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204_Lecture_week 10 - LIN204H1S English Grammar Todays goal...

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1 March 19, 2009 LIN204H1S English Grammar Today’s goal: - To understand structure of sentences in English that have more than one clause, i.e., coordinating and subordinating structures March 19, 2009 Sentence and clause Recall that a clause contains the subject and predicate VP. A sentence contains at least one clause. (a) I like strawberries. When a sentence contains one clause as in (a), it is called a simple sentence. March 19, 2009 Sentence and clause A sentence can contain more than one clause. A sentence can have clauses of equal status conjoined with a co- ordinating/conjoining conjunction (compound sentence): (a) [[I like strawberries] clause , but [my father does not like them] clause ] S . A sentence can have clauses where one is a part of, or subordinate to, another, often led by a subordinating conjunction (complex sentence) (b) [I think] clause [(that) I should eat more strawberries] clause ] S . March 19, 2009 Conjoined structures - coordination Coordination, or conjoining, with coordinating conjunctions (and, or, but, nor, etc.) usually involves constituents at the same level. PP and PP: I like to read [in the evenings] and [on weekends]. NP and NP: I like to read [novels] and [short stories]. Clause and clause: [I like to read], and [he likes to eat]. NP and PP: *I like to read [novels] and [on weekends]. PP and NP: * I like to read [in the evenings] and [short stories]. Clause and PP: *[I like to read], and [on weekends]. March 19, 2009 One way of analyzing the structure of these sentences (with coordinating conjunctions) is to analyze them as compound sentences that are ‘reduced’ by deleting the repeated elements (ellipsis). (a) [I like to read in the evenings] and [I like to read on weekends]. (b) [I like to read novels] and [I like to read short stories]. (c) [The man left the bar early that evening] and [the woman left the bar early that evening]. (d) [I washed the dishes] and [I dried the dishes]. (e) [Bob studied physics] and [Millie studied engineering]. March 19, 2009 Viewing coordination in this way helps us to understand why there are restrictions on what kind of things can be conjoined. (a) They made her the president. (‘They caused her to become the president’) (b) They made her a cup of tea. (‘They brewed a cup of tea for her’) (c) *They made her the president and a cup of tea.
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2 March 19, 2009 (a) *[They made her the president] and [they made her a cup of tea]. We cannot delete the repeated elements unless they match in the meaning. “made” in (a) has different meanings in the two clauses. “her” in (a) has different semantic roles in the two clauses (patient in the first clause and benefactive in the second) (a) [They made her the president] and [they made her a cup of tea]. (b) [They made her the president] and [they made her a cup of tea]. March 19, 2009 Compounds with smaller constituents than a clause This analysis of conjoining as compound sentences with deletion encounters a few problems.
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