Syntax I Checklist
Grammar Formalisms
Spring Term 2004
Background
• Facts about English that are typically covered in
a first course (or maybe second course) on
syntactic theory.
• By people who were teaching generative
linguistics in the 1970’s
• More effective if taught as a course on problem
solving and argumentation:
– For each new piece of data, the students update the
current set of grammar rules.
– Spend class time evaluating alternative solutions.
Parts of Speech
• Categories of words:
– Open class: you can make up new words in
these categories
• Noun, verb, adjective, adverb
– Closed class: you can’t make up new words in
these categories
• Quantifier, determiner, preposition
Parts of speech are defined by:
1. Distribution:
– Determiners can go here:
•
•
•
•
•
He wrote ___ other works.
He wrote the/all/these/no/few/many other works.
*He wrote despair/be/have other works.
*He wrote student other works.
?He wrote successful other works.
Parts of speech are defined by:
2. Morphology
Base
Participle
Past
Present
Gerund
mow
mown
mowed
mows
mowing
prove
proven
proved
proves proving
go
gone
went
goes
going
meet
met
met
meets
meeting
cut
cut
cut
cuts
cutting
Parts of speech are defined by:
3. Other criteria that are:
– Falsifiable
– Reproducible
Parts of speech are not defined by
squishy semantic notions
• Definition: noun denote entities
• Counter-example: assassination is a noun that denotes
an event
• Reply: no, it denotes the idea of the event, which is an
entity
• How do you tell the difference between an event and the
idea of an event?
• Without precise definitions, this theory cannot be
disproved.
• (In language technologies, imprecise definitions lead to
poor intercoder reliability, which leads to poor training,
etc.)
Non-lexical categories
•
•
•
•
•
Noun Phrase (NP)
Verb Phrase (VP)
Prepositional Phrase (PP)
Adjective Phrase (AP)
Also defined by distribution, morphology,
and other falsifiable, reproducible tests.
Constituent Structure
S
Tree 1
VP
PP
NP
NP
N
V
P
Sam climbed
Det
up
the ladder.
S
Tree 2
VP
NP
N
NP
V
V
Sam picked
P
up
N
Det
N
the ladder.
Tree Terminology
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Mother
Daughter
Sister
Dominate
Immediately Dominate
Node (branching or non-branching)
Branch
Terminal Node/Leaf Node
Phrasal Nodes (non-terminal)
Lexical Nodes (pre-terminal)
Constituent
• A constituent is a string of words such that
there is one node that dominates those
words and no other words.
The coordination test for
constituency
• Sam climbed [up the ladder] and [out the
window].
• *Sam picked [up a ladder] and [out some
new boots].
Movement as a test for
constituency
• A constituent might appear in different
positions in a sentence, but stay in one
piece.
• There are different movement rules that
affect different constituents (NP, PP, AP,
VP).
Transformational Grammar and
Movement Rules
S
NP
S
Meaning preserving
tree-to-tree mapping
NP
VP
VP
The chocolate V
The kids V
ate
NP
PP
was eaten by the kids
the chocolate
Surface Structure
Deep Structure
Movement is a useful metaphor
at this stage in the course
• Sam climbed up a ladder.
• Up a ladder Sam climbed up a
ladder.
• Sam likes chocolate.
• It is chocolate that Sam likes
chocolate.
Another movement rule
(and an explanation of methodology)
• Identify a meaning preserving movement rule
and illustrate it with a non-controversial example:
– He ran into the room.
– It was into the room that he ran.
• Apply the movement rule to the controversial
examples that you want to test.
–
–
–
–
He climbed up a ladder.
It was up a ladder that he climbed. passes the test
He picked up a ladder.
*It was up a ladder that he picked. fails the test
Be sure that you are testing the right
thing
• Are these sentences relevant in showing Tree 1
and Tree 2 have different structures?
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
It was a ladder that Sam climbed up.
It was a ladder that Sam picked up.
Sam climbed up a ladder and a wall.
Sam picked up a ladder and a rope.
?*A ladder was climbed up by Sam.
A ladder was picked up by Sam.
A ladder he climbed up.
A ladder he picked up.
Non-Constituent Coordination
(Syntax II)
• John found the letter and Bill signed the
letter.
• John found the letter and Bill signed the
letter.
S
NP
John
VP
V
NP
Det N
found
the letter
Right Node Raising:
If you conjoin two strings of words that
have identical final constituents, delete
the first instance of the identical
constituent.
Non-Constituent Coordination
• I gave a book to Mary and gave a letter to
Sue.
• I gave a book to Mary and gave a letter to
Sue.
S
VP
NP
V
I
gave
NP
a book
PP
to Mary
Left Peripheral Ellipsis:
If you conjoin two strings of words
that have identical initial
constituents, delete the second
instance of the identical constituent.
Test for constituency:
NP
N-bar
These [smart students of linguistics]
and [clever students of chemistry]
N-bar
N-bar
PP
PP
NP
Det Adj
N
P NP
P
This smart student of linguistics with long hair
Tests for constituency lead you
to discover structures that you
might not have thought of
otherwise.
AP
A-bar
A-bar
A-bar
PP
PP
Det Adv
So very
Adj P
fond of
NP
NP
Sam
P
in some ways
X-bar theory
• Chomsky (1970) “Remarks on
Nominalizations”
• Jackendoff (1977) X-bar Syntax
• Looking at lots of phrase structure rules for
different languages, make observations
about what they have in common.
– Rome destroyed the city.
– Rome’s destruction of the city
X’’
YP
X’’
X’ X’
Xn
YP
Xn
Xn
YP
Xn
YP
Adjunct
Xn
Specifier
This student of linguistics with long hair
This smart student of linguistics
X
So completely in the wrong
YP
Argument/complement
X’
So fond of Mary in some ways
So very fond of Mary
YP
X
Test for constituency:
NP
N-bar
These [smart students of linguistics]
and [clever students of chemistry]
N-bar
N-bar
PP
PP
NP
Det Adj
N
P NP
P
This smart student of linguistics with long hair
Tests for constituency lead you
to discover structures that you
might not have thought of
otherwise.
AP
A-bar
A-bar
A-bar
PP
PP
Det Adv
So very
Adj P
fond of
NP
NP
Sam
P
in some ways
Specifiers
Test for constituency:
NP
N-bar
These [smart students of linguistics]
and [clever students of chemistry]
N-bar
N-bar
PP
PP
NP
Det Adj
N
P NP
P
This smart student of linguistics with long hair
Tests for constituency lead you
to discover structures that you
might not have thought of
otherwise.
AP
A-bar
A-bar
A-bar
PP
PP
Det Adv
So very
Adj P
fond of
NP
NP
Sam
P
in some ways
Heads
Test for constituency:
NP
N-bar
These [smart students of linguistics]
and [clever students of chemistry]
N-bar
N-bar
PP
PP
NP
Det Adj
N
P NP
P
This smart student of linguistics with long hair
Tests for constituency lead you
to discover structures that you
might not have thought of
otherwise.
AP
A-bar
A-bar
A-bar
PP
PP
Det Adv
So very
Adj P
fond of
NP
NP
Sam
P
in some ways
Adjuncts
Test for constituency:
NP
N-bar
These [smart students of linguistics]
and [clever students of chemistry]
N-bar
N-bar
PP
PP
NP
Det Adj
N
P NP
P
This smart student of linguistics with long hair
Tests for constituency lead you
to discover structures that you
might not have thought of
otherwise.
AP
A-bar
A-bar
A-bar
PP
PP
Det Adv
So very
Adj P
fond of
NP
NP
Sam
P
in some ways
Complements/
Arguments
Verbs and their arguments
• From Fillmore and Kay, lecture notes, Chapter 4:
– The children devoured the spaghetti.
– *The children devoured.
– *The children devoured the spaghetti the cheese.
– She handed the baby a toy.
– *She handed the baby.
– *She handed the toy.
– Problems exist.
– *Problems exist more problems.
Valency
• (Linguists took this term from chemistry –
how many electrons are missing from the
outer shell.)
Valency
• Verbs (and sometimes nouns and adjectives) describe
events, states, and relations that have a certain number
of participants.
• Devouring generally involves two participants.
• Handing generally involves three particpants.
• Existing generally involves one participant.
• The number of participants is called the verb’s valence
or valency.
– Devour has a valency of two.
– Hand has a valency of three.
– Exist has a valency of one.
• The participants are referred to as arguments of the
verb. (Like arguments of a function.)
Subcategorization:
Remember this word
• Verbs are divided into subcategories that have
different valencies.
• Here is how the terminology works:
• Exist, devour, and hand have different
subcategorizations.
• Devour subcategorizes for a subject and a direct
object.
• Devour is subcategorized for a subject and a
direct object.
• Devour takes two arguments, a subject and a
direct object (or an agent and a patient).
Arguments are not always Noun
Phrases
• The italicized phrases are also arguments:
– He looked pale.
– The solution turned red.
– I want to go.
– He started singing a song.
– We drove to New York.
Optional and Obligatory Arguments
• The children ate.
• The children ate cake.
– Patient/theme argument is optional
• *The children devoured.
• The children devoured the cake.
– Patient/theme argument is not optional
•
•
•
•
The dog ran.
The dog ran from the house.
The dog ran to the creek.
The dog ran from the house to the creek through
the garden along the path.
Complements:
Remember this word
• Arguments are sometimes called complements
of the verb.
• However, just to confuse you, the word
complement also refers to complement clauses
– embedded clauses that are arguments of a
verb.
– Examples of complement clauses:
•
•
•
•
The children think that the book is interesting.
The children told the teacher that the book is interesting.
The children want to read the book.
The children expect the teacher to read the book.
Motivation for the existence of
Semantic Roles
–
–
–
–
John opened the door with a key.
The key opened the door.
The door opened.
The door was opened by John with a key.
• Semantic roles explain what the meanings of these
sentences have in common even though their
grammatical relations and subcategorization frames are
different.
• The key fills the instrument role, whether it is the subject
of the sentence or a prepositional phrase.
• John fills the agent role, whether he is the subject or in a
prepositional phrase.
• The door fills the theme or patient role, whether it is a
subject or direct object.
Semantic Roles are different from
Grammatical Relations
• Subjects that are not agents:
– The clothes were washed by the woman.
– The clock broke.
– The rock shattered the window.
– The window shattered.
– The ship sank.
– The students received awards.
Examples of Semantic Roles
• Agent: an agent acts volitionally or
intentionally
– The students worked.
– Sue baked a cake.
Examples of Semantic Roles
• Experiencer and Stimulus: An experiencer is
an animate being that perceives something or
experiences an emotion. The stimulus is the
thing that the experiencer perceives or the thing
that caused the emotional response.
– The students like linguistics.
• (emoter and stimulus)
– The students saw a linguist.
• (perceiver and stimulus)
– Linguistics frightens the students.
• (emoter and stimulus)
– The students thought about linguistics.
• (cognizer and stimulus)
Examples of Semantic Roles
• Patient: A patient is affected by an action.
– Sam kicked the ball.
– Sue cut the cake.
• Beneficiary: A beneficiary benefits from an event
– Sue baked a cake for Sam.
– Sue baked Sam a cake.
• Malefactive: Someone is affected adversely by an
event.
– My dog died on me.
• Instrument:
– The boy opened the door with a key.
– The key opened the door.
Semantic Roles for Directed
Motion: Ray Jackendoff
• Theme: changes location, is located
somewhere, or exists
• Source: the starting point of the motion.
• Goal: the ending point of the motion.
• Path: the path of the motion.
Examples of Location and Directed
Motion
• Many problems still exist.
• The clock sits on the shelf.
• The ball rolled from the door to the window
along the wall.
• Same walked from his house to town
along the river.
• Sue rolled across the room.
• The car turned into the driveway.
Being in a state or changing state
•
•
•
•
•
•
The car is red.
The ice cream melted.
The glass broke.
Sam broke the glass.
The paper turned from red to green.
The fairy godmother turned the pumpkin
into a coach.
Having or Changing possession
• The teacher gave books to the students.
• The teacher gave the students books.
• The students have books.
Exchange of Information
• The teacher told a story to the students.
• The teacher told the students a story.
Extent
• The road extends/runs along the river from
the school to the mall.
• The string reaches the wall.
• The string reaches across the room to the
wall.
Problems with Semantic Roles
• The definitions are vague:
– If themes are things that moved, is his hand a theme in John
moved his hand?
• Linguists keep making up new role names without proper
motivation. Proper motivation would be a test.
• Linguists keep writing about the same small set of verbs
that have clearly identified roles. Many roles are not
clearly covered. (Fillmore and Kay, pages 4-22)
– He risked death.
– We resisted the enemy.
– She resembles her mother.
Predicate-Specific Role Names
• It is ok to use predicate-specific role
names when you want to avoid the
vagueness of semantic role names.
– E.g., devourer and devouree
Adjuncts
• Locations, times, adverbs, and other things that
can go with almost any sentences are called
adjuncts.
– The children ate the cake quickly at 2:00 in the
kitchen.
• Predicates specify how many arguments they
take and also specify the grammatical functions,
semantic roles, and case markings of their
arguments.
• Predicates do not specify the semantic roles,
grammatical functions, or case markings of
adjuncts.
How to tell arguments from
adjuncts
• There are some general guidelines that are not
always conclusive.
• Adjuncts are always optional.
• (but some arguments are optional too)
• Repeatability:
– The children devoured the cake at 2:00 on Monday.
(Two temporal adjuncts)
– The children devoured the cake in Pittsburgh in a
restaurant. (Two locative adjuncts)
– *The children devoured the cake the dessert.
(arguments are not repeatable)
Embedded Clauses
Matrix Clause
S
NP
VP
V
S-bar
Embedded Clause
S
COMP
We think that
NP
VP
they have left.
Embedded Clauses:
• Main verbs are subcategorized for
– The complementizer (that, for, to, etc.) Nonfinite for-to
– We hoped for there to be no trouble.
• A word at the beginning of a subordinate clause
that identifies it as a complement
– The morphology of the embedded verb
• Finite: present or past tense
• Non-finite: infinitive, present participle, past
participle
Finite embedded clauses
• Finite embedded clause
– I believe (that) it is snowing.
– Say, think, scream
• Finite with dummy subject
– It seems that they have left.
• Finite embedded question
– I wondered/asked whether/if it was snowing.
• Finite plus object
– We told them that it was snowing.
• Finite plus PP
– We said to them that it was snowing.
Non-finite embedded clauses
• Non-finite for-to
– We hoped for there to be no trouble.
• Non-finite: Raising to subject
– They seem (to us) to have left.
– Appear, continue
• Non-finite: Subject Equi
– They tried to leave.
– Intend, expect, plan, hope
• Non-finite: Raising to object
– We believe them to have left.
– consider
• Non-finite: Object Equi
– We persuaded them to leave.
– Convince, order, force, signaled
• Non-finite: promise
– We promised them to leave.
Raising to subject
S
NP
S
VP
V
NP
S-bar
VP
V
VP-bar
S
COMP
It
seems that
NP
VP
VP
COMP
they have left. They seem to
have left.
Raising to subject
• Seem takes one semantic argument.
• Two syntactic subcategorization frames
– Dummy subject and tensed clause
– Subject and infinitive clause missing a subject
• Subject of embedded clause is coded as
subject of matrix clause
– Occurs before the matrix verb in English
– Matrix verb agrees with it
Raising to subject
• Only the subject of the embedded clause
can be removed from the lower clause and
coded as the matrix clause subject.
– * They seem I to have seen ____.
– * The knife seems I to have cut the bread
with.
Raising-to-Object or Exceptional Case
Marking
• Believe takes two semantic arguments.
• Two syntactic subcategorization frames:
• Subject and tensed embedded clause.
• Subject, object, and infinitive VP
• I believe that they have left.
• I believe them to have left.
Matrix Clause
S
NP
VP
V
S-bar
S
COMP
NP
I believe that they
Embedded Clause
VP
have left
Raising to object
S
NP
VP
V
NP
VP-bar
COMP VP
I
believe them
to have left
S
NP
Raising-to-Object: We will
use this one in this class.
VP
V
NP
VP-bar
COMP VP
I
believe them
to have left
S
NP
VP
Exceptional Case Marking: we
will not use this one.
S
V
NP
VP-bar
COMP VP
I
believe them
to
have left
Evidence that them is direct object of
the matrix clause
• It is in the accusative case.
• It can be the subject of the passive of the matrix
verb.
– They are believed to have left.
• Tests for constituency:
– Left as an exercise for the students.
Subjects only
• Only the subject of the lower (embedded)
clause can be raised up to be the object of
the matrix clause.
– Leslie believes that the police have arrested
Chris.
– Leslie believes the police to have arrested
Chris.
– *Leslie believes Chris the police to have
arrested.
Subject Equi
• Pat is the agent of try and the agent of
open.
• PatSis also the subject of both verbs.
NP
VP
V
VP-bar
VP
COMP
Pat tried to
open the window
Equi NP Deletion
• *Pat tried Pat to open the window.
– Older theories of transformational grammar
proposed this as the deep structure for Equi
sentences. It is ungrammatical, but it means
the right thing.
• Pat tried __ to open the window.
Subjects only
• Pat tried ___ to open the window.
controller
controllee
Only the subject of the lower (embedded) clause
can be the controllee.
* Pat tried Kim to see ___
Seem and Try
• The cat seems to be out
of the bag.
• There seems to be a
problem.
• That seems to be my
husband.
• The doctor seemed to
examine Sam.
• Sam seemed to be
examined by the doctor.
• The cat tried to be out of
the bag.
• *There tried to be a
problem.
• That tried to be my
husband.
• The doctor tried to
examine Sam.
• Sam tried to be examined
by the doctor.
Object Equi
S
NP
VP
V
NP
VP-bar
COMP VP
I persuaded Pat
to leave
Object Equi
• Pat is the direct object of persuade and
the subject of leave.
– The matrix object (controller) and embedded
subject (controllee) are the same.
• Only the embedded subject can be the
controllee.
– *Pat persuaded Sam the doctor to examine.
Believe and Persuade
• I believe the cat to be out
of the bag.
• I believe there to be a
problem.
• I believe that to be my
husband.
• I believe Pat to have
opened the window.
• I believe the window to
have been opened by
Pat.
• I persuaded the cat to be
out of the bag.
• *I persuaded there to be
a problem.
• I persuaded that to be my
husband.
• I persuaded Pat to have
opened the window.
• ? I persuaded the window
to have been opened by
Pat.
Control of Adjunct Clauses
• Having just arrived in town, Sam called his
mother.
• Having just hurt herself, Sam called his mother.
• What can be the controller?
– Matrix subject?
– Matrix object?
• What can be the controllee?
– Embedded subject?
– Embedded object?
Long Distance Dependencies
• A long distance dependency has a filler and a
gap.
• Ann, I think he likes ---.
• *I think he likes ---.
– Gap with no filler
• *Redheads, I think he likes Ann.
– Filler with no gap
• ?Ann, I think he likes her.
– Resumptive pronoun
Long Distance Dependencies
• The filler can be a long distance from the
gap.
• Distance is measured in how many
clauses the filler is from the gap, not how
many words away it is.
• Ann, I think he told you he tried to like ---.
S
NP
S
NP
VP
V
S
NP
VP
V
NP
S
NP
VP
V
VP
V
Anne,
I
think
he told
you he tried
GAP
to like
Long Distance Dependencies
• Topicalization:
– Ann, I think he likes ---.
• Wh-questions:
– Who do you think he likes ---.
• Relative Clauses:
– The woman who you think he saw --- is tall.
• Embedded Wh-questions
– I wonder who he thinks he saw ---.
• Clefts:
– It’s Anne that he thinks he likes ---.
• Tough Movement:
– These problems are tough to even try to solve ---.
• Correllatives:
– The more people I try to pretend I know ---, the more confused I
get ---.
Principles vs Rules
• Chomsky (1977) “On Wh-Movement”
– All of these constructions have a filler and a
gap and are obey the same constraints.
– Instead of writing a separate rule for each
one, look for some principles that underly all
long distance dependencies.
Constraints on Long-Distance
Dependencies
• Where can the gap be?
• John Robert (Haj) Ross (1967) Ph.D.
Thesis, MIT
Constraints on Long Distance
Dependencies
• The gap cannot be inside a coordinate
structure.
– I saw [the boy and the girl].
– *Who did you see the boy and ___.
• Except in “across the board” extraction:
– Who did you [ [talk to___] and [hear rumors about __] ]
Constraints on Long Distance
Dependencies
• The gap cannot be inside a sentence that
is inside a noun phrase:
– I like [the fact that he reads books every day].
– *What do you like the fact that he reads ___
every day?
Constraints on Long Distance
Dependencies
• The gap cannot be inside the subject:
–
–
–
–
[ Pictures of Sam ] were available.
*Who were [ pictures of ___ ] available?
[ Books about linguistics ] were on sale.
*What were [ books about ___ ] on sale?
• But the gap can be inside the direct object:
–
–
–
–
You saw [ pictures of Sam].
Who did you see [ pictures of ___ ] ?
You read [ books about linguistics].
?What did you read books about?
Constraints on Long Distance
Dependencies
• The gap cannot be inside an embedded
question:
– They wondered [ who talked to Sam].
– *Who did they wonder [ who talked to __]?
• But the gap can be inside of a plain
embedded clause:
– They thought [ (that) we talked to Sam ].
– Who did they think [(that) we talked to ___ ] ?
Constraints on Long Distance
Dependencies
• The gap cannot be inside a relative clause or
any another long distance dependency:
– I like [ the boy that Sam plays with ___.]
– *Who do you like [the boy that __ plays with __].
• Except for this:
– Which violins are [ these sonatas easy to play ___ on
___]?
Binding Theory
• Reflexive pronouns:
– Must be in the same clause with the thing they refer
to:
• Sam saw himself.
• *Sam thought that Sue saw himself.
– Ok in other languages.
• *Sam saw the girl who likes himself.
– The antecedent must c-command it….
• C-command: A node A c-commands a node B if every
maximal projection (XP) dominating A also dominates B.
• *Himself saw Sam.
– …usually
• ?Those pictures of himself in the newspaper really bothered
Sam.
S
S
NP
Det N-bar
Adj
NP
VP
N
V
NP
Det
N-bar
The smart boy saw himself.
VP
N-bar
N-bar
N
V
PP
P
NP
N-bar
NP
N
N
Det N-bar
N
The
girl with a
boy saw
himself
herself
Non-reflexive pronouns
• Either
– Not in the same clause:
• Sam thought that Fred liked him.
– Ok for “him” to be “Sam”.
• The girl who liked him called Sam.
– Ok for “him” to be “Sam”.
• Sam liked him.
– Not ok for “him” to be “Sam”.
– Or not c-commanded by the antecedent.
• The pictures of him in the newspaper bothered
Sam.
– Ok for “him” to be “Sam”.
Imperatives
• Go to sleep!
• Dress yourself!
– Hypothesis 1: there is an abstract representation
where the subject of this sentence is “you”.
– Hypothesis 2: there is an exception to the rule for
reflexive pronoun binding: imperatives can contain
the pronoun “yourself”.
• *Dress you!
• What do these mean?
– Bless you
– Damn you
– Curse you
Passives
• English only for now.
– In Grammars and Lexicons, we formulated a
universal passive rule.
• The thieves were arrested by the police.
• The cake was being eaten by the children.
• The cake will have been eaten by the
children.
There-insertion
• There is a problem.
• There is a desk in the room.
• There is a thief being arrested by the
police.
English Auxiliary Verbs
• Modal verbs: (will, would, can, could, shall, should, may,
might, and a few others)
– Invariant: don’t have a third person singular form.
– Only occur where you can have present or past tense. Don’t
occur in infinitives, gerunds, or participles:
•
•
•
•
I will go.
I would go.
I said I would go.
*I want to can go.
– Compare: I want to be able to go.
• *Canning go would make me happy.
– Compare: Being able to go would make me happy.
– The next verb must be an infinitive:
• I will have gone.
• I will be going.
• *I will going/gone/went/goes.
English Auxiliary Verbs
• “Have”
– Must be followed by a past participle:
• I have gone.
• *I have going/went/goes/go.
• Progressive “be”
– Must be followed by a present participle:
• I am going.
• *I am goes/went/go.
• Passive “be”
– Must be followed by a passive verb:
• The cookies were devoured.
• *The cookies were devouring/devours/devour.
Order of English Auxiliary Verbs
• All optional, but when they are present, they are in a
fixed order.
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
modal have be-prog be-pass
They will have been being arrested.
They will have been arrested.
They will be arrested.
We will be arresting the criminals.
We will have arrested the criminals.
They were being arrested.
They have been arrested.
Etc.
• Each clause is separate. E.g., “have” in the main clause
can precede a modal in an embedded clause.
– I have said that I would go.
Yes-No Questions
• Put the first auxiliary verb before the subject.
–
–
–
–
–
Will he have been swimming?
Has he been swimming?
Was he swimming?
Were they arrested?
*Will have he been swimming?
• If there is no auxiliary verb, use “do” in the right tense.
– *Swam/swims he?
– Did/does he swim?
• Main clause or quoted clause only. Use “whether” or “if”
for a yes-no question in an embedded clause.
– *I thought that does he swim?
– I wondered, “Does he swim?”
– I wondered whether he swims.
Negatives
• Put “not” after the first auxiliary verb.
• If there is no auxiliary verb, use “do”.
–
–
–
–
–
We will not have been arresting criminals.
We have not been eating cake.
We are not going.
*We go not.
*We do not go.
• “Not” in other places: Ok, but doesn’t sound
neutral.
– We will have not been arresting criminals.
– We will have been not arresting criminals.
Tag Questions
•
•
•
•
Pronominal form of the subject.
First auxiliary verb or “do”.
“n’t”
Change the polarity of the verb (positive or negative).
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
Sam left, didn’t he?
Sam will go, won’t he?
Sam is going, isn’t he?
Sam hasn’t left, has he?
*Sam hasn’t left, hasn’t he?
*Sam left, leftn’t he?
*Sam left, didn’t Sam?
• Tag questions with the same polarity have a different meaning:
– He’s going, is he?
Combinations of things
• Several of the phenomena discussed in
this lecture can co-occur in one sentence.
• I’ll be really happy if by the end of the
semester you can derive all of the
sentences on the next few slides in each
of the four formalisms.
Combinations
• It seems that a bear ate the sandwich.
• The bear seems to have eaten the sandwich.
• It seems that the sandwich was eaten by the
bear.
• The sandwich seems to have been eaten by the
bear.
• It seems that there was a sandwich eaten by the
bear.
• There seems to have been a sandwich eaten by
the bear.
Combinations
• I believe that the bear at a sandwich.
• I believe that a sandwich was eaten by the bear.
• I believe that there was a sandwich eaten by the
bear.
• I believe the bear to have eaten the sandwich.
• I believe the sandwich to have been eaten by the
bear.
• I believe there to be a sandwich eaten by the bear.
• The bear is believed to have eaten a sandwich.
• The sandwich is believed to have been eaten by
the bear.
• There is believed to be a sandwich eaten by the
bear.
Combinations
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
What is believed to have been eaten by the bear?
What do you believe that the bear ate?
The bear ate a sandwich.
I saw the bear.
I saw the bear that ate a sandwich.
I saw the sandwich that was eaten by the bear.
The bear that ate a sandwich was caught.
The sandwich that was eaten by the bear was
expensive.
• The sandwich that was eaten by the bear was purchased
at Giant Eagle.
Combinations
• The bear seemed to be persuaded to try to eat a
sandwich.
• What did the bear seem to be persuaded to try
to eat?
• I saw the sandwich that the bear was persuaded
to try to eat.
• Sam seemed to appear to have been persuaded
to try to be examined by the doctor who was
chosen to receive an award.
Warning
• These are “toy” sentences.
• Real ones are harder in some ways:
– More modifiers/adjuncts
– More ambiguity
– Weird stuff:
•
•
•
•
•
a 3-to-2 decision
our June 14 meeting
Room number 100
Why not go?
Him be a doctor?
• Real ones are easier in some ways:
– E.g, Long distance dependencies are hardly ever long
distance in real text.
What is not included
•
•
•
•
Dates and times
Proper names and titles
Money and numbers
Extensive pre-determiners of NPs
– Every other one of the first hundred smart students
was given a prize.
• Terry Winograd, Language as a Cognitive Process.
• Compound nouns
• Grammatical relations
• Things from other languages:
– Free word order; complex causative constructions;
wh-in situ; noun incorporation; pro-drop; etc.
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