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Lecture 7 sentence structure

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Information about Lecture 7 sentence structure
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Published on December 17, 2008

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Lecture 7 on simple finite sentences : Lecture 7 on simple finite sentences Dr. Min-Joo Kim Today’s agenda : Today’s agenda Discussion of possible term-paper topics The structure of simple or non-embedded, finite sentences in English What is a sentence made up of? : 3 What is a sentence made up of? Typical answer: subject and predicate. More concrete question, what kind of phrases tend to occur in the subject and predicate positions? Examples of finite sentences : 4 Examples of finite sentences John runs. John loves Mary. The boy loves Mary. That the boy loves Mary surprises me. Q: Given this data, what seems to occur in the subject position of a sentence, and also in the predicate position of a sentence? Initial answer: ___________________________________ What kind of phrases occupy the subject and predicate positions? : What kind of phrases occupy the subject and predicate positions? Subject position is occupied by a NP or some clausal material, i.e., a sentence following a complementizer like that, which we’re going to call S’. Predicate position is occupied by something more complex: it contains a VP + tense/agreement morphology. That is, hat we’ve been calling a predicate is more than just a VP. Evidence for the importance of Tense/Agreement in sentence structure : Evidence for the importance of Tense/Agreement in sentence structure a. John runs (every day). b. John ran (yesterday). c. *John run (every day/yesterday). Q: The above data teach us that the most core ingredient of a sentence is actually tense and agreement morphology, i.e., past vs. non-past, and person, number features. 6 Sentence as a Tense Phrase : Sentence as a Tense Phrase Without tense/agreement marking, no sentence will be fully grammatical. This means that a sentence is actually a Tense Phrase, which is headed by Tense (and Agreement). Note: tense and agreement are usually realized together. What we call Subject is located in the specifier position of that phrase. Note: specifiers are usually grammatical categories but, in this case, it doesn’t *appear* to be the case. (There’s a solution to this problem, though.) Abstract representation of a sentence : 8 Abstract representation of a sentence (1) TenseP = sentence Subject Tense’ Tense XP How to read this tree: a sentence is a Tense Phrase, which is headed by Tense and Agreement, and what we call Subject is located in the specifier position of that phrase. More concrete representation of a sentence : More concrete representation of a sentence The sentence John runs has the following structure: TenseP NP Tense’ John Tense VP [- past] runs [3rd, sg] What is Tense? : What is Tense? Definition: it’s a grammatical category that specifies when the event described by the VP occurred with respect to speech time, i.e., now. Conceptually, we have three tenses, but, grammatically, English has only two different tense marking strategies. Past: the event happened before now. Non-past: the event happens now or whatever time interval that includes now. ? encompasses both “present” and “future”. Important: In English, tense is realized on the first verbal category that occurs in the same sentence, including an auxiliary and a modal verb. See the red part on the previous slide. Past tense : Past tense Definition: tells us that the event or state described by a sentence occurred sometime before the speech time. It is usually marked by -ed on the verb (but cf. give/gave, bring/brought, sing/sang, etc.) I climbed the mountain. I spoke before the jury. I could talk to him last week. Both (1) and (2) have past tense: they tell us that my climbing the mountain and my speaking before the jury both occurred before now. Non-past tense : Non-past tense Definition: tells us that the eventuality, i.e., event or state, described by a sentence holds true of the speech time, i.e., now. Important: In some cases, non-past tensed sentence describe actions that may be reoccurring or about to occur. So it’s not about present, although it looks like it in terms of morphology. Again, non-past tense is realized on the first verbal category that occurs in the sentence including an auxiliary and a modal verb . (1) My turtle makes a weird noise. (2) Little Johnny has to walk to school every day. (3) “Will and Grace” is starting in an hour. (4) I will always love you. Exercise : Exercise Draw tree diagrams for the following simple sentences by treating them as Tense Phrases (or TPs). Please triangle subject NPs and VPs. Mary whistled. Mary likes balloons. The girl likes balloons. She gave me a balloon. What about the following sentences? : What about the following sentences? a. John has eaten. b. John is eating. Q: What is special about these sentences? A: They contain ______________ in addition to Tense/Agreement, on top of VP. 14 Aspect: what is it? How does it differ from Tense? : Aspect: what is it? How does it differ from Tense? Aspect is concerned with (i) whether the event described by the VP is beginning, still on-going, or complete or (ii) whether it has a duration, continuation, or repetition with respect to topic time, which may differ from speech time. In many languages, aspect and tense are closely interwoven with each other. English has (at least) three aspects: e.g., (i) Perfect, (ii) Progressive, (iii) Perfective. Here, we’ll be concerned primarily with the first two. Perfect aspect : Perfect aspect Definition: describes an action that started and completed sometime before topic time and still has a relevance to it. Marked by the combination of the auxiliary "have" and the past participle morpheme "-en" occurring on the verb that follows "have" a. Students have expressed to me their love for linguistics. b. You have been great, good night! c. Martha has reportedly driven him crazy. d. She had known him for a year when he died. (1a-c): present perfect (1d): past perfect Progressive Aspect : Progressive Aspect Definition: describes an ongoing action, or an eventuality in progress, especially one that is continuous or repetitive. Marked by the combination of the auxiliary be + the present participle ing on the following verb. a. Cindy Brady is lisping again. b. While you were sleeping, I ate the cake. c. You are being childish. d. He was thinking of Janine. d. They are talking to someone right now. Sentence with Perfect (Perf) Aspect: HAVE V+en/ed : Sentence with Perfect (Perf) Aspect: HAVE V+en/ed TenseP NP Tense’ Tense Perf AspectP [-past] Perf Aspect’ [3rd, sg] Perf Aspect VP John has eaten Sentence with Progressive (Prog) Aspect: BE V+ing : Sentence with Progressive (Prog) Aspect: BE V+ing TenseP NP Tense’ Tense Prog AspectP [-past] Prog Aspect’ [3rd, sg] Prog Aspect VP John is eating Exercise : Exercise Please draw tree diagrams for the following sentences that contain Perfect and Progressive Aspect. Please triangle subject NPs and VPs. John has arrived. John is arriving. I have been to China. I am going to China. What about the following cases? : 21 What about the following cases? Sue praised John. John was praised (by Sue). Q: How to draw the tree diagram for these sentences, which involve active and passive voice? Sentences with Voice Phrase : Sentences with Voice Phrase Just as Tense and Aspect can have their own projections/phrases, so can Voice, namely, Voice Phrase with [+/- passive voice] feature under it. What we call active has [-passive] under voice; what we call passive has [+passive] under it. Active vs. Passive sentence structure : Active vs. Passive sentence structure Active TP NP T’ T VoiceP Voice’ [-past] Voice VP [3rd, sg] [-passive] Everyone likes John. Passive TP NP T’ T VoiceP Voice’ [-past] Voice VP [3rd, sg] [+passive] John is liked by everyone. Structure of sentences containing modals and/or other auxiliary verbs. : Structure of sentences containing modals and/or other auxiliary verbs. What would the structure of the following sentence, which contains a modal verb will? (1) John will run. When a sentence contains modal verbs, the Tense takes a Modal Phrase as its complement. See the next page for a tree diagram. Sentence with a modal auxiliary : Sentence with a modal auxiliary TenseP NP Tense’ Tense ModalP Modal’ Modal VP John [-past] will run What about cases where more than one verbal element is realized? : What about cases where more than one verbal element is realized? In English, and also in other languages, a predicate can contain Mood, in addition to Tense, Aspect, and Voice. Importantly, these grammatical categories occur in a certain order. See next slide for data. Sentences containing various verbal elements : Sentences containing various verbal elements (1) I spoke French. (2) I can speak French. (3) I could have spoken French. (4) I would be speaking French. (5) John will be welcomed by me. (6) I would have had been welcoming John if all had gone well. (7) John would have been being welcomed by me if all had gone well. Verb ordering : Verb ordering Verbal elements occur in the following order: TENSE+MODALITY+PERF+PROG+PASSIVE+VERB Template for the verb phrase in Standard English: tense (modal) (have+ -en) (be + -ing) (be +-en) VERB Observation about English: when combining an AUX/Modal with the next verbal element, a morphological change happens to the next verb. This phenomenon is called affix hopping. Affix hopping : Affix hopping Definition: the phenomenon where the tense (Ø, -ed), aspect (-en, -ing), and passive voice marking (-en, -ed) appears on the NEXT verb in the verb group. Past eat ? Ate (past tense appears on the lexical verb, no other options) Present have+en eat ? Have eaten (present tense on have, and -en on the lexical verb, not have) Present have+en be+-ing eat ? Has been eating (present on 'have', -en on 'be', and -ing on 'eat') Past have+en be+-ing eat ? Had been eating (past on 'have', -en on 'be', and -ing on 'eat') Past have+en be+-ing be (PASSIVE)+-en eat ? Had been being eaten (past on 'have', -en on 'be', -ing on ‘be’, and -en on 'eat.') Sentence with both a modal and an aspect auxiliary : Sentence with both a modal and an aspect auxiliary TenseP NP Tense’ Tense ModP Mod’ Mod PerfectP Perfect’ Perfect VP John [-past] will have run. Exercise : Exercise Draw tree diagrams for the following sentences using various types of grammatical heads. Please triangle subjects and VPs. (1) The student speaks French. (2) He is speaking French. (3) The students have studied French. (4) John admired Mary. (5) Mary was admired by John. (6) Mary will be admired by many people.

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