8

I do not think that Chomsky ever cited Tesnière in a meaningful way, because if he had, we would know about it. I state this as the main translator of Tesnière's work Elements of structural syntax to English. Consider the question from the point of view of the tremendous impact that Chomsky's ideas have had on the linguistics world. Had Chomsky ever cited ...


6

Determiner is a grammatical category for words like "the" and "a." Some theories claim that possessive 's is also a determiner. Specifier is a grammatical relation in certain theories, such as X-bar theory. Determiners are frequently considered specifiers of nouns, although there are some people who follow the "DP-hypothesis" that the determiners are the ...


5

The question can be interpreted to be asking how X-bar theory prevents nonsensical phrases such as the really house, running the, and every inside. The answer is that no aspect of X-bar theory prevents such phrases from being generated. The X-bar schema merely provides the scaffold for phrases. It is a rough schematic outline that all phrases supposedly ...


5

I'm not convinced the notion "clitic" is really needful to explain what is going on. Some syntactic rules depend on what the words are, and you can't always trust traditional English orthography to tell you the truth about where the words are. Why should should you? Probably printers made up those rules. The rule of subject auxiliary inversion moves a ...


4

Summarizing the paper by Zwicky and Pullum commented by @sumelic above: They suggest that most contractions are clitics, but <-n't> is an inflection. Most English contractions, such as <-'s> <-'ve> <-'d>, behave like clitics that can be directly substituted for the words they abbreviate. One of their examples is "The ball you hit's just broken ...


4

The best argument I've encountered against generative syntax is that made in C.F. Hockett's State of the Art. Personally, I don't subscribe to it, but you may find it persuasive. Hockett compares the game of professional baseball with the similar pick-up game played on vacant lots or in parks by young people -- "sandlot baseball". The professional game is ...


4

The term specifier denotes a set position in a fixed schema, the X-bar schema. In contrast, the term determiner denotes a specific word category. The next illustration is from Wikipedia (X-bar theory): The spec marks the specifier position. Often, a determiner occupies the specifier position (in the event that one is dealing with a noun phrase). Thus, in a ...


4

Short answer '[I]n the many places where I was guilty of the reprehensible and shockingly common confusion of the notions of "adverb" and "adverbial"; these defects, for which I hang my head in shame, I have corrected wherever I have found them.' McCawley The Syntactic Phenomena of English, 2nd Ed,(p. xii) In the quote above, McCawley ...


3

UPDATE: This update aims at clarifying many points which were raised in comments. Many thanks to dainichi for correcting the Japanese (all remaining embarrassing errors of course remain solely my own). I'm going to make two assumptions. The first is that the Japanese sentence you have in mind is (1), the most literal translation I can imagine. (1) 象は 鼻が ...


3

(Disclaimer: I am not a specialist in Syntax) According to the X-bar Theory, Adjectives, as any other lexical category, undergo three different levels of projection. They can have Complements (which are sisters to the head), Specifiers (or Subjects, i.e. sisters to Adj′) and Adjuncts (sisters to AdjP). Semantically speaking, the complement of an adjective ...


3

You might want to have a look at LFG, they use X' Theory extended with an additional "lexocentric" category S to accommodate nonconfigurational phrase structures.


3

As already in other questions you had, I would recommend you just having a look at the definition again: X c-commands Y if X's sister either a) is Y or b) contains Y. This means that nodes can only c-command their sisters and "nieces" (i.e. the daughters of their sisters, and daughters af these nieces and so on), NEVER their own daughters or "...


3

Successive cyclic wh-movement is motivated by theoretical principles of minimal computation, as well as empirical data. There's nothing inherently wrong with the 'one fell swoop' analysis, but cyclic wh-movement is preferable. Minimal computation: At any point in the derivation, the range of visible syntactic objects available for computations (e.g. ...


3

I start out with declaring my ignorance. I do not know what X’ theory is. I am a mere historical linguist. For me, the reason we do not say (in English) “*shoulds” is that in the Germanic languages “should” is a pretero-present verb: it is in form past tense, but in meaning present. Like “I will, he will”, not “*wills”. In many other languages (Indo-European ...


3

The simple answer to the question is as follows: Yes, the complement of an auxiliary verb in a traditional X-bar-theoretic approach does view the entire string following the inverted auxiliary as the complement of the auxiliary. That this is so can be seen by examining an example. The next tree is taken from Haegeman (1991: 109). Haegeman’s book was written ...


2

I've given what i deem to be a reasonably standard phrase-structure tree for a that-relative clause, consistent with the principles of X-bar theory below (taking Jackendoff, 1977 as a concrete reference). I'm assuming the DP hypothesis here (i.e. that 'a book...' is headed by a determiner rather than by the noun), but it's easy to re-cast this in terms on an ...


2

To answer your question, we'd need a theoretical understanding of "bar" and "bar level" (as opposed to a diagrammatic esthetic). One idea is to connect "bar" with the addition of complements, then increasing "bar-level" would accompany adding more complements. The addition of adjuncts, unlike complements, does not increase bar-level. For instance, the ...


2

Noun-noun compounds are nouns: N -> N N. The structure of your example is [N [N [N [N chocolate] [N chip]] [N cookie]] [N dough]] or possibly [N [N [N chocolate] [N chip]] [N [N cookie] [N dough]]] The first means "dough for making chocolate chip cookies"; the second means "cookie dough flavored with chocolate chips" -- a subtle culinary ambiguity. The ...


2

I wouldn't say that modals are I': rather, I'd say that they're I. In other words, a modal verb is syntactically an inflection, not a full verb. (It's easy to see that modals don't act like Vs: they can't be put in non-finite contexts, like *to should.) In X-bar theory, the I is an inflection applied to the V. In "Alex walked home", the I is "-ed", and the ...


2

In current English, the common modals are paired up in a fashion similar to present/past pairs: "will/would, can/could, shall/should", and sometimes "could" has the sense of a past tense "can". Of course, the "-d" occurs regularly as a past affix. Both "would" and "could" occur as past-shifted forms when direct discourse is shifted to indirect speech: ...


2

I think you're right, and iirc this is what McCawley argues in Syntactic Phenomena of English. The antecedent of "which" in the appositive relative clause is the S "The high notes ... his life". Such relative clauses are placed as "adposits" immediate after the antecedents of the relative pronoun, so the relative clause goes after the sentence "The high ...


2

The high notes returned to his compositions towards the end of his life, [which suggests he was hearing the works that were taking shape in his imagination]. Yes, it is an adjunct, more specifically a supplementary (non-defining) relative clause. The antecedent of "which" is the entire preceding clause, thus "R suggests he was hearing the works ...", ...


2

There are a number of possibilities for the X-bar analysis of the phrase so little. A central choice one has to make concerns viewing little as an adjective or as a derived noun, that is, as a noun derived from an adjective. My favored analysis would be to view it as the latter. Given this decision, the next decision one has to make concerns the status of so:...


2

At the core of the question is a key observation about the nature of certain noun phrases. At times an adjective takes a complement that appears to the right of the noun, which is problematic because the noun intercedes between the two. In other words, a discontinuity (i.e. long-distance dependency) is present inside the noun phrase. The following pair of ...


2

The problem you point to is addressed later in Carnie's book, starting on page 412. The greater issue concerns the extent to which tertiary branching should or should not be assumed. This matter splits the syntax community. See the discussion of strictly binary branching structures here. A main trait of the X-bar schema as it is commonly understood is ...


1

First of all, it is not the case that "who" cannot raise over "did" in T (or more precisely - over the tense affix), because it does so when moving from Spec-VP to Spec-TP anyway (under the VP-internal subject hypothesis). Second, X-bar theory itself says nothing about the constraints on movement; it simply states how the structure is organized - basically ...


1

The comments reflect the complexity of "there" subjects, and I'm fairly certain that jlawler can fill us in on previous work on the topic. I will just long-comment on data problems. First, 'there' can be a deictic or a dummy (the former exemplified by "There is the remote, here is the TV", meaning "over yonder"; the latter by "There's a monkey in the garden")...


1

'The man' in your sentence is not an object, since 'to be' cannot have objects at all, neither direct objects, nor indirect ones. In your sentence 'the man' is the subject of the sentence, and, naturally, the verb agrees with it. That kind of a sentence, with 'there is / there are' construction has a reverse word order, 'there' being the marker of the ...


1

“Same-day” is a compound, more precisely: an exocentric compound, or bahuvrihi, “a delivery whose day is the same”. The compound is formed from an adjective “same” and a noun “day”, but in this phrase “same” does not function as an adjective but as part of a compound. For the purposes of syntax “same-day” is a single word, not two.


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