I have a question about this tree diagram in The Cambridge Grammar of The English Language (by Huddleston and Pullum):

enter image description here

Please see the tree diagram in the red box of the nominal preposterous salary from Lloyds. (In CGEL, a nominal corresponds to N' in the X bar theory, and is written in the tree diagram as 'Nom'.)


In [11], why does preposterous salary form the first nominal and then combine with the complement from Lloyds to form the second nominal (the higher one in the tree)? Shouldn't salary from Lloyds from a first nominal and then combine with preposterous to form a second one?

For comparison, here's another tree diagram in CGEL: enter image description here In [5a], old man forms a nominal as does preposterous salary, but unlike in [11], there's no complement of man.

Here's another diagram in CGEL: enter image description here Here, the nominal careful analysis of the issues contains the same tree structure not as [5a] but as [11]. And I think that's because the noun analysis is followed by the complement of the issues. Hence the question.

  • I'd consider "from Lloyds" to be an adjunct, not a complement/argument. – curiousdannii Feb 6 at 4:49
  • @curiousdannii Come to think of it, I also wonder why CGEL calls it a complement. Might this be a typo or even an error on the part of CGEL? This is not listed as such here: lel.ed.ac.uk/~gpullum/cgelerrata.html – JK2 Feb 6 at 5:05
  • I'm not really familiar with their syntax tree model, but it does say "Head: Nom" for that phrase, so doesn't that mean it does form a nominal? – curiousdannii Feb 6 at 5:41
  • 1
    @curiousdannii "Head: Nom" corresponds to N' in the X-bar tree. There are two things about CGEL's tree. 1. They have "Head: N --- salary" instead of "Head: Nom --- Head: N --- salary", for simplicity. 2. They use the term Mod (modifier) instead of adjunct. So the question boils down to why from Lloyds is a sister to "Head: Nom" and a daughter to "Head: Nom" when it's complement. But if it really is an adjunct as you say, this is merely using the wrong notation 'Comp: PP' instead of using 'Mod: PP' (meaning 'adjunct') at the top of the triangle over from Lloyds, I guess. Am I right? – JK2 Feb 6 at 6:20
  • Try replacing "salary from Lloyds" with the indefinite pronoun "one", to see whether it is a constituent. Only constituents can be antecedents. – Greg Lee Feb 6 at 20:45

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