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I am having difficulty figuring out how to draw a syntax tree for the sentence:

"Bill reported that a student asked whether the eclipse would occur."

Im confused on which word is the complementiser (that, whether or would?)

Thank you for any help!

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  • Welcome to Linguistics SE, Questions regarding drawing a syntax tree is not part of Linguistics SE. Perhaps, you could explain what is your problem regarding this particular sentence and it's syntax tree. Mar 30 '16 at 18:31
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A complementizer converts some phrase (usually an S) into a complement. In the form of a phrase structure rule,

Complement -> Complementizer S

In your example, the complementizer "that" converts the S "a student asked whether the eclipse would occur" into the complement "that a student asked whether the eclipse would occur", and the complementizer "whether" converts the S "the eclipse would occur" into the complement "whether the eclipse would occur".

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  • So there are multiple complementizers in this sentence?? Apr 1 '16 at 2:20
  • Yes, That's what I said.
    – Greg Lee
    Apr 1 '16 at 15:16

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