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The high notes returned to his compositions towards the end of his life, which suggests he was hearing the works that were taking shape in his imagination.

I'm not sure how to write up the syntax tree for this sentence. To be specific, what is the position for which-clause in the tree. I think it is an adjunct of the whole clause [The high notes returned to his compositions towards the end of his life] so it may be put as an adjunct of TP but I'm not sure how to write it.

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I think you're right, and iirc this is what McCawley argues in Syntactic Phenomena of English. The antecedent of "which" in the appositive relative clause is the S "The high notes ... his life". Such relative clauses are placed as "adposits" immediate after the antecedents of the relative pronoun, so the relative clause goes after the sentence "The high notes ... his life". The structure is that of a modifier of a sentence: [S [S The high notes ...] [S which suggests]], which is what I take your term "adjunct" to mean.

Note that if "which" were replaced by its antecedent, we would be left with an S in subject position, which is not permitted in English, so that S would have to be converted to a NP. For instance, if it is nominalized using the "that" complementizer, that gets us the somewhat awkward paraphrase: "That the high notes ... his life suggests he was hearing ... his imagination."

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    Those relative clauses benefit from ambiguity, which is nice, but no obligatory requirement. – vectory Dec 30 '19 at 23:59
  • In grammar, such relative clauses are known as "sentential relatives" or "sentence relatives". Apart from the unidiomatic "That the high notes ... suggests ..." we also have "The fact that the high notes ... suggests ..." or "The high notes returning to his compositions ... suggests ..." – Gustavson Dec 31 '19 at 0:28
  • There's no transformation necessary if an NP can be extracted and stand in as figurative symbol--I had until now omited that comment because I wasn't sure what counted as transformation. I'm still not sure. However reading the question and answer about "intercategorial polysemy" I find the transformation v. returned > p.p. returned, equivalently VP > NP is intractable from the surface form. As I said: Ambiguity, which is why it works – vectory Jan 1 at 2:45
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The high notes returned to his compositions towards the end of his life, [which suggests he was hearing the works that were taking shape in his imagination].

Yes, it is an adjunct, more specifically a supplementary (non-defining) relative clause. The antecedent of "which" is the entire preceding clause, thus "R suggests he was hearing the works ...", where R is interpreted as "the return of the high notes to his compositions towards the end of his life".

Supplements are loosely attached expressions set off by intonation (and usually punctuation) providing supplementary non-integrated content.

They are not modifiers; rather, they have a semantic anchor that they refer to. In your example, the anchor is the entire preceding clause, i.e. it's the same as the antecedent.

Note: R = relativised element, here "which".

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