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Unformatted text preview: Draft:donotcirculatewithoutpermission 5 Other phrases: a first glance 5.1 Verb phrases In the previous chapters, we arbitrarily used the label VP for the constituent that T selects. Given the structural hypotheses and labeling conventions de- scribed in the previous chapter, we now know something about why the label VP is chosen: we expect that the fundamental properties of this constituent are determined by a V, that is its head. In particular: i. the distribution of the constituent we call VP is determined by its V; ii. the formation of a VP is determined by what the V selects. In other words, the verb plays the primary role in determining where this VP can occur in a string and what is required internal to the VP. We have already seen evidence that the V is the crucial element in determin- ing the distribution of the constituent selected by T. For example, in the fol- lowing sentences, we see many di ff erent kinds of constituents in the constituent following T, but the element they all have in common is a V: (1) a. The girl [[ T will] [sleep]] b. The girl [[ T will] [put a picture on your desk]] c. I [[ T should] [know whether they [[ T will] [put a picture on your desk]]]] d. I prefer for them [[ T to] [put a picture on your desk]] e. I wonder whether [[ T to] [put a picture on your desk]] 111 Draft:donotcirculatewithoutpermission 112 5. OTHER PHRASES: A FIRST GLANCE SIDEBAR Note that we have two notions of VPs. One is well defined and properly named: a constituent whose head is a V. The other is an informal usage: the constituent subject to what we called VP-preposing or VP-ellipsis. We should make sure that these two notions coincide, or continue to coincide once we gain a finer understanding of the structure of VP (see chapter ?? ). As a first approximation, it looks like they do: VP properly named - that is VP the constituent with V as head - is the complement of T. It is also the complement of T that is targeted by VP Ellipsis or VP topicalization. The VPs we worry about in this chapter occur as complements of T. What about the preposed VPs?. Whenever there is one, there is always another sentence in which this preposed VP is a complement of T as the following pairs illustrate. (2) a. Sleep , the girl will b. The girl [[ T will] [sleep]] c. put a picture on your desk t he girl [ T will] d. The girl [[ T will] [put a picture on your desk]] The systematic relation found between the members of such pairs is a very important one which is called Movement . This will be discussed in chapter 8. Although a verb may sometimes come alone as in 1a, often it does not. PRACTICE You should be able to show that this V is also a VP. The other material in the VP is also determined primarily by the verb: the verb is the head of the VP and determines the internal structure of its VP....
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- Fall '11