Questions tagged [phrase-structure]

Phrase structure is a widespread approach to the analysis and exploration of sentence structure.

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Introductory texts / papers for learning bare phrase structure?

My introductory syntax class is currently covering bare phrase structure. Unfortunately, we're using An Introduction to Syntactic Analysis and Theory which (while covering morphology, constituency, X'-...
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Identifying clauses (including finite and non finite) and analysing internal structure of the clauses

An example of how to do this is from the sentence "I was on holiday, but when I saw the pictures I went straight away" I / was / on holiday S:NP / V / SC:PP but / when I saw the pictures / I ...
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Is there always at least one parse which accounts for all words cleanly using Phrase Structure Grammar trees?

A few small but related questions here. I'm looking at ways to define "sentence patterns", at least starting with English. That led me back to phrase structure grammars, which have nice and ...
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New knowledge via HPSG

I've happened to read a little bit of HPSG literature (a certain part from Sag's textbook and a dissertation on prepositions) and it felt like this framework was more of a description model to capture ...
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Linguistic analysis of ChatGPT's default style of writing

Even though ChatGPT can - better or worse - mimic other writers' styles, it exhibits something like a default style of writing which is not very "characteristic" (because it's the ...
Hans-Peter Stricker's user avatar
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Update: what is the structure of the copula sentence in phrase structure grammar

When it comes to the copula sentence, usually the noun phrase preceding the copula is subject. (1)The problem is the kids. (2)??The problem are the kids. (3)The kids are the problem. (4)*The kids ...
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Do any languages have interlaced phrases?

Are there any examples of languages that can have interlaced phrases? For instance in: I turned the light off. one phrase is turned X off, where X can be a noun phrase. However, I don't think it's ...
CJ Dennis's user avatar
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What other languages can get by in some cases without prepositions or particles like Somali?

I just learned of a clever workaround for prepositions: possessive phrases, as in Somali (and here): miiska agtiisa: near the table -> [the table his vicinity] dekedda agteeda: near the harbour -&...
Lance's user avatar
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Alternative sentence structures in historical languages

I'm interested in what is known about the structure of languages and how much they might differ. In Indo-European languages (and Hebrew as well), the basic sentence structure is (not necessarily in ...
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Why do object pronouns precede the predicate in French, while R-expressions follow it?

How to explain the situation in French where an object pronoun needs to precede the predicate, while an object R-expression stands to the right of the predicate? Here is an example: a. Il le regarde. (...
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what is the headword in this sentence? [closed]

"Before the Saturday kidnappings, professional associations and businesses in Port-au-Prince had called for an indefinite strike." How many noun groups are in the bold clause? and what is ...
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When / why can adjective phrases come after nouns in English?

When and why can adjective phrases come after nouns in English, if at all? So, firstly: I am not talking about special usages like poetry or drama etc. where people may say things like "The night ...
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When are complementisers implied, but not present, and when are they actually not present?

I have recently been learning about complementisers and relative clauses etc. and how they relate to x-bar theory. It is a feature of English that some complementisers are optional, especially in ...
Tree Hill's user avatar
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Do all frameworks of syntax view the string following an inverted auxiliary verb in English as the complement of the auxiliary?

This is a follow-up question of an earlier question titled: In X bar theory, is the first auxiliary the head of an interrogative clause and the remainder the complement? In that question, I had this ...
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In generative grammar, is the first auxiliary always the head of an interrogative clause?

In generative grammar, be it transformational or not, is the first auxiliary always the head of an interrogative clause? For example, in (1), is the first auxiliary will always the head of (1)? (1) ...
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Difference between primary and secundary predicates(/argument small clauses) and their (overt) 'heads', and transition/ambiguity between the two

What is the exact difference between primary and secundary predicates? From what I understood, primary predicates are verbal and have a predicate head (usually a copula - he was a mine worker). ...
D Leguijt's user avatar
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Meaning of superscript numbering in phrase structure trees

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: $T^0$, $...
D Leguijt's user avatar
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Can one sentence have two or multiple possible phrase structure grammars? And what is this called?

After reading about syntactic structure and phrase structure grammar in Wikipedia and on the internet, I was wondering if there are any sentences with more than one possible phrase structure grammar? ...
i'm ashamed with what i asked's user avatar
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4 answers
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Why is the subject outside the VP in most theories of syntax?

I'm trying to understand why in most theories of syntax, the subject of a sentence is the sister of the verb, and not the child eg: S -> NP VP instead of VP -> NP V (NP...) The latter feels more ...
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What exactly is the Structure-Dependency Principle

Could someone explain what structure-dependency is in layman terms, and why it's so important? Resources I've found on the internet weren't of much help so I'm asking on here. Thanks!
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"The more the merrier"

What is the linguistic status of utterances like "The more, the merrier"? In English it would not be considered a sentence because there is no verb. Yet, it fully stands on its own ...
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Accurate English terminology for "complément du nom" and for "complément/complemento" as a general term

I am looking at this kind of French sentences: Le directeur de la banque Un directeur de banque Le livre de l'élève Le livre de français Having done some research about English grammar terminology ...
Grammiferous's user avatar
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Are individual words really constituents?

The constituent unit is defined in Wikipedia as a word or a group of words that functions as a single unit within a hierarchical structure. When phrase structure trees are produced, each node in the ...
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How could you summarise the noun phrase of a certain language?

What features of a noun phrase are appropriate to refer to when summarising a language and giving reference to that languages utilisation of noun phrases? If I were to ask you to tell me about the ...
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What is the difference in a constituent and a phrase?

From Wikipedia: In syntactic analysis, a constituent is a word or a group of words that functions as a single unit within a hierarchical structure. A phrase is a sequence of one or more ...
Danieldrd's user avatar
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All non-head material must be phrasal. — Why's this principle nice idea from a mathematical point of view?

Andrew Carnie. Syntax A Generative Introduction (3 ed, 2012). p 208. Pls see red underline. I never took math after high school! I don't know calculus. What author mean by "nice idea from a ...
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SVO triple in case of missing S or V or O?

hi I'm new to phrase/dependency structure. For a project of mine I want to extract from any sentence a meaningful structure with 3 items i.e. triple. In general case the Subject-Verb-Object is ideal....
sten's user avatar
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"but" usage (redundancy of "but")

We all know that "but" is used to replace "except" or indicate that the first clause is contrastive to the second in a way, or the logic these two sentences bear is somewhat contradictory. But, I see ...
Fadli Sheikh's user avatar
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1 answer
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Where does supplementation fit in?

As far as I can see, the structure of supplementary constructions like Karen, being ill, was unable to go or John – her father – was unable to walk her down the aisle or maybe a washer-dryer ...
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Noun Phrase/absolute clause distinction

What is the difference between a supplemental noun phrase and a absolute clause? In these examples and in general. Is it just the non-finite nature of the second example ? He won at his favourite ...
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Phrase structure trees for different languages

I am trying to get to the bottom of the difference between (1) and (2) below, and how the intended meanings would be reflected in a phrase structure tree: (1) If you think that $100 is too little you ...
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2 answers
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Term For A Prepositional Phrase With A Verb?

I know this is an adjectival prepositional phrase: I like the girl next to him. And I know this is an adverbial prepositional phrase: I went to the store. But what is the term for this? It's a ...
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Drawing trees for DP's and Sentences

I'm reading Adger's book Core Syntax and am having trouble with one of the sentences in the last exercise in the Functional Categories chapter. The task is to draw and annotate the tree (bar level and ...
Francois Wassert's user avatar
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1 answer
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Terminology for chained, nested adjective anatomy

For the moment I am just considering adjectives and adverbs as the same sort of thing, basically modifiers for the noun or verb. I will probably only focus on nouns here for simplicity. Some examples ...
Lance's user avatar
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1 vote
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How Nesting Verbs Works (and if it is Even Possible)

Wondering the different ways you can nest verbs, and what is technically allowed from a mental perspective, not necessarily from a grammatical perspective b/c I imagine it would vary significantly ...
Lance's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
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How VSO or SOV languages deal with nouns with lots of adjectives

With x V y structure, you divide the (potentially) long nouns/adjective phrases into parts separated by the verb, so mentally you can group everything pretty quickly. But if it is V x y, or even x y V,...
Lance's user avatar
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Does a generative grammar of the English language exist?

Is there some database on the internet that contains generative grammar of the English language / or any natural language? I know there are many artificial languages like EBNF those can be formalized ...
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Phraseology definition

What's difference between free-phrase and fixed phrase? Because for some linguist differentiate phraseme (fixed phrase) into 3 part, vollidiomatizität, teilidiomatizität und nichtidiomatizität.
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Can determiner/noun pairs not be noun phrases?

The following phrase tree from phrase on Wikipedia has "house at the end on the street" as a noun phrase on the constituency side: Why wouldn't "The house" be a noun phrase in the same way as "the ...
CJ Dennis's user avatar
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Infinitive clauses referring to an adjective before a noun [closed]

We know that infinitive clauses can sometimes refer to adjectives before nouns. I feel with what adjectives they can do that, but I don't have any reason for it. Examples; You can buy the best book ...
Jawel7's user avatar
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Which friend did he find to study with?

The question is about what happens to phrases during the time of making them questions. We know that the following sentence is a normal English sentence which is correct grammatically. He found a ...
Jawel7's user avatar
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Are there any languages that distinguish the thematic roles of theme and patient?

Theme and Patient are often described as distinct thematic roles. My understanding is that Themes undergo an action but does not change their state, while Patients undergo an action and do change ...
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Linking surface and deep structure

The sentences in (1) contain the same words, but differ in word order. Nevertheless, the sentences have very similar, if not identical, meanings. (1a) I am home today. (1b) Today, I am home. ...
MarkOxford's user avatar
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A sort/type/kind of N. Which is the head?

Let's take the example 'A kiwi is [a type of bird]'. Page 109 of this book https://faculty.mu.edu.sa/public/uploads/1367260110.5528Understanding%20Syntax.pdf sais that the head of a phrase: A. Has ...
dylbro's user avatar
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Reference work needed for Phrase Markers in English

I need a thorough online site or downloadable text that goes into detail about English phrase markers as in this example from Beth Levin's Verb Alternations book "This alternation involves verbs found ...
David Farthing's user avatar
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Constituent borders

Let us imagine there to exist, for instance, a DP. We always observe the only head D on the left or the right of the phrase (depending upon the direction of branching). But every constituent naturally ...
Aharon M. Vertmont 's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
257 views

Evolution in number of words from Greek to Latin to modern languages

I once read somewhere that Greek used, say, three or four words to express an idea; Latin used five or six words to express the same idea; and nowadays we use eight to ten words to express the same ...
Rodrigo's user avatar
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How do I decline a noun phrase?

First, let me say that I'm bad at grammar. Everything I know about grammar I've learned because I want to make my own languages. Second, I've created an ergative-absolutive language (I'm learning as ...
z2a's user avatar
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How do noun-noun compounds fit into a noun phrase in syntax?

I have a question regarding attributive nouns, or noun-noun compounds, and how they are integrated into syntactic rules for NP formation. Typically, the rule given in textbooks for forming a NP is the ...
lilac-lenalee's user avatar
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1 answer
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What kind of phrase is "until recently"?

I learned about prepositions: they establish a relation with two words the preposition is followed by an object -the object of a prepositional phrase is made by a noun phrase However, I don't know ...
Abdul Al Hazred's user avatar