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English Syntax

2015

ADJECTIVES AND ADJECTIVES PHRASES

ADJECTIVES (A) are sometimes called “describing words” in that, as far as meaning
is concerned, they define attributes or characteristics.

They commonly occur with nouns. For example:
1.a The fat dog chased the thin girl

In this example, the adjectives are said to modify the nouns. Just as an adverb with
a verb, an adjective works to more narrowly define the sense of the noun by
ascribing certain attributes or characteristics to it. For is instance, if the dog is fat
then it can’t be thin, and so on.

Again, and adjective is a constituent of a sentence both at word level and at phrase
level where it becomes an ADJECTIVE PHRASE (AP for short).

An adjective phrase, like all other phrases, can consist of one or more than one
word. For example:
2. The disgustingly fat dog chased the amazingly thin girl

In (2) the adjectives fat and thin are being modified by the adverb phrases
disgustingly and amazingly. These adverb phrases form part of the adjective
phrase:
3.a disgustingly fat

3.b amazingly thin

The adverb phrase itself can also have more than one constituent. For example:
4. The quite disgustingly fat dog chased the amazingly thin girl, where the adverb
disgustingly is modified by a degree adverb (deg).
5. quite disgustingly fat

When adjectives and adjectives phrases work in this way to modify nouns, they
form part of the noun phrase. You can check that this is so by substituting the
pronoun it.
The dog
The fat dog
The disgustingly fat dog

chased the girl

It

Find rule that represent Adjective Phrase in English.

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“When?”.  In terms of a phrase category. time or place. “Where?” For example: 1a. Other degree adverbs include words like: - quite . as its name suggests.etc. Unfortunately the cat killed the mouse 2 SULTAN AGENG TIRTAYASA STATE UNIVERSITY . but adjectives and whole sentences too.rather - more .more - too . They not only modify verbs. Ken snores very loudly  A degree adverb.less - highly . He advertises nationally.  We will be looking at adjectives and their modifiers later on. in other words. tells us to what degree something is done. They include words like: - frankly . The baby cried continually.unfortunately - actually . Not all circumstance adverbs end in –ly but very many.  These types of adverbs are called CIRCUMSTANCE ADVERBS. however. adverbs often add information in relation to circumstances of manner. As far as meaning is concerned. they answer the question “How?”. 1c.English Syntax 2015 ADVERB and ADVERB PHRASES  An Adverb (Adv for short) is another word category.perhaps - certainly . very versatile. an ADVERB PHRASE or AdvP can be formed by one or more constituents. so for now we will restrict our attention to those that modify sentences.  SA can appear in a range of sentence positions and often express an attitude or evaluation.etc  Here are the example: 3a. Compare: 2 a. 1b.  Draw the tree diagram for (2a and 2b). Ken snores loudly 2 b. namely SENTENCES ADVERBS (SA for short). Ken snores loudly 2 b. Ken snores very loudly  Adverb phrases are. as in very loudly. where the adverb phrase modifies the verb: 2 a. Ken snores loudly.

b. not by the VP node as at example 2a and 2b where the adverb phrase modifies the verb. It means that the AdvP node is immediately dominated by the S node. The cat killed the mouse unfortunately  As you have noticed from the tree diagrams shown above.English Syntax 2015 3b. sentence adverbs modify the whole sentence and can appear in more than one position. - Frankly. Clearly. Draw the tree diagram for the following sentences - The baby cried extremely loudly. For example: 4a. I love her. He understands everything clearly >> his understanding is clear 4b. he understands everything >> it is clear to everyone else that he understands.  Do these questions to check your understanding a. The cat unfortunately killed the mouse 3c.  A sentence adverb is often differentiated in writing by a comma and in speech by a particular intonation pattern. Find rules for AdvP in English? 3 SULTAN AGENG TIRTAYASA STATE UNIVERSITY .

(Remember a phrase consists of one or more than one constituents).a) consists solely of a preposition (P). of. The baby sleeps quite soundly c. till. The noun phrase in turn consists of a determiner (DET) and a noun.b. the preposition is part of a PREPOSITIONAL PHRASE (PP). against. with. The cat sat on the mat b. beside. to. from. time or possession. direction.  Draw tree diagrams of: 1.b Sally looked up the chimney  You can check that the PP forms part of the predicate and is therefore dominated by he VP node by using the following substitution test: 2. Words belonging to this class include. by and so on.b George did too 3.a Sally looked up 1. Preposition can appear alone as in: 1.b Sally looked up the chimney  In either case.English Syntax 2015 PREPOSITIONS and PREPOSITIONAL PHRASES  Prepositions (P) belong to a small group or class of words which express relations of place. for. The prepositional phrase (PP) at (1. up. down.a Sally looked up 3. at. The cow jumped over the moon  Find a rule that represent PP in English 4 SULTAN AGENG TIRTAYASA STATE UNIVERSITY .  The prepositional phrases (PP) at (1.b) consists of a preposition (P) followed by a noun phrase (NP). a Sally looked up or in conjuction with a noun phrase 1.a Sally looked up the chimney 2. George did too  Check your understanding  Draw tree diagrams for the following examples and analyze them in terms of function a.

can consist of one or more than one word. if the dog is fat then it can’t be thin. and so on. The disgustingly fat dog chased the amazingly thin girl  In (2) the adjectives fat and thin are being modified by the adverb phrases disgustingly and amazingly.a The fat dog chased the thin girl  In this example. like all other phrases. they define attributes or characteristics. and adjective is a constituent of a sentence both at word level and at phrase level where it becomes an ADJECTIVE PHRASE (AP for short). 5. where the adverb disgustingly is modified by a degree adverb (deg). For example: 2. For is instance. The dog The fat dog 5 SULTAN AGENG TIRTAYASA STATE UNIVERSITY . These adverb phrases form part of the adjective phrase: 3.  An adjective phrase. The quite disgustingly fat dog chased the amazingly thin girl. as far as meaning is concerned. the adjectives are said to modify the nouns. they form part of the noun phrase.  Again. For example: 1.  They commonly occur with nouns.English Syntax 2015 ADJECTIVES AND ADJECTIVES PHRASES  ADJECTIVES (A) are sometimes called “describing words” in that. You can check that this is so by substituting the pronoun it. quite disgustingly fat  When adjectives and adjectives phrases work in this way to modify nouns. Just as an adverb with a verb.a disgustingly fat  3.b amazingly thin The adverb phrase itself can also have more than one constituent. For example: 4. an adjective works to more narrowly define the sense of the noun by ascribing certain attributes or characteristics to it.

For example: (3a) Ken snores (3b) The baby cried The tree diagram for (3a). COMPLEX-TRANSITIVE and PREPOSITIONAL. now including the verb class. We will be looking at six classes of these verbs as follow. INTRANSITIVE. as can be seen from the ungrammaticality of: (1) *This girl likes There are many transitive verbs. for example: (2a) Kate hugged the baby (2b) The dog found a bone (2c) Jenny hit him The tree diagram for (2a).English Syntax The disgustingly fat dog 2015 chased the girl It  Find rule that represent Adjective Phrase in English. INTENSIVE. Each of these classes of verb appears with its own obligatory constituents without which it would be incomplete. is as shown below: Kate hugged the baby Exercise 1  Draw trees for the following examples - The dog found a bone - Jenny hit him - She broke the rules  Find rules for Transitive Verb  Intransitive Verb By contrast. In fact an intransitive verb requires nothing else to complete the verb phrase. is as shown below: 6 SULTAN AGENG TIRTAYASA STATE UNIVERSITY . the Intransitive Verb. DITRANSITIVE. they are TRANSITIVE. is a class of verb which does not take an object. now including the verb class. as its name suggest.  Transitive Verb A verb phrase using a transitive verb normally has to have a direct object to be complete. THE VERB PHRASES There are six classes of verb in English.

g. - Alan played the piano - Sally sing in a club - The baby slept in the pram - She knows a secret  Find rules for Intransitive Verb. they don’t have to. However. but unlike the NP in a verb phrase using a transitive verb. what has been said so far doesn’t mean that nothing else can appear in a sentence with an intransitive verb.  Ditransitive Verb Another class of verb which occurs with an object is Ditransitive. However. then analyze the sentences in terms of function. Exercise 2  Using the following examples. draw trees which show the class of the verb. the sentence in (4a) can be paraphrased into: (4b) Roy told a story to the children Compare (4a) and (4b) with the sentence in (5) below: (5) Ken made a cake for a party 7 SULTAN AGENG TIRTAYASA STATE UNIVERSITY . in the sentence: (4a) Roy told the children a story However. again as its name implies. In other words. For example.English Syntax 2015 Ken snores However. the other an Indirect Object (iO). There are other constituents which can occur with this class of verb. requires two objects (“di” meaning ‘two’). they can appear. AdvP and PP) behave in this way. One of these is the familiar direct object (dO). So the examples at (3) can become for instance: (3a) Ken snores very loudly (3b) The baby cried extremely loudly. such constituents are optional rather than obligatory. this type of verb. Constituents which acts as adverbials (e.

look and so on. Exercise 4  Draw trees for the following sentences. then analyze the sentences in terms of function. - Sally showed the children the pictures - The children screamed hysterically - Ken gave the cake to the children - She patted the dog on the head - She wrote a message on the wall  Find rules for Ditransitive Verb. - That man is a teacher - The crowd cheered - She gave him a kiss - The answer seems clear - He laughed nervously 8 SULTAN AGENG TIRTAYASA STATE UNIVERSITY . Although the functions of all these bits are the same. become. The bit that comes after the verb functions as the Subject complement (sC). the forms. appear. seem. For example: (6a) Sally became a doctor (6b) George is in the garden (6c) Sue seems unhappy In each of these examples what is given after the verb relates back to the subjects.  Intensive Verb Intensive Verb (sometimes referred to as relational.English Syntax 2015 Exercise 3  Draw trees for the following sentences. as you may have noticed are different. linking or copular) belong to a small group which include verbs like. describing their states. be (most commonly). and then analyze the sentences in terms of function.

not the subject. For example: 9 SULTAN AGENG TIRTAYASA STATE UNIVERSITY .  Prepositional Verb The last class of verb we will look at is the Prepositional Verb. They are certainly incomplete without a prepositional phrase. refer to. Verbs like glance. In fact they are so closely linked with a preposition that it is easy to think of them as verbs consisting two parts. For example: (7a) The voters elected Mary president (7b) Kate though John a fool (7c) Carol put the car in the garage Compare: (8a) Ken put the cake in the oven (8b) She gave a bone to the dog Exercise 5  Find rules for Complex-Transitive Verb.  Complex-Transitive Verb 2015 Another class of verb to appear with a complement is called Complex-Transitive. lean on. lean. A prepositional verb is one which requires a prepositional phrase in order to be complete. refer fall into this class. as in glance at.English Syntax  Find rules for Intensive Verb. With this type of verb the complement relates to the object. The complement is therefore an Object Complement (oC).

and that the verb group consists of auxiliaries (AUX) and a lexical verb (V). it is the Vgp node which will indicate verb class. hugged. we have so far largely ignored the verb itself. To describe the constituents of a sentence more accurately then. for example: (1a) Kate hugged the baby (1b) Kate was hugging the baby (1c) Kate has been hugging the baby These elements. Auxiliary verbs modify the lexical verb by indicating MODALITY. aspect and voice. To see how this works we’ll look in more detail at tense. modality. In other words. one or more than one. then analyze the sentences in terms of function. the verb group may signify TENSE and for reasons given below. hugging). for a verb phrase incorporating a transitive verb we would have: VP verb group + dO Vgp AUX + V dO NP Since the VP consists initially of a Vgp rather than just a lexical verb. Actually. TENSE will also be included under the category auxiliary. These additional elements are called AUXILIARIES (AUX). verbs can consist of one or more than one element as in. This is the part of these verb groups which carries the meaning and is called the LEXICAL VERB (V). for example.e. - The baby played in the playpen - Kate dealt with the problem - Sally danced on the table - Sally leant on the table THE VERB GROUP Although we have looked in some detail at the sort of constituents which appear with various classes of verb to complete the verb phrase. All complete verb groups have to include a lexical verb which appears last in the group and forms HEAD of the verb group. In addition. or ASPECT. All of our examples have used a single verb. or VOICE. a diagram should show that a verb phrase (VP) consists initially of a verb group (Vgp). form the VERB GROUP (Vgp) The verb groups in the examples at (1a-1c) have something in common in that they all include the verb hug in one form or another (i. The lexical verb can appear alone as in (1a) or with additional elements as in (1b >> was) and (1c >> has been). the tree diagrams should detail the verb group.English Syntax 2015 (9) The children glanced at the picture Exercise 6  Draw trees for the following sentences. 10 SULTAN AGENG TIRTAYASA STATE UNIVERSITY .

for example by use of auxiliaries). might. used to A modal auxiliary does not carry tense and is indicated on the tree diagram. shall. These tenses affect the form of the lexical verb as in: (2a) Present tense Kate hugs the baby (2b) Past Tense Kate hugged the baby  Modal Auxiliaries Rather than expressing a statement of fact either present or past as in examples (2a) and (2b). possible. immediately dominated by the AUX node as follows: (3) Kate will hug the baby A modal auxiliary then always appears with the infinitive form of the following verb (in 3 is a lexical verb) and so we can find constructions like: (4a) The dog found a bone (4b) The dog must find a bone (5a) The baby cried hourly (5b) The baby might cry hourly 11 SULTAN AGENG TIRTAYASA STATE UNIVERSITY . The modal auxiliaries are: will. may. should. dare. must. would.English Syntax 2015  Tense There are two tenses in English: PRESENT and PAST. necessary and so on. MODALITY allow us to express whether a state of affairs is likely. could. A feature of the language which allows us such expression is the MODAL auxiliary (MOD). ought to and marginally : need. (Future does not exist as a tense in English but is indicated in other ways. can.

then tense cannot. be. For example a modal auxiliary (MOD) plus perfect aspect (PERF) plus the lexical verb (V) could produce: (7) Sally may have given the dog a bone Exercise 1. each type of auxiliary may appear only once in the verb group and if modal appears. o Perfect Aspect Perfect aspect (PERF) is indicated by the presence of the auxiliary verb have. For example: (9a) Sue may be giving the dog a bone 12 SULTAN AGENG TIRTAYASA STATE UNIVERSITY . - The penny dropped Progressive Aspect The other kind of aspect is called progressive aspect (PROG) and this is indicated by the presence of the auxiliary verb be. These are: Have. do For now we’ll restrict our attention to have and be and the way these two signify aspect and voice. There are two kinds of aspect: PERFECT and PROGRESSIVE. - This example should have been illuminating.English Syntax 2015 Primary Auxiliaries Auxiliary verbs which are not modals are called PRIMARY auxiliaries. - The phone rings continually. Again. The meaning of the term aspect is not easy to define but has to do with time and the relationship of actions or states to periods of time or duration. It is much easier to define aspect in terms of its formal features (i. - Jack sat in the corner.e. - George had been in the garden. the form the verb group takes to signify aspect). in which case tense cannot feature. Draw the tree diagram for the following examples and analyze them in term of function o - Sally has finished this book. For example: (8a) Sally is walking along the beach (8b) Sally was giving the dog a bone The progressive can also combine with modal and/or perfect auxiliaries. For example: (6a) Sally has finished this book (6b) Sally had given the dog a bone The modal auxiliary can also combine with the perfect.

Voice refers to whether a sentence or utterance is in the ACTIVE or the PASSIVE. They all precede the lexical verb. All our examples so far have been active. That is: Vgp -------. - The dog may have been being given a bone by Sue.English Syntax 2015 (9b) Sue has been giving the dog a bone (9c) Sue may have been giving the dog a bone No matter what combination of auxiliary verbs you may have. Draw the tree diagram for the following examples and analyze them in term of function - A bone has been given to the dog - The murder was committed by the butler. The majority of sentences and utterances are in the active and so this feature is not overtly marked on a tree diagram.AUX + LEXICAL VERB Aux -------.tenxe/modal (+perfect) (+progressive) o Passive Voice A final feature to consider in verb groups is that of voice. - George does drink heavily. Compare: (10a) A dog chased that girl (10b) That girl was chased by a dog Exercise 2. That is. - She might be seen by the neighbors. perfect (if used) precedes progressive (if used). tense or modal (if used) precedes both perfect (if used) and progressive (if used). they will always appear in the same set order. 13 SULTAN AGENG TIRTAYASA STATE UNIVERSITY .

each. every.English Syntax - She must be innocent. - Ray had been telling the children a story. any. Pre-modification Constituents which pre-modify nouns are determiners (DET). - The summons might have been delivered already. 2015 The Noun Phrase As we have discussed. Determiners o Basic determiners - o indefinite article (a and an) and definite article (the). NOUN) or more than one constituent (e. etc.g. the head (e. adjective phrases (AP).g. Those which appear before the head noun are called PRE-MODIFIERS. Constituents which modify the head noun can appear before it or after it. Other determiners - demonstratives (this. - The attic is visited by a ghost.and Post-modification Noun phrases can consist of one constituent. Pre. DET + N). It is the obligatory constituent and is the HEAD of the noun phrase.) 14 SULTAN AGENG TIRTAYASA STATE UNIVERSITY . the most meaningful part of the noun phrase is the NOUN. those) - qualifiers (some. and nouns. those which appear after the head noun are called POST-MODIFIERS. that. these. - Sue has been visiting the theatre regularly.

2. The fat brown dog chased a girl. Take a look at this example: 1. I bought a new computer game Post-modification 15 SULTAN AGENG TIRTAYASA STATE UNIVERSITY . Within the NP. his. This boy’s clothes are very dirty 2.g. Adjective Phrases (AP) Adjective Phrases (AP) are also used to pre-modify nouns. your. Remember that an adjective phrase. Nouns Nouns also serve to pre-modify other nouns. etc. For example: 1.) - WH-Determiners (whose. fat. the possessive determiner can also be realized as a phrase. can consist of one or more than one element (e. which) 2015 NB: You should have noticed that pronouns/ nouns appear on their own to form the noun phrase.English Syntax - possessives (my. for example: 1. very fat). determiners appear with a head noun. Genitives Apart from the list above. like any other phrases. The fat dog chased a girl. Kate’s baby is crying. what. her. its. the AP has the function of pre-modifying the head. then.

The cat which is lying on the mat hates dog.English Syntax 2015 As stated before. another way is to COORDINATE them. A style of speech or writing using lots of subordination is called HYPOTACTIC. For instance: 1. Subordination There are various types of subordinate clause which we’ll look at individually. Relative clause A relative clause is a bit different from anything we’ve looked at so far because it introduces a kind of subsidiary sentence into the main one.g. Subordination and Coordination A clause may exist alone or it may join up with other clauses. o Relative Clause: e. a style using little subordination is called PARATACTIC.g. Relative Clause 1. Here we will look at two ways to postmodify a noun: o Prepositional Phrase: e. The dog chased the cat with three legs 2. The dog chased the cat up the tree. The dog chased the cat with three legs. constituents which modify the head noun can also appear after the noun. Prepositional Phrase (PP) 1. One way of joining clauses together is to SUBORDINATE one to another. The cat that loves dogs is mad 16 SULTAN AGENG TIRTAYASA STATE UNIVERSITY . Such constituents are post-modifiers. The cat which is lying on the mat loves dogs.

Complement Clauses Subject complement 1.English Syntax 2015 Adverbial Clause Like adverbs and adverb phrases. why. I will give you the next clue when you are ready Noun Clause In some cases it is possible for clauses rather than phrases to function as subjects or objects. The most important thing is that you’re happy Complement of A 1. place and so on. For example: 1. where. These types of clause are called noun clauses. I am sure that she must have known him 17 SULTAN AGENG TIRTAYASA STATE UNIVERSITY . How he deals with the deficit is grossly important. 2. subordinate adverbial clauses add information in relation to manner. time. They tend to answer the questions how. I know they like me. For example: 1.

 Experiencer: the participant (animate or inanimate) that experiences some (psychological.  Goal: the participant towards which the activity is directed. For example: 1. etc.) state. Coordinate elements are of equal importance and carry equal weight.  Source: the place from which something is moved as a result of the action.  Theme: the participant (animate or inanimate) moved by the action. Very old women and men love cakes. Theta Roles  Agent: the participant who deliberately initiates the action denoted by the verb (usually animate). 2.English Syntax 2015 Coordination An alternative way of joining clauses together is to coordinate them.  Beneficiary/Benefactive: the participant that gains by the action denoted by the verb. The cat and the dog are good friend.  Patient: an affected participant (animate or inanimate) undergoing the action (the roles ‘theme’ and ‘patient’ are often collapsed). 18 SULTAN AGENG TIRTAYASA STATE UNIVERSITY . emotional.

Peter knows Mary well. 6.English Syntax 2015  Location: the place in which the action or state denoted by the verb is situated. John received a letter from Mary. 7. Determine the roles of the argument of the following sentences. 5. Mary cut the cake with a knife. Mary wrote a letter to John the following day. 8. 4.  Propositional: clausal arguments have the propositional theta role. The door opened. 3. 1. 19 SULTAN AGENG TIRTAYASA STATE UNIVERSITY . The purse was stolen. Peter has broken a vase. Peter loves Mary 2.