Skip to main content

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. Common approaches are numerous phrase structure grammars (GPSG, HPSG, LFG, G&B, X-bar, Minimalism, ...) and, on the other hand, dependency grammars.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
-1 votes
0 answers
22 views

Voicing contrast [closed]

I was wondering if you could help me explain the voicing contrast between [ɡ] and [k] that is produced in: syllable-initial position (e.g., gold vs. cold), syllable-final position (e.g., lag vs. lack)....
1 vote
0 answers
24 views

exclamative (claust type) properties

My lecture notes state that exclamatives "cannot be answers to questions" eg. Did you enjoy it? How I enjoyed it! (*) How about clauses with 'such' and 'so' though? Are they only ...
0 votes
0 answers
23 views

If we find homophones, how do we decide whether or not they are different words?

This seems to have an easy resolution for situations its perhaps semantically or syntactically obvious (like can as in container vs can, or no vs know) that we have more than one word. But I got to ...
7 votes
3 answers
1k views

What is the name of the grammatical function of "there" in "there is"?

Is there a name for the grammatical function of the word "there" in constructions where it is used to denote presence/existence, e.g., "There is an apple on the counter."
0 votes
1 answer
1k views

Having trouble drawing a tree diagram [closed]

I'm having trouble drawing a tree diagram for the following sentence: Chrissy believed that the earrings she bought for Sue were real silver. In the task we have to divide the sentence into its ...
0 votes
0 answers
60 views

A book for a beginner on cartographic syntax

Can you suggest a book for a beginner on cartographic syntax? The question has been asked before, but has gone unanswered (for almost a year). I am looking for a book for a beginner, i.e. someone ...
4 votes
0 answers
145 views

A basic question regarding "do-support"

In particular, the question is regarding the steps of the process. The following sentence is to be used as an example: (a) John ate. (b) Did John eat? As per Radford and Chomsky, it is assumed that ...
1 vote
0 answers
68 views

What grammatical number is assigned to noun phrases formed by the conjunction "and"?

In a language with number agreement on determiners, would the phrase "the good boy and girl" have an adjective and article that is marked as plural since "the" and "good" ...
0 votes
0 answers
18 views

Does the Subjacency Condition hold cross-linguistically?

In my introductory syntax class, we learned of the Subjacency Condition as a unifying framework for all the rules of phrasal movement in English we had observed so far. The Subjacency Condition states ...
1 vote
0 answers
52 views

Anaphora in the VP shell

I'm trying to build a sentence with an anaphora in place of the direct object or the oblique in the VP layer in order to understand whether it's the oblique or the patient occupying SpecV. According ...
1 vote
0 answers
71 views

wh-word and adjunction (Russian as an example)

I am reading The Syntax of Russian by John Frederick Bailyn. He takes the wh-word который to be of category AP/NP. Also he assumes that adjuncts operates at the level of XP, not X-bar. Given that, if ...
0 votes
0 answers
48 views

What is an applied argument?

What does an applied argument mean? I have an assignment and cannot seem to understand this. Can we say that a sentence doesn’t have an applied argument when it doesn’t have a direct object?
2 votes
0 answers
56 views

Drawing phrase markers "What/Who is a phonologist?"

In the book "Analysing Sentences" by Noel Burton-Roberts, there's an exercise on drawing phrase markers for the 2 sentences "What is a phonologist?" and "Who is a phonologist?&...
1 vote
0 answers
125 views

How is this question ambiguous?

How is this question ambiguous? Who knows when the train will arrive? The sentence is ambiguous and I have to argue the reason of its ambiguity focusing on the interpretation of the wh-adverb. And ...
4 votes
1 answer
207 views

The analysis of 'for NP to VP' in HPSG

This is from a paper titled "What for?" by Bas Aarts: (35) [NP It [S′ [COMP for] [S Mary see his relatives]]] [M may] [VP distress John] Bresnan’s account was very influential in proposing ...
7 votes
1 answer
223 views

Are "Inverse copular constructions" accurately described by Wikipedia?

An answer to an ELL question linked to a Wikipedia article "Inverse copular constructions". The article presents an analysis that was new to me of sentences such as "The plumber is Fred&...
0 votes
0 answers
47 views

subject predicate complements and object predicate complements

Is there an easy way of determining which part of a sentence subject predicate complement (PCs) and which is a object predicate complement (PCo)? my understanding is very surface level with ...
1 vote
0 answers
49 views

Any morphemes that affect valency and aspect?

I'll give an example of what I mean by this. In Tongan, there is a verbal suffix -'i that can either introduce a new argument or seemingly alter the aspect of the verb. In (1) below, ‘the girl’ is an ...
2 votes
1 answer
64 views

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'-...
2 votes
1 answer
158 views

Can a complementizer (C) take two complements (COMPS)?

The 1997 paper "English Relative Clause Constructions" by Ivan A. Sag has these diagrams: (53) shows a diagram of to go to the UK, and (54) of for them to go to the UK. In (54), ...
0 votes
0 answers
44 views

Preposition stranding and Wh-islands

I am doing research on a few apparent cases of preposition stranding in Brazilian Portuguese (a non-P-stranding language) and, by comparing them to languages that have bona fide P-stranding, I am ...
2 votes
1 answer
397 views

Where to attach 'of too much cholesterol' while drawing the syntax tree (x-bar theory)

I would really appreciate if somebody could help me and provide a short explanation. The sentence is as follows: The latest research on dieting always warns people about the dangers of too much ...
3 votes
0 answers
52 views

Is this phrase a CP or another DP?

If I were to have a DP, such as "the car which I had washed in the garage", the "which I had washed in the garage" sounds a lot like a CP. However, I have never seen CP's embedded ...
2 votes
1 answer
78 views

Do CP adjuncts of N require/have a subject?

"The cat that ate my homework for fun will upset my teacher." Hello! I created this sentence to help me understand the concept of EPP. Assume this is how the major components should be ...
3 votes
0 answers
27 views

Dependent-marking on adpositions?

Is there a language such that an adposition is dependent-marked so that one can infer that it depends on head X but not Y? As a possible example, an affix is attached to an adposition to show that it ...
1 vote
2 answers
98 views

What ways can languages parse sub-clauses from the rest of a clause?

I only know of two strategies. Most European languages, like English, rely mainly intonation to keep the arguments in a sub-clause, particularly center-embedded clauses, from being accidentally to be ...
0 votes
0 answers
54 views

How does the syntax work for a phrase like "already much too cocky?"

I'm working on a syntax tree for the sentence "The belief that syntactic theory reveals the inner structure of sentences emboldened the already much too cocky professor," and I'm stuck on &...
2 votes
0 answers
108 views

Is this preposition stranding or not?

I am a linguistics student and am currently doing research on supposed cases of preposition stranding in Brazilian Portuguese. So far I've come up with a few assumptions, but my data has been mostly ...
2 votes
0 answers
91 views

Wh-movement of D/NP in Russian

I have recently come across the following expression: (они) попрали даже то, что ими диктуется о смысле жизни. (they) trampled even what they dictated about the meaning of life. It made me wonder: ...
10 votes
1 answer
147 views

Languages with nominalized verbs that specify the thematic relation of its possessor

In English, nominalized verbs have only one form regardless of the thematic relation of its possessor: The robot's destruction (of the city) terrified authorities. The robot's destruction (by the ...
0 votes
0 answers
27 views

What is the semantic type and the lexical entry for 'to be right'?

Does somebody know what the lexical entry for '(be) right' is? And the semantic type of 'right' when its in the syntax tree. Is it an attitude predicate? For example in the sentence 'Beth is right ...
1 vote
0 answers
32 views

Formal syntax and semantics for Turkish

as a student of linguistics and admirer of Turkish, I wondered whether there are good introductory books for formal syntax and (Montague) semantics for Turkish. Thanks in advance!
3 votes
0 answers
52 views

Under the DP hypothesis, does anything ever go in the Spec of NP?

I attach Carnie's illustration of "several people who she kissed" below: My question is on the NP to N' branch (red boxed). I was taught that restrictive relatives clauses are adjuncts to ...
1 vote
0 answers
32 views

spec ip and spec vp

I'm new to linguistics. I'm reading an article saying that "Subjects of stage-level predicates can be mapped into either [Spec,IP] or [Spec,VP]. Subjects of individual level predicates must stay ...
0 votes
0 answers
44 views

Allowable flexibility in word order in *ordinary verse* vs in *ordinary prose*

Forgive my amateurish way of asking this, I have no background in linguistics, but I have noticed a phenomenon enough times to want to raise the question. Have there been studies of how flexible can ...
5 votes
4 answers
495 views

Corpus Linguistics: Is it possible to add a tag for "sentence ending"?

I'm new to Corpus Linguistics and I'm writing a paper about the English and Portuguese "because noun", a type of construction such as "I'm going home because GTA5". However, when I try to search this ...
2 votes
1 answer
194 views

Do indirect objects induce CED effects?

I'd like to ask those of you who speak English as a first language whether indirect objects induce CED effects (cf. Huang). Consider: Of which boy did John send [a letter] [to every friend _]? Of ...
5 votes
0 answers
65 views

Different ways languages use adjectives as arguments?

I'm not sure how to word this. I'm not talking about languages where adjectives can act as nouns on their own. I'm talking about when 'states' are used as arguments. An example in this is the phrase; ...
3 votes
0 answers
66 views

Corpus studies on the frequency of subject questions in English

Are there any corpus studies which show the relative frequency of different types of interrogative main clauses in English, in particular the relative frequency of subject questions (which do not ...
1 vote
1 answer
53 views

What are the general word order trends of VO languages

I’ve heard that some scholars collapse SVO, VSO, and VOS into one general category of VO. From what I understand, these VO languages allegedly exhibit strong and weak common word order trends. If this ...
3 votes
1 answer
168 views

Why do dominant VSO languages all have SVO as an alternative word order?

According to Greenberg’s 6th universal, "All languages with dominant VSO order have SVO as an alternative or as the only alternative basic order." Why are dominant VSO languages predisposed ...
4 votes
1 answer
219 views

Chomsky on licensing parasitic gaps in English

Chomsky (1995: 69) says (115) that "(115b) is ruled out for independent reasons of control theory." What reasons? (115) a. the book that you filed [without PRO reading e] b. *the book that ...
3 votes
1 answer
139 views

Is the head function also called nucleus, or is nucleus a subtype of head?

In this visual representation of syntactic functions from Wikipedia, nucleus is given as a subtype of head. But the Head article appears to treat the two terms as synonyms. The first sentence reads: ...
1 vote
0 answers
75 views

Relative possessive pronouns

"Whose" is the only possessive relative pronoun in English. The antecedent of "whose" can be both people and things. ( - Purdue OWL) "Whose" is not complete as a ...
4 votes
0 answers
116 views

Are there languages where grammatical parallelism does not matter?

English has a strong preference for parallelism (Wikipedia link), even though sentences lacking parallelism are still considered grammatically correct: Good: She likes cooking, jogging, and reading. ...
1 vote
1 answer
153 views

How many beats is a syllable?

I’ve read some sources that say a syllable is “one beat” but I don’t understand that. Wouldn’t it depend on the tempo of the pulse. I.e, if a tempo is 60bpm can’t you fit different numbers of ...
7 votes
2 answers
415 views

Why is binarity emphasized so much in linguistics?

I'm an aspiring linguistics student, not a professional, so my thinking may be misguided or elementary. In my personal research about linguistics, I have discovered many important theories and ...
2 votes
1 answer
1k views

The Inflectional Phrase and Welsh

Wikipedia explains how the Inflectional Phrase has a VP as its complement and an NP (the subject of the phrase) as its specifier. It is long ago that I studied this, but a quick look at Sprachliches ...
1 vote
2 answers
233 views

On colorless green ideas

I’m pretty new here. My main focus is logic, so I spend most of my time on the math and philosophy forums. Chomsky proposed that while “colorless green ideas sleep furiously” is a well-formed sentence ...
0 votes
1 answer
227 views

1-, 2-, and 3-place predicates

Would the following verb be a one- or two-place predicate verb? "The boy and his friend left" I'm inclined to think that it's a one-place predicate as normally 'leave' is just that, and that ...

1
2 3 4 5
23