I'm reading Adger's book Core Syntax and am having trouble with one of the sentences in the last exercise in the Functional Categories chapter. The task is to draw and annotate the tree (bar level and phrasal level, we can leave out selectional and case features) of DP's and sentences.

The sentence in question is

  • Our discussion of previous students' failures in exams traumatized every nervous student in the class yesterday.

I'm also making the assumption that adjectives are also adjoined lower down than PP adjuncts.

Under this assumption how would we construct the tree? I would also love an explanation of the derivation as well (I'm still having trouble grasping syntax trees as a whole).

  • 2
    @BillJ, criticizing the OP's chosen platform and saying "you don't need this theory, use another one" is generally considered unkind. The OP's question is self-sustaining, so let's not derail their research. Comments are for improving/clarifying questions, not for rants on the chosen theory/platform. – bytebuster Nov 4 '18 at 15:42
  • @bytebuster So, what is your answer to the OP's question? What help can you give them with their chosen framework? – BillJ Nov 4 '18 at 17:18
  • This is a valid question and the Minimalist Syntax is legitimate linguistics. When I was in grad school, we also used Adger's Core Syntax and I totally loved it! I see you're struggling with ex 5 pp 286-287. This is what I recommend: re-read sections 7.4 and 7.5 very carefully. Everything is explained there. – Alex B. Nov 6 '18 at 4:16
  • I'm willing to help you but I'd like to see your tree first. – Alex B. Nov 6 '18 at 4:21
  • @AlexB. Thank you for your help! I read sections 7.4 and 7.5 as you recommended! This is the tree that I have so far in a flat format: DP[Our nP[NP[discussion] PP[of nP[ NP[previous students' failures] PP[in exams] traumatized NP[every nervous student] in NP[the class yesterday.]]]]] I'd appreciate any help with this syntax tree! I'm glad to see you read Adger's book as well! – Francois Wassert Nov 11 '18 at 0:35

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