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 ...


5

X-bar theory is prescriptivist in a certain sense. It prescribes certain things about the structure of syntax trees: that all branching is binary, for example, and that every XP level dominates an X' level dominates an X level. However, these are all properties of the syntax trees, theoretical constructs postulated to explain the data. This generally isn't ...


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

(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

The general X bar scheme is, although heavily motivated by English - or at least Indo-European languages - thought to be applicable to any natural language. How well that works depends highly on what other restrictions you impose on your phrase structure (strict right/left linear and/or binary branching for example makes a lot of things not possible), but ...


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

I've always wondered about this tree too. In particular, I wondered why from Lloyds would be a complement. And so I asked Geoff Pullum, who replied that he thinks that salary doesn't take complements. In other words, it's a mistake.


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

You are right that the auxiliary is merely a TAM carrier, it's a function word without any meaning of its own. It's however completely logical to take it to be the structural head of the "verb phrase" (the whole IP). People often confuse categorial and functional heads. The auxiliary is the head of the IP because we can "observe" this constituent in the ...


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 ...


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