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I read, that

  • one sentence can have different syntax-trees
  • what is considered a phrase is dependent on the grammar used
  • there are a lot of grammars, basically divided into two groups: phrase-structure grammars and dependency grammars

This focus on context creates for me the problem to find out, how sentences which are made of a main clause and subclause are represented by a syntax tree or maybe two ?

problematic sentences (e.g.):

  • I like turtles, because I like green animals.

  • I like turtles and I like turkeys.

  • I like turtles, because I like green stuff, because green symbolizes luck.

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    Typically it's represented by a branching syntax tree, mathematically equivalent to parentheses (but taking up more room on the page) See the Logic Study Guide and the Verb Phrase Study Guide for more specific examples. – jlawler Nov 27 '14 at 16:32
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This could very well be explained in a difficult way, but it may also be that you are seeking an easy answer.

Basically you could say; One clause=one syntax tree

If a sentence consists of several clauses, you could draw several syntax trees.

| improve this answer | |
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    Please give some examples of this. I am struggling to picture how one sentence could be effectively shown by multiple syntax trees. – curiousdannii Dec 16 '14 at 23:56
  • Nonsense! Nonsense! – Tim Osborne Dec 17 '14 at 9:23

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