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Harvard Linguistics 110 - Class 18 Constituency Tests

Harvard Linguistics 110 - Class 18 Constituency Tests

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Linguistics 110 Class 18 (11/27/02) Constituency Tests

Zhang/Öztürk/Quinn

(1) Questions: • How do we access our knowledge of constituent structure? • How do you know if a particular string of words is a constituent or not? — Sentence fragment test — Movement (displacement) test — Coordination test — Deletion/replacement test — Pseudocleft test (2) Sentence fragment test Only constituents may occur as utterances by themselves. Q: “Why do I have to eat my vegetables?” A: “You have to eat your vegetables because I said so.” A: “Because I said so.” More examples: Q: A: Q: A: Q: A: Q: A: “Who did you run into yesterday?” “A man with a wooden leg and a scar on his left cheek” “Where did you meet him?” “By the loading docks.” “How did he seem to you?” “Half crazy.” “What was he doing when you saw him?” “Selling cocaine to the police commissioner.”

A difference in constituency: “We will walk up the hill.” “We will give up our citizenship.” In both cases, we have “up” + NP. Is this string a constituent? More problematic case: Q: “Where are you guys going on your date?” A: “To the movies” A: “The movies.” (3) Movement (displacement) test Only constituents can undergo movement.

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• NPs and PPs can be fronted in topicalization sentences: I know Josh’s brother quite well. Josh’s brother I know quite well. *Brother I know Josh’s quite well. *Josh’s I know brother quite well. I put the textbook in my book bag. In my book bag I put the textbook. The textbook I put in my book bag. The textbook in my book bag I put. Up the hill we will go! Up our citizenship we will give! • VPs and APs can also be fronted: She most certainly will learn Japanese. She definitely is afraid of heights. If Mona wants to learn Japanese, then learn Japanese she most certainly will. Mona said she was afraid of heights, and afraid of heights she definitely is. If Mona wants to learn Japanese, then learn she most certainly will Japanese. Mona said she was afraid of heights, and afraid she definitely is of heights. (4) Coordination test Only constituents (of the same category) can be conjoined by conjunctions like and and or. I bought [ a new jacket and a pair of winter gloves ] I found an [ old and badly damaged ] umbrella in my back yard. On Saturday night, we will either [ go out to the movies or go bowling ]. We put the books on the table. We put the books on the table and under the chair. We put the books on and under the table. We put the books on this table and under another table. We put the books on this and under another table. We put the and John saw some books on the table. We went up the stairs. We went out the door. We went [up the stairs] and [out the door] We gave up our citizenship. We gave out our names. We gave [up our citizenship] and [out our names]. (5) Deletion (ellipsis) test Only constituents can be deleted under identity: 2

Deletion of VPs in conjoined sentences (VP-ellipsis): Carlos couldn’t finish the crossword, but Alice could finish the crossword. Carlos couldn’t finish the crossword, but Alice could _____ . Bill will be taking his exams later this week, but Alice won’t ____ until next month. You may like lima beans in your succotash, but I don’t ____ . The Academy will give him a major award. The Academy will give him a major award, and the Institute will give him a major award too. The Academy will give him a major award, and the Institute will ____ too. The Academy will give him a major award, and the Institute will give him a cash prize. The Academy will give him a major award, and the Institute will ____ a cash prize. (6) The replacement test Only constituents may be replaced with pro-forms (where the type of pro-form used depends on the lexical category of the constituent): • If a string is a NP constituent, it may be replaced with a pronoun: The brown badger fell down the stairs. It fell down the stairs. I put the books on the table. I put them on the table. I put the books on the table. I put them. I put the books on the table in my book bag. I put them in my book bag. I put the books about physics in my book bag. I put the them in my book bag. Books about physics are very difficult to read. They are very difficult to read. • If a string is an NP constituent, it may be replaced with one(s): I visited this young student of syntax. I visited this one. I visited this young student of syntax. I visited this young one. I visited this young student of syntax. I visited this young one of syntax.

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• If a string is a PP constituent, it can often be replaced with a locative pro-form such as here, there, then, now, thus, like this/that: Angus put the coats on the bed. Angus put the coats there. Angus screamed with rage for hours on end. Angus screamed like that for hours on end. • If a string is a tensed VP constituent, it may be replaced with a pro-verb expression such as do, do it, or do so: Larry bought a new coat, and Rachel bought a new coat too. Larry bought a new coat, and Rachel did too. Flora took the exam on Friday, and Roy took the exam on Monday. Flora took the exam on Friday, and Roy did (it) on Monday. Alice gave money to the poor, and Angus gave money to the university. Alice gave money to the poor, and Angus did to the university. (7) Pseudo-cleft test Only a single constituent can be focused in a pseudo-cleft sentence: The structure of pseudo-clefts: X is/was [{who,what,where,...} ... ] [{who,what,where,...} ... ] is/was X The X slot may contain one and only one constituent. Molly really wants to travel to Budapest. Budapest is [ where Molly really wants to travel (to) ]. [ Where Molly really wants to travel (to) ] is Budapest. To Budapest is [ where Molly really wants to travel ]. [ Where Molly really wants to travel ] is to Budapest. Travel to Budapest is [ what Molly really wants to do ]. [ What Molly really wants to do ] is travel to Budapest. To travel to Budapest is [ what Molly really wants ]. [ What Molly really wants ] is to travel to Budapest. To travel is [ what Molly really wants (to do) to Budapest ]. [ What Molly really wants (to do) to Budapest ] is to travel. Molly really wants is [ what to travel to Budapest ]. [ What to travel to Budapest ] is Molly really wants. Up the hill is where we really want to go. Up our citzenship is where/what we really want to give.

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(8) These constituency tests are not always 100% reliable We will go up the stairs, and you will go up the stairs too. *We will go up the stairs, and you will go ____ too. (9) Where are we? • Sentences are composed of constituents that are hierarchically structured. • We now have some tests that help us identify constituents. The X’ Theory of Tree Structure (10) Tree structures • Series of nodes, joined by branches • Each node represents a constituent; nodes are labeled with the category of that constituent • Root node, terminal node • Branching node • Hierarchical relations among nodes: — Dominance — Immediate dominance — Immediate constituent of — Mother, daughter, sister (11) Tree structure of an NP • What could an NP look like? (a) man, book, Mary, exercises (b) a man, every book, those exercises, no student (c) Mary’s book, the man’s dog, this computer’s hard drive (d) pictures of my dad, the destruction of the city, the nectar of the gods, the man in black (e) those rumors that Professor West will leave Harvard the fact that he has not shown up for work for three days Bill’s complaint that the service was poor • It looks like… NP egi Spec N Compl • the picture of my dad and video of my mom the destruction of the city and massacre of its people the man in black and woman in blue These rumors that Professor West will leave Harvard are not as detailed as those ones. Bill’s complaint that the service was poor was not as effective as Roy’s ___.

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NP ru Spec N’ ru N Compl • More NPs: the beautiful garden, the tall, young, talented actor, every interesting book about language What should the AP be attached to in the tree? Compare: The book was worth buying. *The a book was worth buying. *Book was worth buying. The exciting book was worth buying. The exciting new book was worth buying. The exciting new little book was worth buying. The exciting new little red book was worth buying. ➥ AP in an NP can be repeated essentially without limit. The old books and new CDs are on sale in the bookstore. Hank bought an exciting book yesterday and bought another one today. ➥ AP forms a constituent with the noun. ➥ AP is an adjunct in an NP. NP ru Spec N’ ru Adjunct N’ ru N Compl • Can you draw the tree for: every book, every interesting book, every interesting book about language, Bill’s book? (Consider Bill’s as a PossP—possessive phrase) • More adjunct in NP: every interesting book about language in my backpack the destruction of the city in two days pictures of my parents on my desk How do you draw the trees for these?

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