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As I, not being very familiar with corpus linguistics, read the manual for searching through PPCEME I entered:

node: NP*
print_indices: true
 query: (NP-SBJ *PRO*)

without getting a result.

Could anyone please give me a hint where my query is incorrect?

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  • 1
    could you please edit your question and add what you expected to happen with that query?
    – kaleissin
    Apr 15 '12 at 12:17
  • from the title i'd guess finding NPs without subjects
    – tobigue
    Apr 15 '12 at 21:22
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There are several issues with your query. First of all, you need to escape the stars (with backslashes) or they will be interpreted as wildcards. Second, pro-drop is indicated by *pro* (note lowercase). Finally, you need to specify the query function. You probably want this line:

query: (NP-SBJ iDominates \*pro\*)

Using NP-SBJ* as kaleissin suggested won't hurt, but it won't help with this issue either.

BTW, if you copied that query directly out of the manual, it is certainly a documentation bug. If you can show me where specifically it came from, I can see that it is fixed.

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The manual I found states that you should be liberal with the use of *, so have you tried NP-SBJ*?

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