The sentence would be "Whose dirty underwear is this?".

I assume that the base (is that called deep structure sentence?) would be "This is whose dirty underwear" but I'm not sure what transformational rules are applied here.

My attempt so far is as follows:

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*I should also note that I'm following "An Introduction to Language by Fromkin and others", and the notion it seems to be following is a bit simplified version of the X-bar theory, and my knowledge is pretty much limited to that.

  • There are at least 11 editions of that book, so the answer is edition-specific. IMO this is at least consistent with the spirit of the "no-trees questions" rule since you propose a tree and ask for an evaluation. – user6726 Mar 9 at 18:30
  • Well I'm using the 9th, tough the answer I'm looking for isn't really related to the book I'm using since this is not a "homework" (my field of study has nothing to do with linguistics) and basically out of personal curiosity. (actually the book rules out the usage of TP due to it being complex for example, yet I'm trying to understand how the generally accepted X-bar theory PS trees are generated and I don't think that's possible without solving specific problems. – Anony Mar 9 at 18:34
  • The problem is that your solution is wrong for some theories and right for others. That is, there is no "generally accepted theory". For example, labels are essentially gone from current Minimalism. Is your question "is this correct for some theory"? – user6726 Mar 9 at 18:57
  • Wait, I missed some details: I don't know if it's correct for any theory. – user6726 Mar 9 at 20:40
  • 2
    This is why we don't prefer questions about syntax trees. They're not official, just aids to understanding, they change with every new theory and author, and there isn't any single way to do them. Consult your teacher to see what they use -- they won't teach you anything that developed later than the year they wrote their dissertation. If they didn't write a syntax dissertation, they won't teach you anything later than when they entered grad school. If they didn't go to grad school, they may well teach you anything at all. – jlawler Mar 10 at 0:06

I suggest you look at McCawley's discussion of this in his textbook The Syntactic Phenomena of English. He has a Q operator on Ss, which is coindexed with certain constituents of the S in its scope. I don't take McCawley's treatment as theoretical, but rather descriptive.

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