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We have two reasons for assuming the existence of silent determiners. First, this assumption allows us to minimize the difference between English and a language like Spanish, where the indefinite article has singular and plural forms that are both overt. The resulting correspondence between English and Spanish determiners is shown in 29 ; the plural indefinite articles are in boldface. For simplicity, we give only the masculine forms of the Spanish determiners. Some butlers brought some tea. Some butlers brought tea. Butlers brought some tea.

Butlers brought tea. In principle, we could take an alternative tack. If it were our goal to assign the least possible amount of structure that is, the structures with the fewest nodes to each sentence in 30 , we would reject the silent determiner in 28 and we would represent butlers and tea using the trees in 34 rather than those in The alternative structures under discussion for 30d are given in Clearly, the tree in 35b is simpler than its counterpart in 35a in the sense of containing fewer nodes.

However, this simplicity comes at the price of a veritable explosion in the number of elementary trees in the grammar, since every argument position that can be filled by a noun phrase would need to be associated with two elementary trees one with a DP substitution node, and one with an NP substitution node.

For instance, instead of the single elementary tree for brought in 36a , we would need the three additional trees in 36b-d. This result seems unappealing on computational grounds.


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Moreover, the whole idea of simplifying the representations of individual sentences is inconsistent with the Chomskyan paradigm of language. From a Chomskyan perspective, what syntactic theory attempts to model and understand is grammar in the sense of the mental capacity to generate sentences, not the set of phrases and sentences that is the output of the grammar. A reasonable working hypothesis is that the best model for this capacity is the simplest possible grammar. From a Chomskyan perspective, striving to simplify the representations of sentences at the expense of complicating the grammar itself is missing the whole point of constructing grammars in the first place!

Modification and related issues N' as target of adjunction. As we noted in our introductory review of the parallels between noun phrases and sentences , nouns and verbs can be modified in similar ways. In 37 , for instance, the same prepositional phrase in the hospital modifies the noun stay and the morphologically related verb stayed. Mike's stay in the hospital b. Mike stayed in the hospital. Extending the approach to representing modification introduced in Chapter 4 , we can derive the structure for the noun phrase in 37a as in For simplicity, we omit the internal structure of the proper noun in the specifier; for details, click here.

Elementary tree for N Substitute argument Substitute 38b in elementary tree for possessive 's d. Move subject Select N' as target of adjunction Adjoin PP at target of adjunction in 38e Apart from the category labels, the resulting structure in 38f , repeated for convenience as 39a , is analogous to the structure for the corresponding sentence in 39b. Leftward adjunction.

So far, we have discussed modifiers that follow the head, whose representation involves rightward adjunction.

Structures for examples like 40 , where the modifier precedes the head it modifies, can be derived by leftward adjunction, with the results in Kelly's nervous grimace b. Kelly nervously grimaced. One substitution. As discussed in Chapter 4 , do so substitution allows us to distinguish between complements and adjuncts in the verbal system. A similar diagnostic is available in the nominal system - one substitution, which is illustrated in In 42b , on the other hand, one is interpreted as simply book.

We can represent these facts by assuming that the first conjunct in both cases has the structure in The pro-form one substitutes for instances of N', just as do so substitutes for instances of V'. One substitutes for the higher N' in 42a , and for the lower N' in 42b. As in the case of V', adjunction to N' can apply more than once, yielding multiply recursive structures like A cautionary note is in order about one substitution. Although in principle one can substitute for all instances of N', it is subject to two restrictions, which are important to keep in mind when using one substitution as a diagnostic for syntactic structure.

The first, which makes some sense given its meaning, is that one can substitute only for count nouns, as illustrated in A second and more mysterious restriction is that one cannot immediately follow the indefinite article, a cardinal number, a possessive noun phrase, or, for many speakers, the plural demonstratives these and those.

Generative grammar

Whatever the exact source of this restriction is, it is very superficial, since an intervening word renders the ungrammatical a examples in 46 - 49 grammatical. I bought a blue book, and you bought a red one. I like these blue books, and you like those red ones. Structural ambiguity. Having introduced N' as a possible target of modification, we are now in a position to associate structurally ambiguous sentences like 50 with two distinct syntactic representations.

On the verbal modifier interpretation in 51a , the prepositional phrase in the living room modifies the verb ate, and 50 has the structure in 52a. On the nominal modifier interpretation in 51b , the prepositional phrase modifies the noun pizza, and the sentence has the structure in 52b. Verbal modifier High attachment Nominal modifier Low attachment The structures in 52 are consistent with the results of relevant constituenthood tests.

For instance, substituting the ordinary pronoun it for the pizza and substituting did so for ate the pizza yields 53a and 53b , respectively.

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They ate it in the living room. They did so in the living room. In both sentences, the prepositional phrase is unambiguously interpreted as a verbal modifier, as expected given that the pizza and ate the pizza are represented as constituents in 52a , but not in 52b. Conversely, in the question-answer pair in 54 , the prepositional phrase is unambiguously associated with a nominal modifier interpretation. Again, this is expected, since the pizza in the living room is represented as a constituent in 52b , but not in 52a.

The pizza in the living room. The complement-adjunct distinction in the nominal system. Given the semantic parallel between the sentence in 55a and the noun phrase in 55b , it is reasonable to treat the of phrase in 55b as a complement of the noun author. This man authors murder mysteries. Since one is analogous to do so in substituting for intermediate rather than for lexical projections, we expect the contrast between 57 and 58 , and this accurately reflects the judgment of many speakers. This man authors murder mysteries, and that woman does so, too.

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How can we make sense of this variation among speakers' judgments? Recall that complements of nouns, unlike those of verbs, are always expressed as prepositional phrases. This means that the evidence whether a particular phrase is a complement or an adjunct is murkier in the case of nouns than in the case of verbs, both for children acquiring the language and for adult speakers. A further, probably related, complication is that even nouns that are morphologically derived from obligatorily transitive verbs are themselves optionally intransitive for instance, compare consume, destroy, employ with consumer, destroyer, employer.

Moreover, the intransitive use of these nouns might be more frequent than their transitive use. As a result, the mental grammar of some speakers might include only the intransitive elementary tree in 59a , and not the transitive elementary tree in 56a. Such speakers would have no way of deriving the structure in 56b , but they would be able to derive the alternative structure in 59b by adjoining the of phrase, rather than by substituting it.

For such speakers, author in 58b would be an N', rather than an N, and so they would accept 58b rather than rejecting it as ungrammatical. Notice furthermore that the intransitive elementary tree in 59a is available even for speakers whose mental grammar includes the transitive elementary tree in 56a , since all speakers of English accept Adjective phrases In this section, we discuss the structure of adjective phrases, beginning with examples like those in 62 and 63 , where the prepositional phrase following the adjective is optional.

They are proud. They are proud of their grandson. They are happy. They are happy with their car. Recall from Chapter 2 that the pro-form so substitutes for adjective phrases. More specifically, examples like those in 64 and 65 allow us to conclude that the of phrase is a complement of proud in 64 , but that the with phrase is an adjunct of happy in They are proud, and we are so, too.

They are proud of their grandson, and we are so, too. They are happy, and we are so, too.

They are happy with their car, and we are so, too. They are happy with their car, and we are so with our bikes. We can represent these facts by associating the two adjectives with the elementary trees in 66 and by stating that so substitutes for instances of A'. Most adjectives in English, like the two just discussed, are optionally or obligatorily intransitive.

A rare case of an obligatorily transitive adjective is fond. They are fond of their grandson. They are fond of their grandson, and we are so, too. In view of the facts in 67 and 68 , fond is associated with the single elementary tree in We address two differences between the syntactic category and the traditional part of speech in the next two subsections.

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Following standard usage in the syntax literature, we sometimes use the term 'preposition' to refer to the syntactic category P in contexts where the difference is either clear or immaterial. The asterisk outside the parenthesized material is a conventional way of indicating that the parenthesized material is obligatory.

But X' theory leads us to expect that there should also be intransitive Ps, and as the examples in 71 show, this expectation is fulfilled. I've never seen him before this meeting. Are you for the proposal or against it? They jumped over the ditch.

We've been fast friends ever since that time.