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.

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How to solve this syntax question [closed]

Hello guys could anyone help me in solving these questions in syntax the sentence ; John's discussion of the riots in the meeting suddenly put all physics students right into huge turmoil. ps; I ...
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Is the following sentence a CP? Does it contain another CP?

Lies, do you think that she tells you? Is this sentence grammatical? Is the whole sentence a CP, in which lies is the CP Specifier and do is the head C? If yes, is that the C head of a second CP in ...
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150 views

How is the ungrammaticality of the following sentence explained?

Maria asked I read which book This sentence is ungrammatical. Is this because an IP I read cannot be a complement or sister to a V asked Is there a CP in this ungrammatical sentence?
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Is there an adposition type that occurs before both the modified noun and the object?

From what I've read, there are four attested types of adpositions. Prepositions and postpositions are the most common, but circumpositions (discontinuous morphemes that occur around their objects) ...
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138 views

What is the position of 'that' in the relative clause of this sentence?

Researchers report they have engineered an enzyme that can convert 90% of that same plastic back to its pristine starting materials. Does that originate in spec TP and move to spec CP like in this ...
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357 views

What exactly is Minimal Distance Principle and how is it applied here?

In my previous question, I referred to the analysis of indirect passives in Chinese from "The Syntax of Chinese". They mention "Minimal Distance Principle": In this structure, the verb dasi ‘kill’ ...
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167 views

Difference between PRO and OP

What's the difference between PRO and OP? For example, on p. 142, the book "The Syntax of Chinese" presents the following tree (which is an analysis of indirect passives in Chinese): In this ...
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2answers
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What linguistic category would informal contractions fall under?

I'm sure this question has an extremely simple answer, but I'm comparing the dialects from two movies, one being a typical Hollywood movie, and one being a documentary. I am listing any linguistic ...
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60 views

What is the specifier in an IP where the complement of the verb is fronted?

In the sentence (IP) The book, I think that I gave you in which the object (complement of the verb of the CP "that I gave you") is fronted, is this fronted object the specifier of the whole IP? ...
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Is there a language where presence/absence of V-O agreement would reflect presence/absence of accusative case?

I am trying to find a language which would show the following pattern with respect to agreement/morphological Case: presence of verb-object morphological agreement yields accusative morphology ...
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Is ‘for’ a complementizer or a preposition in ‘prefer for John to stay’

As the title says, in ‘prefer for John to stay’, is ‘for’ a complementizer and the following is a CP, or a preposition?
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is PP ‘out’ an adjunct or a complement of V ‘get’ in ‘get out’

As the title shows, in a VP ‘get out’, is PP ‘out’ an adjunct of VP ‘get’, or a complement of V ‘get’?
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How can we explain “head feature” of a phrase? [closed]

For example, how can we explain the head feature of an adjective phrase?
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My teacher wants me to disambiguate the sentence by separate tree diagrams [closed]

the sentence: The scared monster saw a very lovely dog with one eye. here is what I finished so far : to change as 1.The scared monster with only one eye saw a very lovely dog. and other one is that ...
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Is type theory compatible with n-ary branching?

The question by curiousdannii and the extensive answer by lemontree here address the basic workings, advantages, and disadvantages of type theory. I have a related question in this area. As I ...
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2answers
115 views

Derivation of Passive according to Principles and Parameters (Jaeggli)

I've been trying to wrap my head around this for hours, but I am simply stuck. Could somebody please kindly explain this passage? I am struggling in particular with the part in bold. The text is from ...
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Is this a matter of syntax or diction?

While in Louisiana, I was asked the following question by a Louisiana native who wanted to know my name: "What you call yourself?" I know this is from the French "Comment tu t'appeles?", literally, "...
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Sentence ambiguitiy

The sentence “Why did everyone’s father think that Tom said that you were fired?” is supposedly ambiguous in three different ways. However, I can’t seem to get any ambiguous reading from it. I have ...
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475 views

What is non-headed phrase?

I know most of the phrases in English are headed phrases, like noun is the head of NP. But what is non-headed phrase?
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34 views

Is “in favour of John” a resultative here?

In the sentence, "The judge settled the dispute in favour of John", is "in favour of John" a resultative? I am being asked to explain what this string shows about the verb "settle". Thanks!
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69 views

What is case for pronouns in different positions? [closed]

Can we say "the case of subject in a sentence is nominative, the direct object of a verb is accusative, the second object of a ditransitive verb is accusative, the objective of a preposition is ...
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162 views

Why must 'that' be omitted whenever constituents are questioned?

Linguistics: An Introduction to Language and Communication (2017 7 ed). p. 196 Middle. Why does [that]complementizer hinder questioning of constituents (in 80b), when [that]complementizer can be ...
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Why only 1 complement is possible?

Source: p 178, 179. Syntax, A Generative Introduction (3 ed, 2012) by Andrew Carnie [p 178:] 81) Adjunct rule: X' ⟶ X' (ZP) 82) Complement rule: X' ⟶ X (WP) [p 179:] What this means for ...
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a question about reflexives and nonreflexives

Why "the house(i) had a fence around itself(i)" is ungrammatical but "Susan(i) wrapped the blanket around herself(i)" is grammatical?
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What's the difference between coindexing and coreferential? [closed]

Here is a sentence. I(i) enjoy yourself(i). Can we say "I" and "yourself" are coindexed but not coreferential?
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Binding Puzzle in English Generative Syntax!

Consider the following sentences: (1) Anna believes [ IP herself to be a hero] ] (2) Anna wants [ IP him to leave] ] (3) *Anna wants [ IP herself to leave ] ] (1) is an example of Exceptional Case ...
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63 views

Why do adverbials of place come before adverbials of time? [closed]

He comes to class at 9 AM. In the above sentence to class, the adverbial of place comes before at 9 AM, the adverbial of time. Why is the below sentence wrong? **He comes at 9 AM to class."
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Constraints on quantification in syntactic structures

Quantifiers have the ability to be stranded wherever the landing sites of its adjoined DPs are, as shown in (1). (1) a. All the stackexchange posts might be deleted. b. The stackexchange posts might ...
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vocabulary and notation for syntactic changes

As a layman I have picked up the terminology and notation for changes in phonology. But I know very little about diachronic changes in syntax other than that they happen: things like shift from SOV ...
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53 views

How can we say modals are of category T, but auxiliaries are really verbs? [duplicate]

Are there any arguments or theories to account for it?
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578 views

What is the relation between a specifier and a determiner?

Does specifier mean "the" and "possesser" and determiner mean "the" and "possessive 's"?
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1answer
154 views

Critics and arguments against the generative syntax theories?

The Generative approach on syntax is very elegant, useful and very complete as far as I can see. I think that, as all theories have, there must have some critics on it. But I don't know where to find ...
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What is the syntactic status of subordinate clauses such as “what can be…”?

I am not clear about the syntactic analysis of the what-clauses in bold in the following b-sentences: (1a) These words are weak determiners. (1b) These words are what can be called weak determiners. ...
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93 views

grammar of the 'in the following'

Consider we have the sentence My bird likes sunflower seeds. She eats a lot of seeds everyday. Using pronoun resolution we can replace she with the actual subject 'My birds'; converting 'She eats a ...
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What is the difference between generative grammar and transformation grammar?

If we put it in a simple way, can we say generative grammar is about tree diagram, and transformation grammar is how sentences can be interpreted in another way?
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What is the distribution of pronominal “one”?

(Based on the comments this question has received, more is needed to avoid confusion. The original question remains as stated below the line below. What is added here now is a more complete rendition ...
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Why is “woman” in “the woman teacher” an adjunct while “literature” in “the literature teacher” a complement?

Is it because we cannot say "teacher of woman" but we can say "teacher of literature"?
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1answer
64 views

How to provide evidence that my hypothesis is correct (the same structure but the constituents are different), syntactic structures, constituency

How can I provide evidence supporting the hypothesis, that is, prove by means of constituency tests that my hypothesis is correct? The sentences: (1) Jeff lost the watch with the big numbers (2) Jeff ...
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2answers
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Raised object vs. Subordinate subject (I didn't want 'Kim' mistreating my cat)

(1) I didn't want Kim mistreating my cat. (2) I didn't want Kim to mistreat my cat. Semantically, Kim is not the object of want but the subject of the respective subordinate clauses mistreating my ...
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1answer
60 views

The Meaning <=> Text Theory (MTT)

I have recently read about "The Meaning <=> Text Theory" approach to syntax and would like to know more about it. Specifically, What are the main differences between this theory and the phrase ...
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Does anyone know the history of the infinitive?

I teach grammar, and I think it is no mystery to anyone that infinitives are strange. I think it might help me to know the history of this verb-cum-noun-adjectiv
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position of t[i] — * What[j] did Ann wonder who[i] would eat t[i] t[j]?

(infelicitous) Whatj did Ann wonder whoi would eat ti tj ? (source: Key Terms in Syntax and Syntactic Theory) The above sentence appears in a section discussing island constraint. I know this ...
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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 ...
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51 views

What is the difference between evidential, epistemic, and evaluative fragments?

Following a discussion about introductory expressions like “It is not the case that…” [1], I was found out that these expressions fall into the category of evidential/epistemic/evaluative fragments ...
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3answers
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What is the name of introductory expressions like “It is not the case that…”

I'm trying to find out what is the grammatical category that corresponds to such expressions that use to introduce clauses, such as: It is not the case that... It is very possible that... It is ...
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1answer
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Modern theories of Russian syntax

Western linguistics seems to be dominated by the Chomskian transformational generative grammar and its offshoots. My attempts to familiarize myself with these theories however always leave me under ...
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107 views

Is the emergence of a new quotative a syntactic innovation?

I am not sure on what level the emergence of a new quotative is classified. Is it syntax? My question concerns a variety of English. There are several quotatives commonly used in English, such as „...
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Xp-pro-v word order in middle english

I am a bit confused with the xp-pro-v word order in middle English and was hoping, that someone could help me. Can someone explain, what exactly the term "xp-pro-v" means? I do understand, that it is ...
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Questions about complementizers (at least, I think they're complementizers…)

I would like to know – there is a grammatical term for the function of the dash in this sentence, is that right? English doesn’t have a word like that or whether that can replace the dash in that ...
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Two meanings of “Someone believes everyone to be invited”

Carnie claims in his syntax book that the sentence Someone believes everyone to be invited has two meanings. I can see only one (when the existential quantifier has scope over universal one: when ...

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