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can anyone provide me a short critique for the following analyses of the sentence. About their advantages and disadvantages and provide evidence if possible!!thank you.

I have no idea about this.

  • 1
    Where did it come from and what is it for?
    – jlawler
    Dec 7 '16 at 17:03
  • To me this is a catenative construction with the uppermost VP being might have been watching television and each successive lower clause a catenative complement.
    – BillJ
    Dec 7 '16 at 18:31
  • The tree is pretty meaningless as it is. Some of the constituents correctly have two labels assigned to them (category + function) while others don't.
    – BillJ
    Dec 7 '16 at 19:51
  • @BillJ Which nodes in the tree have two labels? I understand the stacked labels as unary branching. Normally, the category + function shouldn't need to be encoded as distinct labels, but follow from the constituent name and its hierarchical position in the tree (like PP: category = prepositional, function = verbal modifier because it is combined with the VP as an adjunction).
    – lemontree
    Dec 7 '16 at 19:57
  • 1
    And here we have the reason why we don't like questions about grammar trees. Anybody can make them up and present them as standard, even when they are full of mistakes and incorrect presuppositions. There is no ISO standard for English grammar trees. For instance, a tree that would satisfy me would strike @BillJ as sloppy and most improper, and his proper trees would strike me as full of useless epicycles; but we both think the tree your teacher gave out is not much use in helping you or anybody else to think about English grammar.
    – jlawler
    Dec 8 '16 at 16:23

You need to learn how to use diagnostics to tell you whether you have the right structure. One such diagnostic is provided by "and", which connects constituents of the same category. In the tree you give, "might have been watching television" is not a constituent. Yet we can form:

He [[might have been watching television] and [has no idea what happened]].

That tells us that "might have been watching television" is actually a constituent which has the same category as "has no idea what happened".


Simplified Tree Diagram - Catenative Construction Assumed.

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