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Harvard Linguistics 110 Handout 3

Harvard Linguistics 110 Handout 3

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03/17/2013

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 1
Ling 110, Section 3 (Syntax II)
 
February 24, 2006.
Homework:
 
3.8
(p.146),
3.9
(p.162),
3.11
(pp.186-7) due at 9 am on
Thursday
 
I. Phrase Structure Rules and the X-bar Theory
 
A list of phrase structure rules in English (p. 175)(1) Sentence -> DP VP(2) PP ->
P
DP(3) AP ->
A
(PP)(4) NP ->
N
(PP)(5) DP ->
D
NP NamePronoun(6) NP -> A NP(7) VP ->
V
(DP) ( PP )CP(8) CP ->
C
Sentence
 
X-bar theory: Every phrase XP has a head X.(9) XP ->
X
YP (in English)English exhibits consistent
head-initial
phrase structure while Japanese has consistent
head-final
phrase structure [head-directionality parameter].
 
Introducing TP and the Specifier So called “X-bar theory” works for all of the structures we have considered thusfar...except for one. What about the very top level, “Sentence”? We also haven’t saidanything about where auxiliaries go. Consider the following:(10) Sentence -> DP Aux VPThis doesn’t look anything like X-bar theory. But we may call a “sentence” an AuxP:(11) AuxP -> DP Aux VP Now, we have an XP on the left of the arrow, and an X on the right, which conforms to theX-bar theory. What about simple sentences like “Ophelia swam” with no auxiliary verb init? We will posit for now that Aux hosts “Past Tense”. Auxiliary verbs and Tensemorphemes are generated in the same position. We will conclude by calling the categorythat hosts Auxiliaries and Tense morphemes a
TP
(for Tense Phrase).
 
 2(12) TP -> DP
T
VP(13) CP ->
C
TPBut unlike the phrase structure rules given (2-8) above, the head X is not the first elementof the XP in (12). We call the DP in (12) a
Specifier
. Specifiers do not occur in every XP, but when they do, they may precede the head. For now, the categories with specifiers wewill consider are TP, as above, and DP (when there is a possessor).
 
A general template of X-bar structure:(14) XPSpecifier X’X (where ‘…’ represents the complement(s) of X)-
 
A subject is a specifier of a TP.- A possessor is a specifier of a DP.
 
Finally, a comparison of tree diagrams for English and Japanese sentences:(15) English Phrase Structure (Head-initial)TPDP T’Chris
T
VPPAST
V
PPtalked
P
DPwith Pat(16) Japanese Phrase Structure (Head-final)TPDP T’
Chris-ga
VP
T
  NomPP
V
 
-ta
 DP
P
PAST
hanasi Pat to
‘talk’‘with’
 
 3 
Exercise
: Draw tree diagrams for the following sentences. If a sentence is structurallyambiguous, distinguish the meaning and draw a tree for each meaning.(17) Mary believes that her brother will pass the exam.TPDP T’Mary T VP[present] V CP believes C TPthat DP T’DP D’ T VPher D NP will V DP N pass D NP brother the Nexam

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