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the stucture of the english clause

the stucture of the english clause

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Published by: 22mela on Jun 22, 2008
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THE STRUCTURE OF THE ENGLISH CLAUSE
1. The endocentricity of sentences
 
1.1
Inflection as the head of the sentence
. An important result of GB syntactic research,due to Chomsky (1986), is that sentences are
endocentric
constructions, headed by Inflection, i.e.,IPs. This view replaces a long tradition, conceiving of sentences as being made of two major,equally important constituents, the subject and the predicate, a tradition directly formalized in theearly phrase structure rule in (1), from Chomsky (1957).Inflection, the head of the sentence, is a verbal functional category. It represents a bundleof verbal and nominal features: tense, agreement and mood features. The structure of theinflectional head is given in (2a) below. Inflection projects according to X'-Theory, as indicatedin (2b,c):(1) S--> NP ^ VP(2) a. I
0
--> Tense [
Agr] ^( Mood).b. I' --> I
0
^ VPc. IP--> DP ^ VPInflection (I
0
) is considered the head of the sentence, since it
governs
the VP and
agrees
 with the subject DP, thus entertaining formal relations with the predicate (the head - complementrelation) and with the subject (the head-specifier relation). Tense is represented by either Present,-
s
, or Past -
ed 
. Tense is thus an
affix
and cannot remain stranded, but must be supported by averbal root (The Stranded Affix Filter). The present or past form of a verb is
derivationally produced 
, through some mechanism combining the verbal stem and tense affix in syntax.In English, Inflection includes in addition to Tense and Agr, the modal verbs:
can, may,shall, will
,
must, need, dare
. The justification is that these verbs are defective, and can only occurin the presence of finite Tense, i.e., Tense plus agreement features. Modal verbs have only presentand past tense forms. When modals are present, they support Tense, and the tensed modals mayfurther raise to C°. A clear indication that modals move to C° is that I°- to-C° takes place only inroot clauses, i.e., only when the C° position is not filled by a complementizer, as is apparent inthe complementary distribution in (3) below, where either the complementizer
whether 
, or themodal auxiliary, occupies the position before the subject (C°):(3) a. Could [
IP
he t
a
be a fool?b. I asked you [
CP
whether [
IP
he could be a fool]].c. *I asked you [
CP
whether could [
IP
he be a fool]].Chomsky (1957) had proposed the following celebrated phrase structure rule detailing thestructure of the English Auxiliary - a syntactic constituent supposed to contain not only Tense andMood markers, but also Aspect markers, the discontinuous constituents marking the Perfect (
have-en
) and the Progressive (
be-ing
) Aspect.(4) Aux --> Tense (Modal ) (have -en) (be-ing)While Tense and Modals represent the content of Inflection, it was less obvious how todeal with the aspectual auxiliaries
have
and
be
. Auxiliaries are clearly
functional categories
,which lack 
- assigning properties, since they do not designate events. Rather they specify thereference of the event expressed by the main verb, as members of the main verb's Tense Chain.
 
Like Inflection, they take VP complements. An auxiliary is thus a verb that subcategorizes a VP,and cannot assign
- roles.1.2.
The projection of auxiliaries
. There are several manners of projecting auxiliaries. Onemay choose to emphasize the similarities between main verbs and auxiliaries, for instance, thefact that, unlike modals, they have finite, as well as non-finite, forms (
to open
,
to have
, *
to may
).In that case one may project them under the node VP, as shown in (5) below. Note thatsince selection is a relation between heads, each auxiliary selects a particular form as in (7) of thehead of its complement phrase. The auxiliary
have
selects the past participle, the auxiliary
be
 selects the present participle, etc.(5) VP ---> V
0
^ VP(6) have ---> [ V[EN]]be ----> [V [ING] ](7)
 
IP
2
 
I'
2
 
I
0
VP
2
 
[+Past] V
0
VP
!
 
V'
!
 ed have V
0
+enAlternatively, one might stress their functional nature and project them as heads of suitably labelled functional projections: Auxiliary Phrase, Aspect P, etc.(8)
 
IP
2
 
I'
2
 
I
0
AuxP
2
 
[+Past] Aux'
!
2
 
ed Aux
0
VP
!
 have.Whichever notation is chosen, the syntax of the auxiliaries is the same. An importantresult, obtained by Pollock (1989) was that, in English, the syntax of main verbs and auxiliaries isvastly different. Main verbs remain in the VP throughout the derivation. In contrast, auxiliariesmay or must move during the derivation. In sentences where there are no modals, the highestauxiliary raises to Tense, to support the Tense affix, and then it may further move to C
0
. Example(9b) shows that the auxiliary
have
has raised out of the VP to T
0
, past the adverb
often
, adjoinedto the VP, as shown in (9c). This is the well-known V
0
-to-I
0
or V
0
-to-T
0
rule, an example of head-to- head movement, by means of which the auxiliary stem
adjoins
to the inflectional affix. Theinflected form of the auxiliary is thus created through movement of the auxiliary and merger of the auxiliary with the Tense+Agreement affixes
s
 / 
ed 
, as represented in (9c).
 
(9) a. She often visited the city.b. She has often visited the city.c.
 
IP
3
 DP I'She
 
3
 I
0
VP
2 2
 V
0
I
0
AdvP VP
! !
 
5
2
 have s often V
0
VP
!
 
5
 
t
a
visited the city.An auxiliary that has moved to I
0
can further continue to C
0
, as shown in (10):(10) a. Has she often visited the city?b. CP
!
 
C'
2
 C
0
IP
!
2
 I
0
DP I'
!
2
 V
0
I
0
I
0
VP
! ! !
2
 
have s she t
a
AdvP VP
!
2
 often V
0
VP
! !
 t
a
V'
2
 V
0
DO
! !
 visited himThe movement of the auxiliary from the V
0
-to-I
0
and then to C
0
observes the HeadMovement Constraint (Travis (1984)) or the Minimize Chain Links condition (Each time themovement is shortest, i.e., it is movement to the closest head position, cf. Chomsky (1995)).The sequence made up of the lexical verb together with its functional categories I
0
and C
0
 represents an
extended projection
. (Grimshaw (1990)). An extended projection defines a domainof movement for the verb. One may parametrize the point up to which verbs are allowed to moveacross languages, or up to which different types of verbs may raise within the same language.Thus in English, auxiliaries raise all the way up to C
0
, while lexical verbs remain in the VP. InFrench, all the verbs raise to C
0
, as can be seen by examining corresponding French and Englishexamples. Verb movement is thus a property that can be parametrized and, therefore, used toexpress an observed difference across languages. Notice the striking contrast between the twolanguages in interrogative clauses.(11) French vs. English

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