In some recent studies, I stumbled upon some seemingly conventional notation that I do not understand.

In syntax structure trees, I often encounter superscript notations in various forms: $T^0$, $PredP^1$ (and i.e.$PredP^2$ etc), $Pred^0$, $V^0$.

I do understand the meaning of the terms by itself (PredP meaning a predicate phrase, Pred a predication, V a verb and T tense).

Thank you, Djoeke

1 Answer 1


Superscript 0 is universally the symbol for the head of a phrase - note how in your examples, it occurs only on T, Pred and V (as opposed to TP, PredP or VP).

I can't say that I'm immediately familiar with superscript 1 and 2 (i.e. this is not as conventional as superscript 0), but if I had to guess: they serve to differentiate multiple independent occurrences of the same phrase type. But I would have to see an actual example of this to say for sure.

  • That indeed makes sense for my example. Thanks!
    – D Leguijt
    Jun 22, 2021 at 13:34

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