For the sentence, 'I saw the new play by Smith last week' is the noun phrase consisting only of a proper noun 'Smith' a constituent of the sentence?
Instinctively I think that it is not a constituent, for it is already a part of the prepositional phrase 'by Smith' (which is a part of the noun phrase 'the new play by Smith', which in turn is a part of the verb phrase 'saw the new play by Smith', I believe). Additionally, I cannot move 'Smith' to any other part of the sentence grammatically:
(1) I Smith saw the new play by last week.
(2) I saw Smith the new play by last week.
(3) I saw the new play by last week Smith. and so on...
However, when I try these tests for constituency, I'm having difficulty telling if they're grammatical or not. They don't sound terribly wrong, but they don't sound very natural, either:
(4) It was Smith I saw the new play by last week.
(5) Whom did I see the new play by last week? Smith.
Thank you for your help!
This is my attempt at a tree, by the way.
S / \ NP VP | / \ PN VP AdvP 'I' / \'last week' Vt NP 'saw' / \ Det NP 'the' / \ AP NP | / \ A NC PP 'new''play' / \ P NPR 'by' 'Smith'