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Sentence relatedness

Introduction to Linguistics
Syntax IV

Sentences may be related in various ways.


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The boat sailed up the river. A girl laughed at the monkey.

Same phrase structure, different words.

Linguistics 288b

Sentence relatedness
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Sentence relatedness
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The boy saw [the man with the telescope]. The boy saw [the man] [with the telescope].

Same words, same order, different structures.

Two sentences may differ in structure (with small changes in words), but with no difference in meaning.
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Ernie hired Bert. Bert was hired by Ernie.

Linguistics 288b

Linguistics 288b

Sentence relatedness
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Sentence relatedness
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Or two sentences may have structural differences that correspond systematically with differences in meaning.
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Alice talked to the white rabbit. Who did Alice talk to? Alice slept under the tree. Where did Alice sleep?

The cat is sleeping. Is the cat sleeping? The can can sleep. Can the cat sleep?

Linguistics 288b

Linguistics 288b

Sentence relatedness
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Transformational rules
! ! ! !

We need some way to account for similarities in meaning in active and passive pairs - hire vs. was hired. We need some way to account for the differences between statements and questions.

The basic sentences of a language are derived by phrase structure rules. These are called deep structures. We never pronounce deep structures. Variants on those basic sentence structures are derived via transformations.

Linguistics 288b

Linguistics 288b

Transformational rules
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Transformational rules
! ! ! !

The sentences we actually speak are called surface structures. If no transformations apply, the deep and surface structures will be identical. We will see something similar in phonology.

Transformations move constituents in a sentence. In yes-no questions, an auxiliary verb (be, have, will, may, etc.) moves to the front of the sentence. This is also called subject-aux inversion. Where does the auxiliary move?

Linguistics 288b

Linguistics 288b

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Embedded clauses
SENTENCE
John said that Mary has left.

CP-structure
Spec

CP C C that IP NP N N Mary
Mar 18, 2002

OBJECT of say COMPLEMENT of V COMPLEMENT CLAUSE


See textbook (pp. 145-146)
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John said that Mary has left

I I has VP V V left

IP COMPLEMENTIZER
104-201B

CP
Spec

C IP NP N I

C Has

Where does I move to in Yes/no questions?

Specifier of CP
! ! !

What goes in Spec,CP? CP is the question domain. Yes/No Question: [+Q] property in C wh-question: [+Q] property in Spec,CP

CP [+Q]
Spec

C C [+Q] IP

I N has t(race) John

VP V V left ?
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Triggers Xmovement Triggers XPmovement


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Linguistics 288b

CP [+Q] NP N N What
Spec

C C [+Q] will NP N N John IP I I will t V eat


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wh-movement: [+Q] in Spec,CP XP moves to Spec,CP

Q-properties
Subject questions and embedded questions do not have [+Q] in C
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VP V

t NP NP
the what cake
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John asked what Mary will eat twh Not: *John asked what will Mary tI eat t wh John wondered whether Mary can swim. Not: *John wondered whether can Mary tI swim
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CP [+Q] NP N N Who
Spec

C C NP tNP N N John who I will IP I

subject questions: no I-to-C movement

Yes-no transformation
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If no auxiliary is present, do-insertion occurs:


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Did the cat sleep?

VP V V eat NP the cake ?

do is inserted in I; it then acts like a regular auxiliary. Draw the tree for this question (there is movement!).

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Linguistics 288b

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Passive
Passive moves an XP, not X ! The direct object moves into the subject position. ! The derivation for Bert was hired is:
!

IP NP N N Bert I was I

passive: NP moves to Spec,IP

VP V V hired

t NP NP
Bert
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Linguistics 288b

Summary
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Quick homework
1.

Four transformations
1. 2. 3. 4.

Yes-no questions Wh-questions Do-insertion Passive

Draw phrase structure trees for each of the following sentences.


1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

The very young child walked to the store. Sandy likes tricky problems. A man with a hat climbed down the chimney. The police might plant drugs in the apartment. Her doctor warned Jesse about the dangers of too much alcohol.

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Linguistics 288b

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Quick homework
2.

Quick homework
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Hixkaryana. Look carefully at the following data from a Carib language spoken in Brazil:
a. Kuraha yonyhoryeno byekomo. bow made boy The boy made a bow. Newehyatxhe worskomo komo take-bath women all All the women took a bath. Toto heno komo yonoye kamara. person dead all ate jaguar. The jaguar ate all the dead people.
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Draw the trees for (a) and (c).

b.

c.

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Quick homework
3.

Draw phrase structure trees for each of the following sentences. Be sure to indicate any movement.
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Will the cat meow? Does the cat like fish? The cat was fed a fish. Was the cat fed a fish? What was the cat fed?

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