the sentence is: Lucy reported that scientists wonder if the medicine will work

/Users/tcalnitsky/Desktop/assignment2.jpgtree diagram

  • Obviously not. I see ternary branching. – user3503 Oct 25 '14 at 17:10
  • Check here: eztreesee.coli.uni-saarland.de – prash Oct 25 '14 at 18:31
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    This looks like a homework question. That's not so bad in itself, but the question also lacks any evidence of OP effort to find an answer before asking LSE. Consequently, I'm voting to close it. – James Grossmann Oct 26 '14 at 5:15

The tree might be correct if one assumes a GB (Government and Binding) theoretical framework from about 1990. The tree is adhering to the standard X-bar schema quite closely, consistently positing three projections for each head (minimal, bar-level, and maximal). But there are some aspects of the tree that are unusual or not clear. The analysis of the C-C'-CP heads is strange. C' should branch downards into C and IP, but it looks instead as though C' is appearing as a second specifier of IP.

Anyone who is learning/drawing these sort of tree structures should be aware of a couple of things about them. The tree appears to be assuming that all branching is binary. This is a widespread assumption in the GB/MP tradition, but there are many frameworks of syntax and grammar that reject the strictly binary branching structures (e.g. HPSG, CxG, DGs). These frameworks assume that branching can also be n-ary at times. Furthermore, a strict adherence to the X-bar schema is no longer consistent with more recent work in the MP (Minimalist Program). The MP assumes bare phrase structure instead of the X-bar schema, which means that the strict adherence to the three levels of a head is no longer necessary.

My overall comment is therefore that one should not take one particular type of tree-analysis for a given sentence too seriously. The analysis will vary significantly based upon the theory of syntax one assumes.

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