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Questions tagged [syntax]

The study of the internal structure of expressions, especially between words and phrases, and the principles and processes that determine it. This includes words order, but also the grammatical relations that hold between words, as well as structural ambiguity, binding, reference, and similar issues....

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Help with drawing syntax trees [closed]

Halo me with creating syntax trees for this sentences please: Peter’s friends are anxious that he should finish by Saturday. Where does your new room mate come from? Please create this sentences ...
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39 views

Markers that affect intensity of the imperative mood

I'm working on a project that explores how imperative mood varies in 'intensity'. For example, one can 'soften' the tone of a directive by including the speaker in the command: "Let's go to school"...
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1answer
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Minimalism - a question about a property of merge operation

Does anyone know what would it mean that the merge operation is asymmetrical? Would this mean that the order of merged objects is important?
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1answer
119 views

Why is *“Where did you move from Paris to?” ungrammatical?

If I'm not mistaken *"Where did you move from Paris to?", while "Where did you move to from Paris?" as well as both "You moved from Paris to London" and "You moved to London from Paris"(at least with ...
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0answers
38 views

What is configurational case assignment?

How does it differ with inherent case? I found this definition from Maria Polinsky and Omer Preminger paper; Noun phrases are assigned case by virtue of their structural position relative to certain ...
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52 views

Which is the most accepted case theory from a generative syntax perspective?

I've read about different theories but now I'm kind of confused between the different theories and the differences between structural case, non-structural, lexical/morphological case, inherent case, ...
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2answers
173 views

Is “indirect object” syntactically definable or useful, in English or generally?

In traditional English grammar, we're taught that phrases like those boldfaced below are "indirect objects": I gave the book to Ted. I gave Ted the book. But this appears to be based on semantics (...
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1answer
41 views

multiple raising verb in a sentence

how would the deep structure looks like for a sentence that has multiple raising verb like 'Tom happens to be believed to have wanted to like linguistics' ?
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32 views

criteria to distinguish resultative from stative participles?

I was recently reading an article by David Embick (2004) in which he makes a ternary distinction among passive participles: 1. stative 2. resultative 3. eventive, contra. Wasow (1977) who ...
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25 views

Generative vs Constructionist POV on Imperative's null subject

How might a constructionist approach to Imperative sentences respond to a Generative frammework in regards to an implied subject (;subject-less' sentences. (Based on the focus point from the ...
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1answer
60 views

Drawing case specified trees for english gerunds

I'm reading Adger's Core Syntax book and am having a tough time with Exercise 1 of the functional categories chapter. The exercise is about gerunds. Gerunds are specified by the form of suffixing -...
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2answers
52 views

What is the proper terminology for “I touch” in this sentence?

I am trying to diagram this sentence for a personal project: Everything I touch with tenderness pricks like a bramble. From what I understand, Everything is the subject, and pricks is the ...
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1answer
54 views

What's the difference between V2 word order and OVS word order?

Is there any difference between the two? They seem the same to me, c.f.: Fußball spielten die Kinder vor der Schule im Park. Football played the kids before school in the park. (...
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1answer
48 views

Triggering emotions with language

Emotional responses to certain words is often argued to be a result of nurture(acquired through development), while emotional responses to Tone is largely attributable to nature(born with). Shouldn't ...
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2answers
104 views

Why is the preposition treated as the head of a prepositional phrase?

What are the theoretical reasons for treating the preposition as the head of a prepositional phrase? (Noun as head of NP sounds fine intuitively, but the same does not apply to prepositions in ...
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0answers
27 views

Misunderstanding quantifier floats

I'm reading Core Syntax by Adger and there is an exercise to analyze the following data. *The dragons were slain all. *The Greeks arrived all. Now I know the phenomena of floating quantifiers comes ...
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67 views

“Peter sang a song to Julie”, Is “to Julie” is an adjunct or complement?

Peter sang a song to Julie. It seems that the verb "sang" selects the preposition, but to Julie is optional. And if we apply it to an X' Schema, how shall we do it? To Julie is the dependent of sang ...
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2answers
77 views

If there are cases of tense or plural as separate words like particles

I am looking for stranger particle-like things, like the Japanese wa particle, or determiners like the. So wondering if there are any cases of pluralizing or changing to past/future tense that is not ...
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2answers
72 views

System for intermixing IPA with Orthography

So in English the word hi sounds like /haɪ/, but can be spelled "hi", "high", etc. So if you wanted to define the word "high" in English you would have to write two things: high (the spelling/...
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Understanding the property of complementhood

In the following sentence: They can both speak French. How can French be the complement of the V-bar speak French? I have the following definition of the complement: A constituent X is the ...
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3answers
96 views

List Of Common English Syntax Ambiguities?

For an example of ambiguous syntax: John likes Adam more than Eve. Such a construction could mean that: Comparing Adam and Eve, John likes Adam more. Compared to Eve's liking of Adam, John likes ...
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How do we set comparative adverbs, from expressions like “more than x” on the syntax tree?

I'm trying to figure something out from Portuguese, but if you can answer me that based on English, it will help a lot. Thanks.
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2answers
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“there” and “everything” in linguistics is a “pronoun” or “noun”?

Regarding to drawing a syntax tree, "there" and "everything" in linguistics is a "pronoun" or "noun"? For example, 1. There is an apple. 2. It is not everything.
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84 views

Do English passive verbs assign case? (Government and Binding Theory)

I'm trying to think things through regarding case and passive verbs, within the framework of Government and Binding Theory. As starting point, I'll use this statement/principle (based on what I've ...
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1answer
73 views

Determining the head of the sentence

I'm having difficulties in determining the heads of phrases/sentences. I know that the head determines the syntactic function of the whole phrase and I understood some simple examples but in the ...
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0answers
24 views

Why can 'that' be included in that-clauses, but must be omitted whenever constituents are questioned?

Linguistics: An Introduction to Language and Communication (2017 7 ed). p. 196 Middle. Barring past tense, why does [that]complementizer hinder questioning of constituents, when [that]...
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2answers
152 views

Syntax relative clause

For example: "An apple that my mother bought yesterday" In the example, "An apple" is a noun phrase and "that my mother bought yesterday" is a complementiser phrase. Are the noun phrase––"An apple"––...
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1answer
190 views

How do you draw a syntax tree for a sentence with a dummy subject?

I encounter difficulties when drawing a syntax tree for a sentence of expletive contruction. Should I mark the dummy subject "there" as a noun? Thx
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33 views

Parsing a sentence with the noun as the Predicator

Can the sentence "That professor is a syntactician," in which the DP "a syntactician" is the predicator, be parsed like a normal sentence, using x-bar theory, the Predicate Shell and the DP Hypothesis?...
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34 views

Complete NL formalisms w/out syntax

What are the natural language formalisms that, roughly speaking, do away w/ syntax as a separate level of description? Cf. Steedman's "The Syntactic Process" (2000): "...syntactic structure is ...
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35 views

How can you test whether a word is being used as a conjunction?

It's been a couple years since I've taken a syntax class, and I've forgotten - what tests can you use to check whether a speaker uses a word as a conjunction? I seem to remember something about ...
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1answer
43 views

Transposition of words in questions

In English, the following is grammatically correct: Am I going to the cinema today? In contrast, the assertion that this is true is grammatically correct only with the first two words reversed. ...
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2answers
69 views

How agglutinative languages affect comprehension

I am just learning about agglutinative languages so I don't have much experience with them. I am looking at longest words for example words in a language like Finnish, but not sure yet if those would ...
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2answers
53 views

Latest research on the meaning of prepositions

Trying to understand what a preposition is. Wikipedia gives some hints (adpositions are the general case of preposition/postposition/circumposition): ...Adpositions are classed as syntactic ...
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1answer
37 views

What is the Theta Role of “It” in “It seemed that …”

How do I identify the theta role of "It" in "It seemed that there was no escape."? I understand theta roles such as THEME, AGENT, LOCATION, GOAL, FORCE, EXPERIENCER etc. However, I cannot work out ...
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2answers
71 views

What is this sentence structure called?

I'm writing a paper about Donald Trump's speaking style and he frequently says sentences like the following: "They wanna be in the United States of America. That’s where they wanna be." "We’re gonna ...
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0answers
21 views

Connections between categories of type logical grammar and categories of combinatory categorial grammar?

There is nice book https://www.amazon.co.uk/Type-Logical-Grammar-Categorial-Logic/dp/0792332261/ that considers both Montague grammar (type logical grammar (TLG)) in chapters 1 and 2 and combinatory ...
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31 views

Specification of Dependency Grammar

My understanding is that, while natural languages aren't completely context-free, you can get a good approximation of a specification of English in Backus-Naur form, in that if you look at a given ...
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0answers
23 views

Does Gestalt theory tell us anything about syntax?

According to this article (dlibra.umcs.lublin.pl/Content/21626/czas17868_30_2_2012_4.pdf), cognitive grammar is an approach to grammar which takes into accounts broad perceptual principles, including ...
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2answers
134 views

What is the syntax of “second” in phrases like “the second most common problem”?

In English, words like "second", "third" etc. (also "next", I guess) can be used with a superlative to count down from the maximum. Some dictionaries call "second" an adverb in this context (e.g. MW, ...
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2answers
76 views

Syntactic and semantic ambiguity

Does syntactic (structural) ambiguity always come with semantic ambiguity, or is semantic ambiguity always due to syntactic ambiguity? Or are both statements correct?
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3answers
148 views

How can you know that a word in a sentence is a verb?

I am wondering what it takes to parse a sentence with incomplete knowledge. That is, take a sentence like this: If I use timeout I have to call again my function at the end of the execution of the ...
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How to differentiate between adjuncts and complements? Specifically when the sentence has two prepositional phrases [duplicate]

When a sentence has 2 prepositional phrases, how I can determine whether the second prepositional phrase is a complement of the first prepositional phrase or it's an adjunct to the whole sentence? ...
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1answer
63 views

How common is it for languages to be head-first as often as they are head-final?

English, I've heard, is rather odd for not leaning one way or another towards a head-final order, or a head first. Verbs gravitate towards the beginning of sentences and it uses prepositions, which ...
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2answers
242 views

Does syntactic stress exist?

From what I know, stress can only be assigned at the level of the word (as in English) or the level of the sentence (as in French). Can any natural language assign it syntactically, e.g., "the first ...
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2answers
63 views

“In his desk(,) he kept a black book.” Is “in his desk” a preposed complement here?

The answers and comments beneath my question about the sentence “He kept a black book in his desk” seemed to agree that “in his desk” acts as a complement and not as an adjunct in that sentence. But ...
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0answers
48 views

Difference between tense & Grammatical aspect?

I know this question has been posed before, and I know also that there were different versions of putting it depending on models and different kinds of reasoning. What I want to understand, is the ...
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52 views

Are there languages which have ways to distinguish between an adjunct noun and an adjective?

(Take some example). Do other languages (than English) have means distinguish between their adjunct nouns and adjectives or is it a very complex/grammatical structure that cannot possibly be ...
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22 views

Prepositional Phrases

Can you please tell me what's the difference between an inflectional phrase and a tense phrase? In a related venue, in a PP is the NP sister to the P' or daughter to it? Thanks
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1answer
73 views

Is there any theoretical explanation of putting infinitive clause at the beginning?

There is a sentence which my Canadian professor today talked about. 1-) I see no reason to do these stupid things. The Canadian English professor at the university said that we could put the part "...