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CONTENTS

Introductory Chapter: General Syntactic Concepts


Sentence /vs/ Clause
Parts of Sentence/Clause
Methods of Syntactic Description

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Chapter 1. The Syntax of the Simple Sentence in


Traditional Grammar

1.1. Parts of Sentence

1. 1 .1. The Subject. Definitions


1.1.1.1. Classification of Subjects
1.1.1.2. Subject Predicate Agreement
1.1.1.3. Concluding Remarks
1.1.1.4. Practical Applications
1.1.2. The Predicate. Definitions
1.1.2.1. Classification of Predicates
1.1.2.2. Practical Applications
1.1.3. The Object. Definition and Classification
1.1.3.1. The Direct Object
1.1.3.2. The Indirect Object
1.1.3.3. The Prepositional Object
1.1.3.4. Practical Applications
1.1.4. The Adverbial Modifier. Definition.
1.1.4.1. Classification of Adverbial Modifiers
1.1.4.2. Practical Applications
1.1.5. The Attribute
1.1.5.1. Practical Applications

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1.2. Sentential / Clausal Word Order and Syntactic Analysis

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1.2.1.Practical Applications

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Chapter 2. The Syntax of the Clause in Structural


Grammar

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2.1. Structural Analytical Techniques

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2.1.1. Test Frames


2.1.2. Immediate-Constituent Analysis

2.2. Refinements to Structural Syntactic Analysis


2.2.1. Word Level. Word Groups
2.2.2. Sentence/Clause Level. Parts of Sentence/Clause
2.2.3. Techniques of Syntactic Analysis

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2.3. Practical Applications

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Chapter 3. The Syntax of the Simple Sentence in


Transformational Grammar

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3.1. Formal criteria for form classes

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3.1.1. The internal structure criterion


3.1.2. The external structure criterion

3.2. Tests for Constituency


3.2.1. Substitution
3.2.2. Permutation

The Syntax of the Simple Sentence

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3.2.3. Coordination
3.2.4. Concluding Remarks

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3.3. The Representation of the Canonical Constituent


Structure of Sentences. The Basics
3.3.1. Phrase-Structure Trees
3.3.2. Phrasal Constituents
3.3.2.1. Noun Phrases. Noun-Phrase Modification
3.3.2.1.1. Determiners
3.3.2.1.2. Quantifiers and Quantifier Phrases
3.3.2.1.3. Adjectives and Adjective Phrases
3.3.2.1.4. Nouns and Noun Phrases
3.3.2.1.5. Adpositions and Adpositional Phrases
3.3.2.1.6. Clause Modifiers
3.3.2.2. Verb Phrases. Verb Complements and
Post-Verbal Elements
3.3.2.2.1. Verb Complements
3.3.2.2.2. Post-Verbal Elements
3.3.2.3. Prepositional Phrases. Structure and
Distribution
3.3.2.3.1. Structure
3.3.2.3.2. Distribution

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3.4. Concluding Remarks


3.5. Practical Applications

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Chapter 4. Final Evaluation Corpora

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REFERENCES

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The Syntax of the Simple Sentence

Introductory Chapter: General Syntactic Concepts

Introductory Chapter: General Syntactic Concepts


Sentence /vs/ Clause
The word-concept syntax comes from the ancient Greek syntaxis meaning
literally arrangement.
Traditionally, it refers to the branch of grammar dealing with the formal
patterns into which the words of a language are arranged in order to show
connections of meaning within the sentence.
In other words, syntax deals with the way sentences are constructed so as to
formulate understandable messages necessary to ensure successful
communication among people
(Chomsky 1986a).
The sentence has been given innumerable definitions according to various
approaches provided by philosophers, linguists, grammarians (Aarts 1997,
Valin et al 1997, Huddleston 2002). In the history of linguistics, at least four
principal types of sentence definition are known: logical, psychological,
structural (or grammatical) and phonetic definitions (Crystal 1995).
Psychological definitions are not typical of English grammar. Logical
definitions predominated in the preceding periods of its development. The
definitions of the structural linguists are based upon grammatical or phonetic
criteria. Transformational grammar refrains from giving a definition of the
sentence on the principle that the whole grammar of a language constitutes a
definition of a sentence (Chomsky 1957, 1965,1995). The definition we
provide for the present course is that the sentence is the basic syntactic unit
upon which a syntactic analysis can be applied irrespective of the approach
envisaged.
The clause is an important unit of analysis, placed between phrase and
sentence. The role of both clause and sentence in syntactic analysis is
viewed in clear- cut terms by various authors. In what follows we present a
tabular form synthesis (Table 1) we have designed using some of the criteria
that Miller 2002 proposes in order to differentiate between the two concepts.
The Sentence
-has a certain type of unity, being
grammatically complete
- has a degree of semantic
independence which enables it to
stand on its own irrespective of
context
- there is no occasional dependency
relation across sentence boundaries
- there are links across sentence
boundaries which are better treated
as binders tying small units together
into a larger piece of coherent text.
- is better treated as a unit of
discourse into which clauses are
grouped
The Syntax of the Simple Sentence

The Clause
- can occur successfully in certain
slots inside sentences
- is recognizable in all types of spoken
and written language
- cannot stand on its own, it depends
upon a certain context
- there are occasional dependency
relations across clause boundaries
and there are dense bundles of
dependencies among the constituents
of clauses
- can display a wide range of syntactic
and semantic subcategorisations, as
part of complex sentences
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Introductory Chapter: General Syntactic Concepts


These characteristic features will be revealed during the presentation of the
syntactic phenomena of coordination and subordination in revising traditional
syntax in a future course.
With reference to language use, we can describe its canonical building chain:
words occur in phrases, phrases occur in clauses, clauses occur in
sentences, emphasizing the canonical definition of sentence as a
grammatical unit built up from smaller units. In counterpart, describing how
sentences combine to make up a discourse or text differs from analyzing the
structure of phrases and clauses (Radford 1988).
Parts of a Sentence/Clause
Traditional grammar has two extremely significant points in its favour: the
first is that it is still a functional, elegant, time-honoured way of teaching
people what they should know about syntax; the second, and more
important, it has given the other grammars the bulk of the terms they use.
Both Structural and Transformational grammars rely heavily on the
nomenclature and terminology from Traditional grammar: parts of speech like
noun, verb, adjective, adverb and parts of sentence like subject (S),
predicate (P), direct object (DO), indirect (IO) and prepositional object (PO),
attribute (A), adverbial modifier (ADV MOD) and so on. Much of the work
done descriptively rather than prescriptively in contemporary grammatical
analysis was couched in Traditional-grammar language by scholars like Otto
Jespersen, W. Nelson Francis, and Henrik Poutsma. To understand any of
the modern grammars, and to understand virtually all discussion about
writing or literature at the level of stylistic analysis, one must have an
understanding of the terminology drawn from Traditional grammar, if not of
the whole system. The basic morpho-syntactic vocabulary is so fundamental
to a discussion of English syntax that a good review of the parts of sentence (
Bantas 1996, Badescu 1984) is needed and that will be done in the first
chapter of the present course.
Structural Grammar focused primarily on the principles elaborated by L.
Bloomfield and based upon the concept of endocentric and exocentric
phrases as sentence elements and the immediate constituents analysis (IC).
The authors of structural grammars developed a system of sentence patterns
employing sentence formulas designating word-classes such as
noun/nominal group (NG), verb(al) group (VG), adverbial group (AdvG), and
prepositional group (PrepG), used in the representation of clause structure
elements such as: Subject, Predicator, Complement, Adjunct (Cole and
Sadock 1977, Scott 1970, Croitoru 2002)
Transformational Grammar introduces phrasal units such as noun phrase
(NP), verb phrase(VP), adjectival phrase (AP), adverbial phrase (AdvP),
prepositional phrase (PP) which are conventionalized symbols standing for
single words labelled as heads, word groups and clauses in the subject and
predicate position. Both phrasal units in respect of their structure and position
correspond exactly to the subject and predicate of traditional grammar, only
the new notation is less explicit, because the function of the NPs within a
verb phrase is not always indicated in functional or relational terms (such as
object, complement, etc.) (Bresnan 1982, Cornilescu 1986, 1995).
Methods of Syntactic Description
Methods of syntactic analysis submit generally to those applied in English
grammars within their development . The first type of grammars in the history
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The Syntax of the Simple Sentence

Introductory Chapter: General Syntactic Concepts


of English grammars are the early prenormative ones, beginning with William
Bullokars Bref Grammar for English (1585).
By the middle of the 18th century, when many of the grammatical phenomena
of English had been described, the early English grammars gave way to a
new kind of grammar, a prescriptive, (normative) grammar, which stated strict
rules of grammatical usage and set up a certain standard of correctness to
be implicitly followed by learners of English.
By the end of the19th century, when the prescriptive grammar had reached its
highest level of development, when the system of traditional grammar had
been established, there became possible the appearance of descriptive and
explanatory grammar. The method of distributional analysis was much
favoured along with that of substitution. The coexistence of both types of
methods in the history of English syntax is still present in contemporary
syntactic approaches.

The Syntax of the Simple Sentence

Chapter 1. The Syntax of the Simple Sentence in Traditional Grammar

Chapter 1. The Syntax of the Simple Sentence


in Traditional Grammar

1.1. Parts of Sentence


1. 1 .1. The Subject. Definitions
The subject is the most complex grammatical function occupying the first
place in the grammatical relationships hierarchy (Keenan 1976, Croft 1991,
Palmer 1994, Dima 2003: 38). It can be defined according to various
approaches but the most common attributed definitions are the following:
- That element in a nexus which names the performer of an action or the first
element of an assertion ( Bryant, 1945 : 155)
- The subject of a sentence has a close general relation to what is being
discussed, the theme of the sentence, with the normal implication that
something new (the predicate) is being said about a subject that has already
been introduced in an earlier sentence (Quirk et al, 1972:34 )
-A term used in the analysis of GRAMMATICAL FUNCTIONS to refer to a
major CONSTITUENT OF SENTENCE or CLAUSE STRUCTURE,
traditionally associated with the doer of an action (Crystal, 1995: 333)
-The main part of the sentence which shows who or what performs the action
of the predicate or to whom or to what a feature expressed by the predicative
is ascribed ( Bantas, 1996: 95)
1.1.1.1. Classification of Subjects
Traditional grammar classifies subjects according to:
A. Structure /form/composition
B. Semantic content
A. According to structure, composition or form, the subject can be
grouped into the following types:
-Simple subjects , expressed by one word, accompanied or not by attributes,
as shown in (1):
(1) a. Mr. Ramsay glared at them.
b. She was troubled in spirit.
c. The children were watching the gorgeous scenery.
c. This pleased Brangwen very much.
d. Nothing mattered to him.
e. Seeing is believing.
f. Ten is the favorite mark for all kids.
g. To leave is to die a little.
We might notice that the range of parts of speech that the simple
subject can be expressed by is quite wide: nouns; personal, demonstrative
and indefinite pronouns; gerunds; numerals; infinitives,etc. We consider it
helpful to have a quick review of the eight parts of speech, as defined within
Traditional grammar and possible candidates to fulfill the role of subject in a
sentence/clause.
1. Noun. A word or word group that names a person, a place, a thing, an
attitude, an idea, a quality, or a condition. Examples: brother, rotunda, chair,
happiness, truth, clairvoyance, solitude.
2. Pronoun. A word that functions as a substitute for a noun. Examples: it,
he, she, we, they, us ourselves, you, this, them.
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Chapter 1. The Syntax of the Simple Sentence in Traditional Grammar


3. Verb. A word or word group that expresses activity, condition, or state of
being. (The verbs function is sometimes called predication, and the main
verb in a sentence is therefore often called the predicate.) Examples: run,
sleep, is, feels, believes, promises, write. A verb phrase (a group of words
acting like a single part of speech) will usually consist of a main verb plus an
auxiliary (helping) verb like have or be: has been going, is walking. A special
subclass of auxiliary verbs is the modals: can, may, must, ought, shall, will.
4. Adjective. A word or word group that modifies limits, defines,
characterizes, or describes - a noun. Examples: slovenly, impressive,
brocaded, sublime, undeniable, stubborn, wracking.
5. Adverb. A word or word group that modifies a verb, or an adjective, or
another adverb. (Adjectives and adverbs together are sometimes called
modifiers.) Examples: run fast, sleep deeply, seldom is, very slovenly,
extremely impressive, delicately brocaded; run extraordinarily fast, sleep
exceptionally deeply, very seldom is.
6. Preposition. A word or word group that signals relationships of space,
time, direction, or association between its object (the object of a preposition
is always a noun) and some other word or word group. Examples: in the
doghouse, after 5:00 P.M., to the lighthouse, with a calendar.
7. Conjunction. A word or word group that connects two or more sentence
components. There are three major subtypes: coordinating conjunctions
(examples: and, but, for, yet, so); subordinating conjunctions (examples:
although, because, if, whether); and correlative conjunctions (examples:
either or, neither... nor, both and, not only but also).
8. Interjection. Any part of the sentence that is syntactically dependent of the
rest of the sentence. Examples: Well! Oh! Goodness sakes!
-Coordinated subjects, expressed by two or more words referring to several
entities / notions joined by coordinating conjunctions or asyndetically, as in
(2):
(2) a. The Dearlys and the dogs thought how very nice their brightly-lit
kitchen looked.
b. Pongo and Missis felt sorry for her white cat.
c. Lucky, Patch, Roly Poly and the other boys struggled along bravely.
The agreement is in number with the predicate.
- Compound subjects, expressed by two or several words but referring to one
and the same entity. In view of that, the ageement with the predicate is in the
singular ( 3):
(3) a. Her dog and pet was too young to be able to bark so loudly.
b. Cruela de Vil and the enemy was preparing for the fight.
- Complex subjects, expressed by heterogeneous elements , belonging
either to the class of nouns or to that of verbs, and giving full meaning to the
sentence as a whole as shown in (4):
(4) a. The excitement of the visit began to pass off.
b. People in the crowd cried shame on him.
c. Something in his self-possessed waiting moved her.
d.The ice on the ponds they passed was thicker and thicker.
e. The windows twinkling in the early morning sunshine looked cheerful
and welcoming.

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Chapter 1. The Syntax of the Simple Sentence in Traditional Grammar


- Double subjects, used to focus on the same notion and usually expressed
by a noun accompanied by a pronoun (5):
(5) a. Viola: Conceal me what I am; and be my aid
For such disguise (I. ii.)
b. Viola: I see you, what you are, you are too proud; (I. v.)
B. According to content English subjects can be classified into:
- Grammatical or formal subjects which are directly connected to the
predicate and allowing concord with it. It is in fact the usual type of subject
which agrees in number and person with the predicate ( see A ).
- Logical or real subject, which points to the real doer / performer of the
action. This directional involvement is indicated by the use of such English
constructions as passive constructions and introductory constructions, as
synthesized in Bantas (1996:98-101) and illustrated in (6):
(6) a. The newspaper was brought early this morning by the postman.
b. The window has been broken. We have to replace it(unknown agent)
c. Here comes Doris.
d. It is nice seeing you again at the Opera House.
e. It is John who has made the tart.
- Impersonal subjects are used to denote time , weather, distance, natural
phenomena, state of things, etc.(7):
(7) a. It was a beautiful September evening, windless, very peaceful.
b.It was a bone, the Sheepdog saw with pleasure.
c. It was almost dark now.
d. It was their first really deep sleep since the loss of the puppies.
1.1.1.2. Subject Predicate Agreement
The agreement in number with the verb/predicate is one of the criterion of
identifying the subject (Dima, 2003). A synthesis of traditional subject-verb
agreement rules is presented in Celce-Murcia and Larsen-Freeman ( 1999:
72-74) and here we present part of them:
1. Noncountable noun subjects take a singular verb:
(8) a. (The marmelade / Cecilys) advice is good.
2. Collective noun subjects take singular verbs, but if the group is viewed as
individual members, use a plural verb:
(9) a. The jury has decided upon the winner.
b. The jury have been arguing about the winner.
3. Subject nouns that are derived from adjectives and describe people take
plural verbs:
(10) The poor are more altruistic than the rich.
4. Some proper noun subjects ending in s such as names of diseases,
courses, places, book and film titles and the word news, take singular verbs:
(11) a. Physics is a very interesting topic.
b. Measles has side effects sometimes.
c. Wales is famous for its music festivals.
d. The news was spread quickly.
e. The Avengers was one of the best 80s serials.
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5. Plural subject nouns of distance, time, and money signaling one unit take
a singular verb:
(12) a. Eight hundred miles is too far to drive even by the most powerful car.
b. Ten hours is too tiresome for everybody to navigate.
c. Fifty dollars is not that much.
6. Clausal subjects are singular even if the nouns referred to are plural:
(13) a. What they need is more feelings.
7. With fractions, percentages, and the quantifiers all (of), a lot of, lots of,
verb agreement depends on the noun coming after these phrases:
(14) a. A lot of the paper is about doing research in the tundra fauna.
b. A lot of houses need redecoration.
c. All the staff (takes /take) a rewarding break.
8. With a number of as subject use a plural verb:
(15) a. A number of birds are leaving in autumn.
9. With the number of as subject use a singular verb:
(16) a. The number of pupils taking good marks is 15 in this class.
10. With none, either or neither as subjects, use a singular verb:
(17) a. None of the old buildings has been renovated.
b. Either is reliable to me.
c. Neither is too good for her.
11. With correlative subjects eitheror or neither nor, the verb agrees with
the closest subject:
(18) a. Either you or your kids are to be present.
1.1.1.3. Concluding Remarks
The criteria used to identify subjects at this level of analysis are: agreement
in number with the verb; never being preceded by a preposition; occurring in
the by phrase in the passive; reference to entities that exist independently of
the action or state denoted by the main verb.
The theoretical considerations delineated in this chapter will prove helpful in
the future analyses
of the structure of the simple sentence in English.
1.1.1.4. Practical Applications
1.Analyze the subjects from the point of view of structure/composition or form
in the following
sentences. Give a detailed analysis of the parts of speech they are
expressed by.
a. Waymarshs face had shown his friend an attention apparently so remote
that the latter was slightly surprised.
b. The mention to his companion of the sacrifice was moreover exactly what
introduced his recital.
c. The little waxed salle a manger was sallow and sociable.
d. The evidence as yet in truth was meager.
e. His silence was one of angry frustration.
f. They were such strangers.
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g. The head cows, Blossom and Clover, were waiting to welcome them.
h. The bad little boy and nephew was only bad because he had never
known dogs.
i. I wish I could come with you.
j. His heart it will get broken some day.
2. Analyze the subjects from the point of view of semantic content as
revealed in the contexts below.
a. It will need tremendous organization.
b. Its now nearly ten oclock.
c. It was Cruella de Vil.
d. Suddenly there was a thunder of thumps on the front door.
e. It was partly rage.
f. There was no mistaking that horseshoe of spots on his back.
g. The bread and butter were taken back to the haystack by the old woman.
h. The teapot was filled by Sir Charles.
i. There in came Doris!
j. Shut up! Here speaks Michael!
3. Give emphasize to the messages below by using the italicized words and
expressions:
Model: I saw him in the street only last week.
It was only last week that I saw him in the street.
a. I want to talk to your sister.
b. She got lost later in the morning.
c. Susan is looking for her puppy.
d. We met them at the airport.
e. The young man made a fool of himself on her account.
f. I like to meet my family on Sundays.
g. The little girl was sad because she had lost her doll.
h. Love makes the world go round.
i. Not all that glitters is gold.
j. A friend in need is a friend indeed.
4. Fill in with the correct verb form:
a. Neither you nor your friends (allow) to come to the party uninvited.
b. A number of magazines (publish) the news.
c. A lot of seagulls (fly) to the shore in search of food.
d. The number of skaters who had fallen on the ice (increase).
e. Mathematics (start) with numbers counting.
f. The committee (vote) against the law promulgation.
g. None of the citys parks (be) attractive.
h. Either (support) my requests.
i. Doris and her friends (prepare) a school festival.
j. Good news (be) awaiting for you.
1.1.2. The Predicate. Definitions
Predicate definitions are given in direct relationship with the subject since
they are the most important parts of sentence:
- Most sentences of more than one word consist of two nuclei, one indicating
the person or thing about whom a statement is made (or a question asked),
the other containing the statement or the question asked. The word (or
words) indicating the person or thing referred to is (are) called the subject of
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the sentence; that (those) containing the statement (or the question) the
predicate (Zandvoort, 1948: 211)
- A term in the analysis of GRAMMATICAL FUNCTIONS, to refer to a major
CONSTITUENT of SENTENCE structure, traditionally associated with a twopart analysis in which all obligatory constituents other than the SUBJECT are
considered together (Crystal, 1995: 273).
- The simplest traditional definition of the predicate is provided by Bantas:
The predicate is that principal part of the sentence which ascribes an action,
a state or a quality to the subject. (1996: 121).
For a better understanding of the relationships existing between the subject
and the other parts of the sentence it is compulsory to discuss predicates
taking into account the concept of predication which requires both a syntactic
and semantic treatment of the English verbs. Thus, we can consider verbs of
complete predication, having a meaning of their own, and verbs of
incomplete predication which require other words to fulfill their meaning. This
grouping has led to the following classification of predicates in traditional
English syntax.
1.1.2.1. Classification of Predicates.
The classification of predicates in English combines the structural criterion
with the content one due to the semantic and syntactic overlapping
mentioned above.
A. Verbal Predicates, which are quite diversified in nature due to the way
they form predication.
They can be subdivided into various classes:
- Simple Verbal Predicates, expressed by verbs in a finite/ personal mood,
used in a certain tense, either simple or compound as shown in (1)
(1) a. Dolphins live in family groups called herds.
b. Wolf spiders hunt during the day.
c. She ran onto the road.
d. Perdita was picking up more and more human words.
e. Missis had collapsed.
f. I will tear Cruella de Vil in pieces.
g. Theyre playing in the garden now.
- Phraseological predicates, consist of structurally indivisible phrases and
can be replaced by a verb:
(2) a. The Browns have dinner in the garden every evening. (eat, serve)
b. The child got a bath in the river. (bathe)
c. They have had a refreshing walk in the woods. (walk)
d. Susan had a terrible cry after hearing the thunder. (cry)
e. The little puppy had a long drink from a white pottery bowl. (drink)
- Compound verbal predicates show both the way the action is performed
and its relation to time.
They are subclassified into compound modal verbal predicates, including a
modal verb, and compound aspect verbal predicates, including an aspectual
verb, such as one of the following classes: ingressive or inceptive, e.g. begin,
start; egressive or terminative, e.g. stop, cease, finish; continuative or
durative, e.g. continue, go on, keep on; frequentative, iterative, or repetitive,
e. g. would, used to.
(3) a. We must travel across the country to find them.
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b. You should manage to do it in due time.
c. But no human ear could have heard the cheers.
d. Id rather walk than take a taxi.
e. The rain started to pour in showers.
f. The chairman of the committee finished reading the report.
g. There used to be a stately nut-tree in backyard.
h. Go on reading! said the little girl to her Grandma.
B. Nominal Predicates show the state or quality ascribed to the subject by
the action performed by the verb. The nominal predicate is made up of a
copula or link verb and a predicative.
Copula verbs contribute formal information regarding the aspect, tense,
person and number, voice while the predicative provides the verb with
meaning.
Since this piece of information will be necessary for the development of our
next chapters, we find it necessary to revise classes of copula verbs and the
parts of speech the predicative is denoted by.
The most common English copular verbs are:
1. Verbs of being: be, stand, feel
(4) a. And she was very, very frightened.
b. Juliet felt extremely sad.
c. The lake stood still.
2. Verbs of seeming and appearing: seem, appear, look
(5) a. They seemed surprised at the news.
b. The sky appeared dark and cloudy.
c. The lady looked awful in her petticoat.
3. Verbs of becoming: become, get, grow, turn, fall, run, prove
(6) a. She has become a famous lion tamer.
b. The weather is getting warmer.
c. The tree is growing bigger and bigger.
d. Grandpas hair has turned out grey.
e. After a good running the boy has fallen asleep.
f. The Danube runs icy in cold winters.
g. The hypothesis proved true.
The predicative can most commonly be expressed by: nouns, pronouns,
gerunds, numerals, infinitives, predicative clauses:
(7) a. She was a darling to everybody.
b. Its me. Dont bother!
c. His favourite pastime is reading adventure books.
d. They were seven in the group.
e. Johns quality is to understand others.
f. The truth is that you are too proud.
The aspects concerning the types of predicate in traditional grammar will be
enlarged upon while having practical applications.
1.1.2.2. Practical Applications
1. Analyze the types of predicates in the following sentences:
a. Pongo remembered everything.
b. Missis was looking down into the area.
c. These plants are meat-eaters.
d. A house fly makes a buzzing sound.
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e. Silk is produced by most moth caterpillars.
f. He suddenly gave a squeal of laughter.
g. He appeared to be holding it out to them.
h. Then his heart gave a glad leap.
i. There was still a faint glow from the sunset.
j. Water was already boiling in a silver kettle over a spirit lamp.
2. Fill in with a word which should function as a predicative:
a. She isto come back.
b. They ranafter the contest.
c. Her daughter has become to traveling abroad.
d. His parents are growingand
e. The leaves of the trees turnin autumn.
f. My uncles pigs are getting
g. Miranda looksHas she eaten something bad?
h. The sky seems today.
i. Parents are alwaystheir children.
j. Ducks growin winter.
3. Rephrase using a get form:
Model: She burned the cake. The cake got burned.
a. A storm damaged the house. The house
b. He broke his leg while jumping. His leg
c. The fire cracked the entrance. The entrance
d. Bad news upset everybody. Everybody
e. Marlene tore her skirt on a chair. Marlenes skirt
4. Analyse the types of predicates in the fragment below paying attention to
the agreement with the subjects:
Can you see them?said the old gentleman, putting his hand on the
Spaniels head. If you can, dont be frightened. They wont hurt you. Youd
have liked them. Lets see, they must have died
fifty years before you were born- more than that. They were the first dogs I
ever knew. I used to ask my mother to stop the carriage and let them get
inside I couldnt bear to see them running behind. So, in the end, they just
became house dogs.
1.1.3. The Object. Definition and Classification.
The object is the secondary part of the sentence which completes the
meaning of a verb, an adjective or a noun. We can speak about three types
of objects : direct objects, indirect objects and prepositional objects.
1.1.3.1. The Direct Object comes second within the hierarchy of
grammatical relationships after the subject. The notional definition used in
traditional grammar refers to the entity( person, thing, abstaction) that
receives the action of a transitive verb. Transitivity is relative with some verbs
which can be either transitive or intransitive ( asking or not for an object)
depending upon the context (1):
(1) a. Jolyon reads every afternoon.(intransitive)
a Jolyon reads a book every month. (transitive)
b. Mary sings so often in the bath.(intransitive)
b Mary sings country songs at the festival.(transitive)
c. Do you want to take pictures? No, just, watch.(intransitive)
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Chapter 1. The Syntax of the Simple Sentence in Traditional Grammar


c Im watching the movie right now.
The definitional feature of transitive verbs is that they take direct objects ,
being expressed by the same parts of speech as the subjects: nouns,
pronouns, substantivized adjectives or past participles, numerals, infinitives,
gerunds, clauses:
(2) a. He then outlined his plans.
b. They wont hurt you.
c. Pongo instantly decided he would learn to manage bolts.
d. She saw ten, but there were many more.
e. I like shopping during week-ends.
f. I hate to clean the house all the time.
g. We should help the poor.
The classification of direct objects also includes the criteria of
composition/structure and content.
A. According to structure direct objects can be:
- Simple, expressed by a single word, possibly determined and modified by
attributes , the same as the subject.
(3) a. But the cat followed them all the way to their house.
b. I shall always remember this happy walk.
c. She was wearing a tight fitting emerald satin dress.
d. I worship furs.
- Coordinated , expressed by two or several nouns or noun-equivalents, in
the accusative case:
(4) a. Mrs Dearly took Pongo and Missis across the park.
b. They had splendid heads, fine shoulders, strong legs and straight tails.
- Compound, rendered by two or several nouns referring to only one entity.
(5) a. I have always liked my balcony and garden. (the balcony is like a
garden to me)
b. I have met your mother and friend.( mother is like a friend).
- Double, expressed by the direct object proper and the indirect object in the
reversed order:
(6) a. They asked me a lot of questions.
b. The public offered them flowers.
- Complex, rendered through constructions made up of two inseparable parts
( the object proper, and another part which completes its meaning):
(7) a. Not until weve found some dogs to help us.
b. You shall not let that cruel, thoughtless child put such a sin on your
conscience.
c. He saw the bowl empty.
d. They have made money a passion.
Sentences (7) a. and b. introduce the accusative plus infinitive constructions
which are given a detailed analysis in Bantas(1996:135-141).
B. According to Content, direct objects are grouped into:
- Significant, bearing meaning upon the usual type of direct object.
(8) a. Then Missis found her voice.
b. They heard the Great Dane again.
- Impersonal, which bears no meaning, being rather expressed by the formal
it.
(9) a. Suffice it to say everything about the incident.
- Cognate, accompanying verbs which are normally intransitive , such as:
sleep, live, smile, laugh; they are labelled cognate because the nouns they
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are expressed by are related to the verb in meaning and, generally in
etymology.
(10) a. They lived a life of duty and honour.
b. The baby slept a sound sleep.
c. She dreamed an unforgettable dream.
1.1.3.2. The Indirect Object shows the entity whom the action of the verb
affects indirectly.
It is almost always used together with the direct object. It is canonically built
up using the preposition to as a mark of the dative but it can be used without
any preposition especially when it precedes the direct object.
(11) a. They gave the flowers to Doris at the party.
b. The postman delivered the letters to the butler.
c. She sent me the parcel.
d. The officer reported the general the incident.
There are verbs which obligatorily ask for the preposition to : announce ,
attribute, contribute, dedicate, describe, explain, indicate, introduce, listen,
point, propose, report, talk, suggest,etc.
(12) a. The officer reported the incident to the general.
b. They described the journey to their kids.
c. He explained the problem to his son.
For a minute analysis of the indirect object use of prepostions you should
consult Bantas, 1996:142-146.
1.1.3.3. The Prepositional Object is particularly discussed in English
grammars in connection with verbs with obligatory preposition or that
contextually require the use of prepositions. Its main purpose is to complete
the meaning of a verb, a noun, an adjective, etc. It is again Bantas 1996 who
has provided a classification of prepositional objects into those of agent,
instrument, means, association, relation. With reference to its position in the
sentence, it generally occupies final place, following the direct object and the
indirect object :
(13) a. The houses were pulled down by the earthquake.
b. The actors were cheered by the audience.
c. He opened the door with an old key.
d. They travelled to Paris by train.
e. Joanna went to the movie with her friends.
f. Im against coffee but in favour of some tea.
1.1.3.4. Practical Applications
1. Identify the direct objects and specify the parts of speech they are
expressed by in the following sentences:
a. We went to see the latest news film yesterday.
b. The clerk finished the report.
c. Everybody says he is a good writer.
d. I was going to get it from the library.
e. As a matter of fact he scored seven out of ten.
2. Rephrase by changing the order of direct and indirect object where
allowed:
a. Mary told Doris everything.
b. He will give the book to anyone who asks for it.
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c. His aunt left a large fortune to all her nieces and nephews.
d. The host oferred drinks to all the guests in the room.
e. The guide showed the cathedral to us all.
3. Supply the missing prepositions for, with, against as parts of prepositional
objects.
a. I dont agree you when yoou say that.
b. You can even insureloss of income.
c. I would like to exchange my old car a new one.
d. Rubber solution is used sticking patches on tyres.
e. I should be satisfied half of the sum.
1.1.4. The Adverbial Modifier. Definition.
The adverbial modifier is that secondary part of the sentence which modifies
or renders more precise a verb, an adjective or another adverb. It is
morphologically denoted by the adverb in all its categories.
1.1.4.1. Classification of Adverbial Modifiers.
Accordingly, we may speak about adverbial modifiers of: time, place,
manner, attending circumstances, comparison, comparison and concession,
concession proper, purpose, condition, cause/reason, result / consequence.
The majority of them may be subcategorized still from a semantic point of
view.
-Time:
(14) a. Ive been serching for you for years.
b. The water in the pond froze last night.
c. I have always liked watching the birds fly high up in the sky.
d. They danced until the sun rose.
- Place:
e. She has moved in the countryside.
f. He will go to the cinema after his training courses.
g. Grandpa is working in the garden.
-Manner:
h. She sings beautifully.
i. He went to his office in a hurry.
j. Jeremy behaves rudely to everybody.
-Comparison:
k. The sky is as clear as crystal.
l. Midge is not so intelligent as Fanny.
- Concession:
m. Though he was tired, he kept on working.
- Purpose:
n. She works a lot in order to get her salary increased.
- Condition:
o. I would buy a villa if I had money.
- Cause:
p. The flight was postponed because of the thick fog.
- Result/Consequence:
r. It was too much for her to leave her native town.
q. He broke fallit as a result of his negligence.
1.1.4.2. Practical Applications
1. Read the sample texts a, b, c ; identify the adverbial modifiers and classify
them according to the types illustrated above.
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a. But the chipmunk slept all day and did not get up and have breakfast until
after dark. Then he came out for a breath of air before beginning work on a
new design.The shrike swooped down to snatch up the chipmunk, but could
not see very well on account of the dark, so he batted his head against an
alder branch and was killed
b. I wrote only one story a day, usually consisting of fewer than a thousand
words. Most of the reporters , when they went out on assignments , first had
to get on their foot in the door , but the portals of the fantastic and the unique
are always left open.
c. I sometimes think, he said, that you and I have become a bit pampered.
Well, pampering does good dogs no harm, provided they dont come to
depend on it. If they do, they become old before their time.
1.1.5. The Attribute
The attribute has been defined as that secondary part of the sentence which
determines or modifies any nominal part of the sentence starting with the
subject, the predicative, the direct, indirect or prepositional object ( Bantas,
1996: 165). The typical attribute in English and other languages is the
adjective and its subcategories. The other parts of speech that can function
syntactically as attributes are: nouns, pronouns, infinitives, numerals,
adverbs,etc.
(15) a. Her name is Mary.
b. The student camp is full of girls.
c. His desire to help us melt our hearts.
d. The sleeping pups awoke in alarm.
e. The largest kittens in the yard looked older.
f. The bedroom upstairs looked down into the garden.
g. She liked him from he very first moment.
h. Todays newspapers speak about inflation.
Interesting observations have been made concerning the place of the
attribute. So it can be front or post positioned vis-a -vis the modified word.
Therefore in the literature adjectives are divided into being used either
attributively or predicatively.
(16) a. The lonely shepherd murmurs a chant every evening.
a* The shepherd murmurs lonely a chant.
b. She is alone at home.
b * She alone is at home.
1.1.5.1. Practical Applications
1.Analyse the attributes in the following texts and specify the parts of speech
they are expressed by:
a. Finally the cops put their shoulders to our big heavy front door with its
thick beveled glass and broke it in: I could hear a rending of wood and a
splash of glass on the floor of the hall.
b. Once upon a sunny morning a man who sat in a breakfast nook looked
up from his scrambled eggs to see a white unicorn with a gold horn quietly
cropping the roses in the garden. .
c. Owing to the artificially complex life led by city dogs of present day, they
tend to lose the simpler systems of intuition which once guided all breeds,
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and frequently lapse into what comes very close to mental perplexity. I myself
have known some very profoundly thoughtful dogs.
Notes and Suggested Readings
A very comprehensive analysis of the parts of sentence from a traditional
point of view is to be found in Badescu 1984, Bantas 1996, if we are to quote
two of the most used books in teaching English as a second language in
Romania, following the prescriptive method. Another recommended author is
Swan 1989 who focuses on the learners acquisition of English starting from
the rules and pinpointing the exceptions.
1.2. Sentential / Clausal Word Order and Syntactic Analysis.
English is a fixed word order language meaning that sentences are built
according to restrictive relational rules among the parts of sentence so as to
produce meaningful junks of language. With this we introduce the concept of
syntactic linkage which, according to Miller 2002 subsumes the traditional
concepts of agreement and government. In an active declarative sentence,
the subject is immediately followed by the predicate , followed by the object
and so on : Since the vast majority of the worlds languages display basic
orders in which the subject precedes the object, such ordering is seen to be
typollogically unmarked[] The communicative strategy adopted by the
dominant subject-before-object languages is viewed as addresee-oriented
because the speaker , having some or newsworthy information to deliver ,
places the addressees need for clarity and distinctiveness above his own
need to divulge the message( Siewierska 2005: 372-373)
Therefore, the traditional word order, allowing a linear syntactic analysis, fits
into the following pattern:
(17)
S P DO/IO PO ADV.MOD.
Since language has a living form, there are naturally exceptions to the rules
either with regard to the presence of all the parts in a sentence or their
positional occurrence. Consider examples under:
(18) a. They/ were talking/ about the fishing industry.
S
P
IO/PO
b. Mr. Tansley/ raised/ a hammer.
S
P
DO
c. He/ wanted/ it/ urgently.
S
P
DO Advof manner
d. She/ had been reading/ in his room.
S
P
Adv of place
e. Lily Briscoe/ watched/ her drifting/ into that strange nomans land.
S
P
DO
Adv of place
f. She/ was/ now/ beginning/ to feel/ annoyed/ with them/ for being so
late.
S P Adv
P
DO
Adv of
PO
Adv of cause
of time
manner
Rules of inversion to English word order have been largely discussed in the
literature with reference to pragmatic highlighting in communication theories.
It is mostly for reasons of giving certain emphasis to some parts of the
sentence that the canonical word order is reversed. In what follows we shall
specify some of the most common cases:
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- The indirect object comes before the direct object when we want to
emphasize it for any reason:
(19) a.Give the ball to your brother not to John.
- We can place the Adv of manner immediately after the subject when we
want to emphasize how an action is performed:
(20) a. Hardly had she finished the washing when the phone rang.
b. Little does he realize how selfish he is.
- If there is a verb of movement , the Adv of place occurs immediately after
the verb to complete its meaning:
(21) a. We walked to the theatre in a hurry last night.
1.2.1.Practical Applications:
1. Put the adverbials in their correct order after the verb:
a. She spoke ( with deliberation, clearly).
b. Take the second door ( downstairs, on the right, in the hall).
c. Put the jug( carefully, on the table).
d.They are going to leave( on Thursday, by plane)
e. I said good-bye to them ( yesterday, at the station, regretfully).
2. Rephrase, so that the adverb in italics comes at the beginning of the
sentence:
a. I have never in my life seen such a sight as this.
b. You could nowhere find find such a better friend.
c. They didnt speak a word.
d. The cat didnt give a miaw.
e. She seldom goes out in the evening .
3. Analyse the word order in the text below:
Then indeed peace had come. Messages of peace breathed from the sea
to the shore. Never to break its sleep any more,[] as Lily Briscoe laid her
head on the pillow in the clean still room.
Through the open window the voice of the beauty of the world came
murmuring[]
The sigh of all the seas breaking in measure round the isles soothed them;
the night wrapped them; nothing broke their sleep.

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Chapter 2. The Syntax of the Clause in Structural Grammar

Chapter 2. The Syntax of the Clause in


Structural Grammar

Structural grammar is quite different from Traditional grammar. Instead of


focusing on the individual word and its notional meaning or its part-of-speech
function in the sentence, Structural grammar focuses on clusters of
structures sounds, forms, word groups, phrases working from smaller to
larger units. Structural grammar does not ignore semantic meaning but it
tends to emphasize syntactic over semantic meaning. That is, Structural
grammar analyzes the meaning carried by the syntactic patterns that words
make with each other, patterns like those formed by modifier-noun, modifierverb or modifier-adjective connections, subject-predicate connections, and so
on.
Besides the general emphasis on morphology and syntax, Structural
grammar developed two particular useful analytical techniques: test frames
and immediate-constituent analysis. Test frames especially have been helpful
in teaching grammar in the schools.
2.1. Structural Analytical Techniques.
2.1.1.Test Frames
These are blanks in simple sentences that may be filled in with any
example of a particular class of word, such as a noun or an adjective. For
instance, noun test frames customarily set up any or all of three types of
sentence structures:
(1) a. The ______ cries. (The or A[n] ________ verb.)
b. He was driving his ______ rapidly. (Subject, predicate, the or a[n],
____ adverb.)
c. Put it on that ____. ([Subject], predicate, preposition, [modifier]
_____.)
Each version illustrates a different position, and therefore a different
function in the sentence which a noun can fulfill. The first blank calls for a
subject, the second for a direct object, and the third for a prepositional object.
A test-frame exercise demonstrates two important points about
English syntax. The first, of course, is that speakers of English know what
goes where; they are competent in the use of the language. Even very small
children can put the right kind of words into the blanks, words like clown,
horse, or table, or any other common noun. Speakers may not know that it is
nouns they are inserting that is, they may not know the language of
grammatical analysis or concepts but they know what belongs in the noun
slots.
The second point is that the English language is quite regular in its
anticipating of nouns. This phenomenon is accomplished in two ways: firstly,
by position in the order of words in the sentence (the subject-noun, for
instance, nearly always comes at the beginning of the sentence), and
secondly, by use of function words called determiners, words like the, a, this,
those, or my. Determiners will only work with noun test frames, but other
kinds of function words can help identify verbs: these are the auxiliaries, or
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helping verb forms be and have, and the modal verb forms like may, will, or
can.
2.1.2. Immediate-Constituent Analysis
This technique, usually referred to as IC analysis, is the Structural
grammars version of Traditional syntactic diagrammatic representations.
Sentences are constructed from groups of words, often paired, rather than
from single words added one onto the next. These groups of words in turn
cluster with other groups, layer upon layer of word pairs and pair groups,
which eventually build up a sentence. We can begin the IC analysis at the
word level and work way up to the sentence, or we can begin with the
sentence and work back to the word level as shown below:
(2). a. /Black streams of people flowed eastward to escape the flood/.
b. /Black streams of people// flowed eastward to escape the flood/.
c. /Black streams of people// flowed eastward// to escape the flood./
d. /Black/ streams of people// flowed/ eastward// to escape the flood./
e. /Black/ streams/ of people// flowed/ eastward// to escape/ the flood./
f. /Black /streams /of/ people/ flowed/ eastward/ to/ escape/ the/ flood/.
IC analysis demonstrates two important points about English syntax. The first
reinforces what we already knew from using test frames: English syntax is
highly positional in structure English is a word-order language and words
placed next to each other are usually semantically connected. The second
point is that groups of words in English do indeed function as single units of
syntax. In our sentences, the word group /Black streams of people/ is the
subject, /flowed eastward to escape the flood/is the predicate, at large.
Remarks
Although these methods are considerably more objective and consistent
than the traditional grammar ones, they do not provide complete answers to
some major theoretical questions or with many exceptions and
contradictions, inherent in the language, which trouble students and teachers
at a practical level of grammatical analysis. Test frames will reveal some
parts of speech/sentence but cannot comment in detail on structural methods
in a sentence: coordination, subordination, and so on. Although IC analysis
can identify some structural behaviour without recourse to a speakers innate
knowledge of the language, nevertheless, intuition, guesswork, and reliance
on semantic meaning inevitably are called into play at some point.
2.2. Refinements to Structural Syntactic Analysis.
The key words introduced in this chapter are molded upon the methods
presented in subchapter 2.1. and have as main purpose to make sentence
analysis more precise to the students.
The concepts that will be used are: a. at word level: group-G, head-H,
modifier-M, qualifier-Q, b.at sentence level: subject-S, predicator-P,
complement-C and adjunct-A.
2.2.1. Word Level. Word Groups.
The concept of group in syntax has been created around the occurrence of
an obligatory word, called head, expressed by one of the following parts of
speech: nouns, verbs, adverbs, prepositions. So, in other words, the group
exists if there is a head: [] certain relationships hold between words
whereby one word, the head, controls the other words, the modifiers.(Miller
2002:70) We can thus define Noun Group NG, Verb Group-VG, Adverbial
Group-AdvG and Prepositional Group-pG. They can be simple, made up of
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Chapter 2. The Syntax of the Clause in Structural Grammar


the head only, and complex, containing some other words besides the head,
labeled: modifiers, which precede the head and qualifiers, which come after
the head. Their function is to determine or modify the head by conveying
extra information, sometimes narrowing down the head meaning. Another
main idea is that Modification is crucial to discussions of word order in
different languages( Miller 2002: 80).
-The Noun Group is the richest in determination since nominality is one of the
most pertaining characteristic feature of the English written texts. The head
noun is the controller permitting some words or excluding others. Simple
NGs contain only nouns, e.g. bird . Complex NGs can have the following
structural matrices: MH; MMH; MHQ; HQ; MMHQ, etc.
(3) a. that bird
M H
b. land in view
H
Q
c. that beautiful singing bird
M
M
M
H
d. that secretary bird with yellow wings
M
M
H
Q
e. five birds sitting on the branch
M H
Q
Analysing the examples in (3.), we can notice the variety of combinations that
the structure of the NG reveals as a result of the modifier typology.
~Modifiers expressed by articles, indefinite and possessive adjectives,
genitives are labeled modifier determiners-MD, e.g. the house
~Modifiers expressed by adjectives of all types are labeled modifier epithetsME, e.g. nice dress
~Modifiers expressed by nouns are labeled modifier nominators-MN, e.g. toy
factory
~Modifiers expressed by numerals are labeled modifier ordinators-MO, e.g.
ten clowns
Qualifiers follow the head and may be denoted by words, groups or clauses:
e.g. everybody here (adverb); girls with flowers ( pG=p+NG); men who forget
( relative clause).
-The Verb Group has as controller /head a verb and follows the same
patterning as the NG: MH; MMH; MHQ; HQ; MMHQ, etc.
There are thus two kinds of VGs: simple and complex. In the simple VG, the
one verb is obligatorily the head, and in the complex VG, the main verb is the
head, and when there are compound verb forms the auxiliaries are Ms. Lack
of typology distinguishes among modifiers within the VG , all being simply
labeled Ms. Qualifiers in VGs standing for particles closely linked to the verb
should not be confused with prepositions introducing pGs.
(4) a. Read.
H
b. She is reading.
M H
c. They have been reading.
M M
H
d. The engine broke down.
H
Q
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- The Adverbial Group is controlled by the adverb and can have the pattern :
H; MH; HQ. It can also be simple and complex ()
(5) a. Run quickly.
H
b. They speak English quite fluently.
M
H
c. They came often enough.
H
Q
2.2.2. Sentence/Clause Level. Parts of Sentence/Clause.
The main parts of the sentence/clause that we use in the present version of
structural grammar are: Subject-S, Predicator-P, Complement-C and AdjunctA.
~ Subjects are represented by NG items; they precede the predicator and
agree in number with the predicator items; they occupy clause initially:
(6) Mary sings beautifully.
S
~ Predicators are represented by VGs; they follow S and are in number
concord with the latter; it might precede complement and adjunct if there is
one:
(7) Dan won the competition.
S
P
~ Complements are usually represented by NGs ; they immediately follow
the predicator and have no concord with it; they might not always be present.
There are two types of Cs: extensive-CE and intensive-CI .
CEs are represented by NGs having the function of the traditional direct and
indirect objects; they immediately follow predicators represented by transitive
verbs:
(8) a. Laurel bought the jewel .
S
P
CE
b. They gave her flowers.
S
P CE1 CE2
CIs are represented by NGs having the function of the traditional predicative
element in a traditional nominal predicate; they are always in concord with
the Subject. CIs are also called subject complements since they refer and
modify the S.
(9) a. The little pony is cute.
S
P CI
b. She has become a famous actress.
S
P
CI
There is another category of CI, corresponding to object complements which
are linked to direct and indirect objects, i.e. CE in our case.
(10) a. The committee elected him president.
S
P
CE
CI
~Adjuncts can be represented by AdvGs, pGs or NGs, depending upon the
context of situation. They are optional clause elements . They roughly
correspond to the traditional adverbial modifier.
(11) a. They married in secret.
S
P
A
b. Jack and Jill went up the hill.
S
P
A
c. I saw them yesterday.
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Chapter 2. The Syntax of the Clause in Structural Grammar


S P CE
A
d. They act wonderfully.
S P
A
The description of the structure of these two levels will contribute to the
analysis of the clause in the following subchapter.
2.2.3. Techniques of Syntactic Analysis
The technique used to analyse clauses at this level is that of tree
diagramming. It will be apllied to some samples that we shall provide to
illustrate the seven basic clause patterns that Scott 1970 proposed:
1 Pattern I : S P
a. The owl sang.
S
P
S
S

MD
The

NG

VG

owl

sang

2. Pattern II: S P A
a. The dancers seem in a good shape.
S
P
A
S
S

NG
MD

VG
H

PG
H

NG

MD
ME

The

dancers

seem

in

good shape
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b. The new chairs are outside.
S
P
A
S
S

NG

MD
The

ME
new

H
chairs

VG

AdvG

are

outside

3. Pattern III: S P CE
a. Leslie wore a pink pyjamas.
S
P
CE
S
S

NG

CE

VG

NG

Leslie

wore

MD

ME

pink

pyjamas

4. Pattern IV: S P CI:


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a. He looked sad.
S
P
CI
S
S

NG
H

CI

VG

NG

He

looked

sad

5. Pattern V: S P CE CI
a. She made him her slave.
S
P
CE CI
S

CE

CI

NG

VG

NG

NG

She

made

MD
him

H
her

slave

6. Pattern VI: S P CE1 CE2


a. The professor handed them the papers.
S
P
CE1
CE2
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S

NG

VG

NG

MD

The

professor

CE1

handed

CE2

NG
MD

them

the

papers

7. Pattern VII : S P CE A
a. Kim put the bag on the table.
S P
CE
A
S

CE

NG

VG

NG

pG

MD

pG

NG
MD
H
Kim

put

the

bag

on

the

table

2.3. Practical Applications


1. Analyse the NGs in the following sentences:
a. Mr. Bankes expected her to answer.
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b. A bit of a hypocrite?, he suggested.
c. The world by all means should have shared it.
d. The vegetable salts are lost.
2. Analyse the NGs in the following sentences:
a. She could have wept.
b. She shut doors.
c. He had come across his former friend in the street.
d. The sun is shining.
3.Analyse the AdvGs in the following sentences:
a. They appeared on the terrace.
b. For she had triumphed again.
c. They drew ahead together.
d. She crouched low down.
4. Analyse the following sentences into S, P,C, A . Draw the tree diagrams.
Not all elements might be represented.
a. Nancy had gone with them.
b. Mr. Ramsay felt free now to laugh out loud at Hume.
c. She folded the green shawl about her shoulders.
d. There was a ladder against the greenhouse.
e. He was irritable and touchy.
f. He could do nothing to help her.
g.The insincerity slipping in among the truths annoyed her.
h. His eyes glazed with emotion met theirs.
i. She had laid her head on Mrs. Ramsays lap.
j. Mr. Bankes tapped the canvas with the bone handle.

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CHAPTER 3. The Syntax of the Simple Sentence in


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3.1. Formal criteria for form classes
The constituent structure of a sentence is concerned with the way the
words are grouped, words which we call constituents, and with their
hierarchical organization. In order to analyze the constituent structure of
sentences, it is necessary to break them down into their various constituents
and establish the form classes found in them and also to develop rules which
will specify the constituent structure of sentences. The following provisional
constituent structure can be formulated for the sentence:
(1) a. Poirot transferred his gaze to the companion.
a. [S[NP[NPoirot]][VPtransferred][NPhis[Ngaze]] [PP[Pto]
[NPthe[Ncompanion]]PP]VP]S]
Breaking sentences down into their constituents is known as parsing,
while the specification of their structure involves the formulation of phrasestructure rules.
The determination of constituents ( Gazdar 1982, Cornilescu 1986,
1995, Serban 1986) is based on formal criteria devised for form classes since
the terms constituent and form class are closely related notions. In other
words, lexical classes such as noun, verb, adjective, etc. and the phrases
they head can be considered form classes or constituents depending upon
the analytic task at hand.
Two formal criteria for form classes have been proposed:
3.1.1. The internal structure criterion is paradigmatic in nature, that is
within particular types of form classes, certain types of elements may replace
each other but not other types. For instance, a pronoun can replace the
elements in an NP, but not in a PP, VP or AdjP.
(2) a. Shan Tung was on the lead.
a'. [NP Shan Tung] [VP was on the lead].
a'' [S[NP[NIt]] [VP[Vwas] [PP[Pon] [NPthe[Nlead]]PP]VP]S]
It replaces Shan Tung within [NP Shan Tung]
no pronoun can replace the elements in [PPon the lead]
b. Lady Hoggin said acidly.
b'. [NP Lady Hoggin] [VP said acidly].
b'' [S[NP[N She]] [VP[Vsaid][AdvP acidly]]VP]S].
She replaces Lady Hoggin within [NP Lady Hoggin]
no pronoun can replace the elements within [ VP said acidly]
c. Pekinese are sensitive.
c'. [NP Pekinese] [VP are sensitive].
c''. [S[NP[N They]] [VP[Vare][AdjP sensitive]]VP]S].
They replaces Pekinese within [NP Pekinese]
no pronoun can replace the elements within VP, respectively [ AdjP
sensitive]

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3.1.2. The external structure criterion is syntagmatic in nature, that is
each type of form class has a unique set of possibilities for co-occurring with
other elements in morphosyntactic environments. For instance, an AdjP can
co-occur with a noun inside an NP or with a copula verb within a VP but not
with an adposition in a PP. An NP, on the other hand, can occur in all three of
these grammatical contexts.
(3) a. Your poor mother was soaked.
a'. [NP Your poor mother] [VP was soaked].
a''1. [NP[DetYour] [AdjP[Adjpoor]] [N mother]NP]
the [AdjPpoor] co-occurs with the noun mother within [NP Your poor
mother]
a''2. [VP[Vwas]] [AdjP[Adj soaked]]VP]
the [AdjP soaked] co-occurs with the copula verb of being was within [VP
was soaked]
Remark: The phrase-structure rules of a grammar based on constituent
(phrase) structure must specify the way in which the form classes in the
respective language (L-language) may combine. A useful distinction may be
drawn between lexical form classes and phrasal form classes. Lexical form
classes are the lexical categories of noun, verb, adjective, adposition.
Phrasal form classes are constituents like noun phrase (NP), verb phrase
(VP), prepositional phrase (PP), etc.
3.2. Tests for Constituency
In order to perform syntactic analyses it is necessary to have a set of
tests which will allow the analyst to uncover the constituent structure of
sentences of the language being studied.
There are three tests for constituency that can be used: substitution,
permutation and coordination.
3.2.1. Substitution entails that only a constituent can be replaced by another
element, usually a pro-form, i.e. a pronoun for nouns, a pro-V for VPs, or a
pro-PP for a PP. In (4.b)-(4.e) possible substitutions in a sentence like the
one in (4.a) are given:
(4) a. The new maid put the tiny thing in her pocket.
b. She put the tiny thing in her pocket. she replacing the new maid .
c. The new maid put it in her pocket. it replacing the tiny thing
d. The new maid put it there. there replacing in her pocket.
d. The new maid put it in there. there replacing her pocket
e. The new maid did. did replacing put the tiny thing in her pocket
In (4.b) (4.d) an NP has been replaced by the appropriate pronoun
she in (b) and it in (c) and (d). The pronoun replaces the whole NP, not just
the N; this can be seen in the impossibility of *the new she or *the tiny it.
There can be a pro-PP, replacing a PP, as in (d), or it can be a
pronoun, substituting for an NP when it is the object of a locative preposition,
as in (d'). When there functions pronominally, it must replace the whole NP
and not just the N, as the ungrammaticality of *in her there clearly shows.
In (4.e) did functions as a pro-VP and replaces the entire VP. It is a
pro-VP and not a pro-verb, because it cannot replace the verb alone, as the
impossibility of *The new maid did the tiny thing the her pocket shows.
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3.2.2. Permutation entails that a constituent may occur in different positions
in a sentence while retaining its structural unity. This can be seen in the
alternative forms of (4.a) exemplified in (4.1), (4.2), (4.3).
(4.1) a. In her pocket, the new maid put the tiny thing.
b. ? Her pocket the new maid put the tiny thing in.
c. *In, the new maid put the tiny thing her pocket.
In (4.1.a) the PP in her pocket occurs at the beginning of the
sentence; the preposition alone cannot occur at the beginning of the
sentence as in (4.1.c). This is evidence that PP is a constituent.
(4.2) a. The tiny thing the new maid put in her pocket.
b. *The tiny the new maid put thing in her pocket.
c. *Tiny thing the new maid put the in her pocket.
d. *Thing the new maid put the tiny in her pocket.
In the examples (4.2) the NP following the verb, the tiny thing, appears
in initial position, and again this is only possible if the entire NP occurs
initially; it is not possible to have just the head noun or the head noun plus
one but not all of its modifiers in initial position with its (other) modifiers
occurring later in the clause, as in (4.2.c) and (4.2.d), nor is it possible for the
modifiers to occur initially with the head noun later in the clause, as in (4.2.b).
(4.3) a. The new maid wanted to put the tiny thing in her pocket, and put the
tiny thing in her pocket she did.
b. *The new maid wanted to put the tiny thing in her pocket, and put
she did the tiny thing in her pocket.
c.? The new maid wanted to put the tiny thing in her pocket, and put the
tiny thing she did in her pocket.
The sentences in (4.3) involve VP-preposing (also known as Vfronting), and the verb alone cannot occur in initial position, as (4.3.b) shows.
Interestingly, the verb plus the direct object NP seem to form a possible
constituent, as (4.3.c) shows.
Thus in all of the different permutations in (4.1)-(4.3), it is whole
constituents that change function or position in every instance, and they are
for the most part the same constituents that were identified by the
substitution test in (4).
3.2.3. Coordination entails that only constituents may be linked, usually by
a coordinate conjunction, to form a coordinate structure:
(5). a. in the box and under the book
[PP PP and PP]
b. on the desk and the table
P [NP NP and NP]
c. on and under the bed
[[P P and P] NP]
d. *on the and under a table
d. *on the big and under a large chair
(6) a. the merry girls and the sad boys [NP[NPART ADJ N]
and
[NP[NPART ADJ N]]
b. the merry girls and boys
ART ADJ [N N and N]
c. *the merry and the sad boys
(7) a. She read the papers at home and wrote the letter at the office.
[VP[VPV NP PP] and [VPV NP
PP]]
b. She can read and write the letter [VP[VV and V] NP
c. *She read the and wrote the letter.
In the examples (5) (7) the whole phrase forms a coordinate PP, NP
or VP in the (a) sentences and the heads form coordinate Ps, Ns and Vs in
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the (c) sentences. In the (b) example in (5) coordinate NPs form a coordinate
object of the preposition.
All of the ungrammatical examples involve conjoining a sequence of
words which is less than a full constituent, i.e. a preposition and NP modifier
in (5.d) and (5.d), an article plus adjective in (6.c) and a verb plus an NP
modifier in (7.c).
3.2.4. Concluding Remarks: A group of words must pass at least one of the
tests presented so far in order to be considered a constituent. These tests
can be used to diagnose instances of structural ambiguity. Consider the
ambiguous sentence in (8.a):
(8) a. Crook decided on the plane.
b. On the plane, Crook decided.
c. The plane was decided on by Crook.
The problem here is to decide whether on the plane is a constituent or
not. The sentence in (8.a) can have either of two meanings, depending upon
whether on is analyzed as part of the prepositional verb decide on, which
means choose, or is a preposition heading a prepositional phrase, in this
case on the plane. The two readings are: Crook made the decision while on
the plane (on as head of PP) and Crook chose the train (decide on as
prepositional verb). The ambiguity can be resolved by the permutation test. If
the PP appears at the beginning of the sentence, as in (8.b), then only the
PP reading is possible. Since only constituents can be preposed in this way,
on must form a constituent with the plane, and therefore the prepositionalverb reading is ruled out.
If the sentence is passivized as in (8.c), then on and the plane are not
part of the same constituent but decide and on are, and therefore only the
prepositional-verb meaning is possible.
3.3. The Representation of the Canonical Constituent Structure of
Sentences. The Basics
The canonical constituent structure of a sentence can be represented
by using either labelled bracketings (see examples (1)-(8) ) or tree diagrams
(also known as phrase-structure tree, constituent-structure trees , immediate
constituent diagrams).
The essential features of a phrase-structure tree are depicted in
Figure 1 and described in 3.3.1.
PP

VP

NP
DET

into

the

N
tunnel

V
sing

Figure 1. Aspects of a phrase-structure tree

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3.3.1. Phrase-Structure Trees
Figure 1 shows the representation of the PP into the tunnel and the
VP sing. The description of any phrase-structure tree will have to take into
consideration the following necessary component elements:
(i) Nodes. A node represents a position in a phrase-structure tree from which
one or more branches emanate.
The nodes in Figure 1 are PP, P, NP, DET, N, VP, V.
(ii) Branches. A branch is simply the line connecting the nodes.
(iii) Relations among nodes. Dominance Relations. Immediate Dominance
Relations
There are important dominance relations among nodes. Depending
upon the source and direction of the dominance relation there can be
distinguished the following types of nodes:
a. Mother Nodes. A node X is the mother of a node Y if X immediately
dominates Y.
b. Daughter Nodes. A node Y is the daughter of a node X if Y is immediately
dominated by X.
Mother Nodes always immediately dominate daughter nodes. That is a
case of immediate dominance relation. Within an immediate dominance
relation mother nodes dominate their daughter nodes and there are no
intervening nodes between them. In Figure 1 PP into the tunnel immediately
dominates P into and NP the tunnel. This means that PP into the tunnel is the
mother node and P into and NP the tunnel are daughter nodes. In addition,
the P into node is the head daughter.
Similarly, NP the tunnel immediately dominates DET the and N tunnel,
and this entails that NP the tunnel is the mother and DET the and N tunnel
are daughters of NP the tunnel. The N tunnel node is the head daughter of
the NP the tunnel.
If a node is immediately dominated by another node, for example NP
and P by PP or DET and N by NP, then the daughters are immediate
constituents of the mothers. In Figure 1, DET the and N tunnel are immediate
constituents of NP the tunnel; NP the tunnel and P into are immediate
constituents of PP into the tunnel and V sing is an immediate constituent of
VP sing.
Branches may connect mothers and daughters only, and every
daughter can have only one mother.
A mother node plus its daughter node(s) constitutes a local subtree.
c. Sister Nodes. Two nodes X and Y are sisters if they share the same
mother node in a phrase-structure tree.
In Figure 1, P into and NP the tunnel are sister nodes since they share
the same mother node, PP into the tunnel; DET the and N tunnel are sister
nodes since they share the same mother node, NP the tunnel. P into and
either DET the or N tunnel are not sisters, because they do not have the
same mother node.
d. Branching Nodes / vs / Non-Branching Nodes
Branching nodes ensure the linear connections in a phrase-structure
tree. They have more than one daughter.
In Figure 1, both PP into the tunnel and NP the tunnel are branching
nodes since each has two daughters.
Non-branching nodes have only one daughter. In Figure one VP sing
is a non-branching node.
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e. Non-Terminal Nodes. Non-terminal nodes are nodes which dominate
other nodes.
f. Pre-Terminal Nodes. Pre-terminal nodes cannot dominate any further
syntactic elements and normally dominate the ultimate constituents in the
phrase-structure tree.
g. Terminal Nodes. Terminal nodes are the ultimate constituents in the
phrase-structure tree. In Figure 1 into, the, tunnel are the ultimate
constituents of PP into the tunnel and sing is the ultimate constituent of the
VP sing.
h. More on Terminal and Non-Terminal Nodes
Terminal nodes are, as suggested above, filled by lexical categories.
Non-terminal nodes, on the other hand, are syntactic, not lexical, hence the
categories that occur in them are syntactic categories, not lexical categories.
There is, of course, a fundamental relationship between terminal
nodes and non-terminal nodes; the normal situation is for the lexical item in
the terminal node to be of the lexical category corresponding to the syntactic
category of the preterminal node. For instance, if the preterminal node is V,
then a lexical item of the lexical category verb can occur as its terminal
node.
The four major syntactic categories correspond to the four major
lexical categories: noun, verb, adjective and adposition. Since noun and verb
are the most important and only universal categories, they are used as the
basis for defining other categories.
Typically, two syntactic features [ N] and [ V] are posited, and the
combinations of these two features define the four major categories:
noun = [+ N, - V ]
verb = [ - N, + V]
adjective = [+ N, + V]
adposition = [ - N, - V]
The idea behind the feature definitions of categories is to capture
cross-categorial generalizations.
3.3.1.1. The constituent structure of (4.a) under section 2.1 can now be
represented in the phrase-structure tree in Figure 2:
(4) a. The new maid put the tiny thing in her pocket.
S
NP1
DET

VP

Adj

NP2
DET

Adj

PP
N

NP3

DET

the
N

new

maid

put

the

tiny

thing in

her pocket
Figure 2. Phrase-structure tree for (4.a)
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It is now clear what being a constituent means formally. In terms of a
phrase-structure tree like the one in Figure 2 a group of words is a
constituent if there is a single node in the tree which uniquely and completely
dominates them.
The sequence the new maid is a constituent because the three words
are uniquely and completely dominated by node NP 1.
Similarly, the tiny thing and her pocket are constituents, because each
sequence is uniquely and exhaustively dominated by a single node, NP 2 for
the tiny thing and NP3 for her pocket.
In plus her pocket form a constituent, because the PP node uniquely
and completely dominates them.
Put plus the tiny thing plus in her pocket make up a constituent for the
same reason: there is a single node, VP, which uniquely and exhaustively
dominates them.
The sentence, as a whole, meets this condition, as there is a simple
node (S) which exhaustively and uniquely dominates the whole sentence.
There is no node uniquely and completely dominating the sequences
maid put, put the, thing in, or in her, and accordingly, these sequences are
not constituents.
Each of the constituents represented in the tree in Figure 2 emerged
from the results of the three tests for constituency presented in (2.1 2.3).
3.3.1.2. The structurally ambiguous sentence in (8.a) would have the two
immediate constituent representations in Figure 3:
(8.a) Crook decided on the plane.
S
NP
N

S
VP

NP
NP

VP
V

PP
P

DET

NP
DET

the

Crook decided on
plane

the

plane

Crook

decided

on

Figure 3. Phrase-structure trees for the two readings of (8.a)


The left-tree represents the prepositional-verb interpretation: decide
on is a transitive verb and the plane is its direct object. The right tree depicts
the PP reading: decide is an intransitive verb, and the PP on the plane is an
adjunct locative modifier. The sequence on the plane is a constituent only in
the right tree, not in the left, while the sequence decide on is a constituent
only in the left tree not in the right.
3.3.2. Phrasal Constituents
3.3.2.1. Noun Phrases. Noun-Phrase Modification.

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Noun Phrases (NPs) are traditionally thought of as consisting
minimally of a head noun, together with any number of NP modifiers ( Abney
1987).
Typical NP modifiers in English are: determiners (DET/Det/D); quantifier
(Q) and quantifier phrases (QP); adjectives (Adj) and adjective phrases
(AdjP); nouns (N) and noun phrases (NP); adpositions (prepositions P) and
adpositional/ prepositional phrases (PP) and clauses (CP).
3.3.2.1.1. Determiners
Determiners form a closed class of functional words which have the
general property of not themselves permitting modification. The class of
determiners includes: articles (a, an, the); personal determiners (my, his,
her); demonstratives (this, that, etc.); interrogative determiners (which/what);
exclamatory determiners (What a fool!); quality determiners (Such a fool !).
NP

NP

DET

DET

house

my

N
toy

a)
b)
3.3.2.1.2. Quantifiers and Quantifier Phrases
Quantifiers (Q) have the general function of indicating the quantity of
elements referred to by the NP. Unlike determiners, they permit various kinds
of modification and therefore have their own phrasal structure. Typical
quantifiers in English are: all, both, half, every, each, any, either, some,
much, enough, several, many, few, little, neither, together with the cardinal
numerals one, two, three, etc.
NP
NP
Q

much

noise

five

a)

balls
b)

With the modification of the quantifier, it is possible to form quantifier


phrases: virtually all the houses, not nearly enough houses, almost two
houses.
NP
QP
DET
almost
38

N
Q
two

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3.3.2.1.3. Adjectives and Adjective Phrases
Adjectives and adjective phrases (AdjP) are NP modifiers par excellence.
Here we include: general adjectives; ordinal numerals such as first and
second; related adjectives such as next and last; adjectives such as same
and other; the whole class of quantifiers.
(i) Adjectives in English are generally positioned between determiners and
the head noun, for example, that first brave try, a large red apple.
NP
DET
a

Adj

Adj

large

N
red

apple

Obs.: While there is a certain natural ordering relationships between


the adjectives themselves, orders which deviate from this ordering are
typically possible: that brave first try, a red large apple.
(ii) AdjPs in English may be formed by pre-modification of the adjective by
adverbs, or post-modification by PPs and clauses, e.g. very proud; proud of
his success; proud that he has won so easily.
NP
DET

AdjP
DET

NP

very

Adj

PP

Adj

proud man

proud

of his success

a)
b)
The type of modification has an influence on the order of noun head and
adjective-phrase modifier within the noun phrase. Only pre-modified adjective
phrases pattern with single adjectives in occurring before the head noun: a
very proud man.
Post-modified adjective phrases must occur after the head: a man
proud of his achievements, a man proud that he has won so easily.
NP
Adj

Conj
that

S
NP
N

proud
The Syntax of the Simple Sentence

he

VP
Aux MV
AdvP
Perf
DET Adv
s
en

win so

easily
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Chapter 3. The Syntax of the Simple Sentence in


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3.3.2.1.4. Nouns and Noun Phrases
Nouns themselves may act as noun-phrase pre-modifiers, e.g. a
rubber factory.
The item rubber is a noun rather than an adjective because it can itself
be modified by an adjective a corrugated rubber factory. Adjectives
themselves do not permit modification by adjectives, so there is no
alternative but to consider rubber as a noun. Noun-phrase modifiers of this
type cannot contain determiners, although they may contain quantifiers: a
party committee, a two-party committee, etc.
NP
NP
NP
DET

NP

DET

N
Q

rubber factory
a two-party committee
a)
b)
3.3.2.1.5. Adpositions and Adpositional Phrases
Adpositions are prepositions or postpositions, typically taking NP
complements.
(i) Postpositional phrases are a common form of NP postmodifiers in English:
the cat on the roof, a house without a roof. Some prepositions can occur
alone as postmodifiers: the room underneath.
NP
NP
DET

PP
P

DET

DET

the

NP

cat on

the
a)

roof

the room underneath


b)

(ii) Prepositional phrases in English with the genitive postposition s are


premodifiers with a variety of functions including: the possessor function, e.g.
the kings crown which induces the so-called definiteness effect: the unique
crown belonging to the king; the subject function, e.g. the kings decree that
windows should be taxed; the object function, e.g. the kings execution; the
descriptive function, e.g. a womans hall of residence.
NP
NP
DET PP
N
DET
PP
NP
N
PP
the kings
residence

40

execution

the

womans

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Descriptive genitive phrases are compatible with all the determiners
and typically occur close to the head noun, after any adjective phrases: a
very pleasant womens hall of residence.
3.3.2.1.6. Clause Modifiers
Clause modifiers can be divided into two major types: relative clauses
and complement clauses.
(i) Relative Clauses. Examples of relative clauses:
a) the Eskimos, who live in igloos
b) the Eskimos who live in igloos
b') the Eskimos that live in igloos
c) the Eskimos who(m) you met
c') the Eskimos that you met
c'') the Eskimos you met
The relative clause in (a) is non-restrictive in that it provides
additional information about the referents of a NP whose identity has already
been established.
The relative clause in (b) and (c) are restrictive, in that the
information contained serves to restrict the intended referents to those who
satisfy the condition expressed in the relative clause.
Remark:
Non-restrictive relative clauses in English always begin with a whphrasecontaining a wh-word like who or which.
Restrictive clauses may, however, begin with a wh-phrase, or the
subordinating conjunction that or zero (symbolized by ). , however,
is not permitted when the position relativized [the position in the
relative clause which requests the role played by the intended
referents] is the subject position as in (b) rather then the object
position in (c).
(ii) Complement Clauses
Complement clauses, unlike relative clauses, do not contain a position
relativized. Rather the clause requests the propositional content of a thought
or utterance expressed by abstract nouns like belief, statement, rumour, etc.,
e.g. the belief that linguistics is easy, the rumour that the prime minister
would resign.
Conclusion
There is considerable evidence that the structure of noun phrases in
English is configurational that it can be described by a hierarchical
constituent structure:
NP
Q
all D
those Q
five A
pleasant PP
S
womens
prospectus

which are described in the university


N

PP

halls
of residence
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3.3.2.2. Verb Phrases. Verb Complements and Post-Verbal Elements
Central to the syntax of a particular verb are its complements, units
associated with that particular verb rather than with verbs in general. Verbs
may have complements from a variety of word classes, which may be
straightforward or idiomatic in their meaning. Where there is more than one
complement, they are usually restricted as to their order of appearance; and
particular consideration of combinations of a noun pharse complement with
an infinitive clause complement leads to extra distinctions being made.
Syntactic units known as verb phrase (VP) and V bar (V') may be
identified which contain the verb and other elements.
3.3.2.2.1.Verb Complements
A verb complements are those dependents it has by virtue of being the
particular verb it is, while its other dependents may be associated with any
verb subject to making sense. Obligatory complements are a useful
diagnostic for discovering what types of complement there are, but not many
complements are obligatory: compare the differing effects of omitting the NP
complement in:
e.g. (1) a. Tim used.
b. Tim watched.
c. Tim read.
The complement of use cannot be omitted, that of watch only when it
is clear from the context what is watched, that of read quite freely.
Verb complements may be of several categories:
(i) NPs:
e.g. Tim killed [NP the fly].
Verbs where this is the sole complement form the core of the
traditional class of transitive verbs, and where there is only one NP
complement it is traditionally known as the direct object. Such use of the
verb admits passivization:
e.g. The fly was killed by Tim.
(ii) AdjPs:
Tim remained [AdjP very calm].
Observation:
With a large subset of such verbs as remain, a NP is also possible:
e.g. Tim remained [NP a fool].
This type of NP complement is obviously very different in semantic
force from the direct object of verbs which do not take an AdjP and forms a
separate class from it. In Tim hates the fool there are two participants, Tim
and the fool, whereas in Tim became a fool, there is only one, Tim, about
which the NP complement adds information.
(iii) PPs:
e.g. a. The program resides [PP in the main computer memory].
b. The Browns dont belong [PP in the house]. transitive
preposition
c. The Browns dont belong [PP inside]. intransitive preposition
(iv) AdvPs:
e.g. The refugees fared [AdvP dismally].
(v) Clausal Complements:
e.g. a. Tim arranged [CC that a bus would be there].
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b. Tim arranged [CC for a bus to be there].
c. Tim arranged [CC to be there].
d. Tim has inquired [CC how much the journey costs].
3.3.2.2.2.Post-Verbal Elements
The most important other class of postverbal element is the modifiers,
such as deadjectival adverbs, many PPs, infinitives of purpose, etc. Ordering
among postverbal elements is rather complex. It is perhaps best seen as an
interaction between a partially ordered sequence of complements and an
ordered sequence of modifiers, where the two may interleave. The ordering
of complements is basically a matter of word class. Thus two PPs or an AdvP
and a PP are unordered:
(i)
e.g. a. We compete [PP with several establishments] [PP for thist
trade].
b. We compete [PP for this trade] [PP with several
establishments].
c. They went [PP about this job] [AdvP very watchfully].
d. They went [AdvP very watchfully] [PP about this job].
(ii) A clause is always the last complement:
e.g. Tim signalled [to Dan] [CC to follow].
(iii) Some modifiers may fairly freely interrupt the complement sequence or
precede it:
e.g. a.We compete [PP for this trade] vigorously [PP with several
establishments].
b. We rely every day [PP on this computer].
c. I said to break the silence [CC that I have seen Tim recently].
(iv) Almost nothing may precede the NP complement or complements,
whether complement or modifier, unless that NP is heavy (i.e. long or
complex in TG constituent)
e.g. I deprived of food [NP every mouse in the control group].
(v) If there are any complements apart from NPs, the single-word PP must
precede one of them:
e.g. a. They send the letters [PP out] [PP from the headquarters].
b.They send the letters [PP from headquarters] [PP out] [PP to the
customers].
3.3.2.3. Prepositional Phrases. Structure and Distribution
3.3.2.3.1. Structure
(i) Theoretical and empirical considerations have led various linguists to
acknowledge that prepositions can take as their complement not only an NP
but also a PP and a clause or no complement at all ().
e.g. a. Dick was in [NP the house] that day.
b. Dick has been living here since [PP before the war].
c. Dick has been living here since [S the war ended].
d. Dick was in () that day.
This approach is, in fact, characteristic of traditional grammar much
of which is enshrined in the major contemporary reference works on English
grammar, Quirk, et al. (1985) and its derivatives.
According to this approach, items like since and before are only
prepositions when take as a complement an NP or a PP, but they are
subordinators (i.e. subordinating conjunctions or complementizers) when
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combined with a clause, and prepositional adverbs when standing alone.
Clearly, Quirk, et al. are ready to admit that prepositions can combine not
only with NPs but also with PPs.
Some members of the traditional category of subordinator or
subordinating conjunction (roughly corresponding to complementizer in
generative grammar) have also been reanalysed as prepositions. First it
has been noted that the intensifier right can be associated with clausal
constructions introduced by before, since, etc., for example:
e.g. He spoke right after the music stopped.
Since right is a prepositional specifier elsewhere, in this context it is
regarded as modifying a PP. Hence, before, after, etc. are prepositions when
introducing a clause. Accordingly P-P-NP strings like since before the war
(example 2) are instances of a preposition taking a PP as its complement.
The next example shows that in the more plausible cases of the P-PP
structure, coordination of PP complements of a preposition is possible.
e.g. The troops advanced from [beside the river] and [within the
forest].
(ii) Another observation to be made about prepositional complementation
concerns the so-called absolute PPs, phrases containing subject predicate
sequences as in with the window open and without a hat on your head.
These have been analysed either as involving two separate complements of
the preposition or just one a small clause.
Van Riemsdijk (1978: ch.3) is an advocate of the former analysis. For
him, an absolute PP like with the window open has the following structure:
PP
P
with

NP
the window

AP
open

For others (Hoekstra 1984) the subject and the predicate form a single
clausal complement of the preposition.

PP
P
NP
with

? S/NP/AP/any P
AP

the window

open
The question mark in place of a category label for the constituent at
issue marks the fact that there is no agreement as to the category status of
this constituent: it could be an S, a bar S', or an AP (or any other phrasal
category), depending on the category of the predicate of the small clause:
e.g. a. with all our students [NP hostages]
b. without the baby [VP demanding attention]
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The discussion here highlights the fact that prepositions are generally
heads of phrases, prepositional phrases, and that these show the
characteristics of major phrasal categories.
(iii) There are a number of situations in which prepositions are not heads of
phrases. One, summarized in Radford (1988: 2) has to do with prepositions
in the so-called verb-particle alternations such as:
e.g.

a. He put off the customers.


b. He put the customers off.

A variety of syntactic tests point to the conclusion that where the


intransitive preposition (traditionally referred to as particle) and the verb are
not adjacent, the preposition is the head of a PP.
However, when the intransitive preposition is adjacent to the verb, it
constitutes part of a complex verb. The following illustrates the two
structures:
a. He [VP put off the customers.]
b. He [VP put the
customers off. ]
S

NP

VP
V

NP
NP

VP
V

NP

PP
N

Det

Det

P
He
customers off.

put

off

the customers.

He

put

the

3.3.2.3.2. Distribution
There are a wide range of positions in a sentence in which PPs can
appear. Most commonly, they appear as complements, adjuncts and
predicates.
(i) PPs as complements:
- of nouns
e.g. Adam remembers [NP their argument about the photographs].
- of verbs
e.g. Anna [VP decided on Bangor].
- of adjectives
e.g. They were [AP surprised at the suggestion].
- of prepositions
e.g. The baby crawled [PP from inside the box].
(ii) PPs as adjuncts:
- as NP adjuncts:
e.g. Adam remembers [NP their argument before supper.]
- as VP adjuncts:
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e.g. Anna [VP decided during a walk.]
- as AdjP adjuncts:
e.g. They were [AdjP pleased with themselves in many ways.]
- as PP adjuncts:
e.g. This book is [PP up to date in every way.]
(iii) PP functioning as predicates:
e.g. a. She is in trouble.
b. The lecture was on Monday.
c. I want this sailor off the ship.
While in examples (a) and (b) the relation between the subject and the
predicate appears to be mediated by a form of the verb be in example (c),
there is no verb to relate the subject, this sailor, and the predicate, off the
ship.
This type of construction is often referred to as a small clause
although (as was indicated in connection with absolute with/out phrases)
there is an ongoing debate as to whether or not such verbless subjectpredicate sequences form a constituent.
(iv) PP as subjects and objects:
e.g. a. Between six and seven suits her fine. (Subject)
b. Across the road appeared to be swarming with bees. (Subject)
c. The compaigners planned until Christmas in detail. (Object)
d. The new tenants are reclaiming behind the garage. (Object)
Conclusion
In conclusion, one can say that prepositions are similar to verbs to
some extent in their complementation properties and hence, that structures
of PPs and VPs are similar.
In their distribution, however, PPs are quite different from VPs and
more like other phrasal categories.
3.4. Concluding Remarks
In this chapter, constituent structure perspective has been introduced.
Tests for constituency, substitution, permutation and coordination, have been
put to work in order to identify constituents. Labelled bracketing and phrasestructure trees have been used in order to represent the constituent structure
of sentences. The organization and the essential features of a phrasestructure tree have been illustrated. Brief theoretical considerations
concerning the structure of the main phrasal constituents have been
provided. Phrase-structure rules have also been touched upon.
3.5. Practical Applications
1. Use the constituency tests from [section 1.2] to show that the italicized
elements in (1) are constituents and that the ones in (2) are not.
(1)
a. Cynthia wrote a new poem yesterday.
b. Cluny placed the watch carefully on the table.
c. The old couple amused the children.
d. Betty tried to escape from the island.
e. That the stock market kept going up surprised everyone.
(2)
46

a. Cynthia wrote a new poem yesterday.


b. Cluny placed the watch carefully on the table.
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c. The old couple amused the children.
d. Betty tried to escape from the island.
e. That the stock market kept going up suprised everyone.
2. Draw up phrase-structure trees for the following sentences [section 1.3].
Comment upon the structure of the constituents.
a. He passed the paper to Lomas.
b. The bluntness of a friend in pain is never hurtful.
c. Her vigorous blood has healed the wounds at once.
d. The woman kept her hand on the door.
e. The deep mountain valleys of blue-green water rolled between.
Notes and Suggested Readings
For discussion of phrase-structure see Chomsky (1957, 1965), Gazdar
(1982), Radford (1988), Cornilescu (1986, 1995), erban (1986), Croitoru
(2002), Miller (2002).

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Chapter 4. Final Evaluation Corpora

Chapter 4. Final Evaluation Corpora

1. Analyse the clauses in the text below in terms of traditional syntax. Identify
cases of exceptions to word order.
Elliot Vereker was always coming into and going out of my life. He was the
only man who ever continuously stimulated me to the brink of a nervous
breakdown. Vereker was a writer ;he was gaunt and emaciated from sitting
up all night talking; he wore an admiral s hat which he had stolen from an
admiral. Usually he carried with him an old Gladstone bag filled with burnedout electric-light bulbs which it was his pleasure to throw, unexpectedly,
against the sides of houses and the walls of the rooms.
2. Analyse the sentences in the text below in terms of structural grammar.
Draw the diagramming trees.
The morning of the ninth of April ,1865, dawned beautifully. General Meade
was up with the first streaks of crimson in the eastern sky. The day continued
beautiful. It drew on toward eleven oclock. General Grant was still not up. He
was asleep in his famous old navy hammock, swung high above the floor of
his headquarters bedroom. Headquarters was distressingly disarranged:
papers were strewn on the floor; confidential notes from spies scurried here
and there in the breeze from an open window; the dregs of an overturned
bottle of wine flowed pinkly across an important military map.
3. Analyse in terms of transformational syntax and represent the constituency
structure of the sentences in the text below:
She turned the page; there were only a few lines, to finish the story. It was
getting late. The light in the garden told her that; and the whitening of the
flowers and something grey in the leaves conspired together to rouse in her a
feeling of anxiety. Paul and Minta and Andrew had not come back. She
summoned before her again the little group on the terrace in front of the hall
door, standing looking up into the sky.

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