is NP of pre-modifier,head and post-modifier. I think the modifiers before the head should be branched from a single node, thus the analysis for NP will be ternary. Is it possible with X- bar theory to analyze tree diagram into ternary branching?.
Okay, so let's start with
DP hypothesis. DP hypothesis simply suggests that
NP is a dependency of a
determiner in lexicon, which means [the dog] is DP, not an NP. You can test this on such structures having
N at the same time. If you keep assuming the
D is complement of
N (and an
AdjP will always be adjunct of
NP), the structure below would be grammatically valid:
*yellow the car
But it is not. So let's try this on DP hypothesis, saying that
NP is complement of
the yellow car
Now it seems okay.
Coming to your tree, you must correct the
P-comp according to this hypothesis and you are good to go.
However, I'm assuming you are taking a syntax class, which means this is the visible part of iceberg. You have still lack of knowledge of
v, the roles on
V (I mean the usual movement from v-spec to I-spec, but it depends on situation) etc. I mean I gave a tree, but it is not still valid for current generative grammar, I made it because it is based on your givings above, it is valid to your current state.
You can get an information on DP hypothesis here for now. However, I recommend Radford's syntax books as a reference, those are great.
The Valid Tree of Late Government and Binding Theory (Phases Not Included)
The question of whether some version of X-bar theory permits a ternary branching structure for the subject in your example is beside the point for the example, because the example doesn't have a ternary structure. X-bar theory doesn't have anything to do with it.
We can test for where the N' constituents are by constructing examples with parts of the subject taken as antecedents for the pro-form "one", since only an N' can be such an antecedent:
The big brown dog with fleas watched the birds beside the hunter, and the small blue one with worms ran away in terror. ["dog" is N']
The big brown dog with fleas watched the birds beside the hunter, and the small blue one ran away in terror. ["dog with fleas" is N']
The big brown dog with fleas watched the birds beside the hunter, and the small one ran away in terror. ["brown dog with fleas" is N']
The big brown dog with fleas watched the birds beside the hunter, and the same one ran away in terror. ["big brown dog with fleas" is N']
("brown dog" and "big brown dog" could also be N'.)