2) Move Wh-. This rule moves an interrogative pronoun (“Wh- word”) to the front of the sentence: The cat eats mice . à What does the cat __ eat __? This example allows us to introduce the concept of rule ordering . The movement rules we have just examined must apply in the following order: 1. Move Aux. 2. Move Wh-.
46 This is because if we apply Move Wh- first, and then Move Aux, we get an ungrammatical sentence, such as: *Does what this cat __ eat __? Grammatical relations In our early sentence The dogs chased the cats through the bushes the various constituents participate in what linguists call grammatical relations . These relations are centered on the verb, in this case chased . SUBJECT VERB OBJECT the dogs chased the cats The subject and object are sometimes referred to as arguments of the verb. They are phrases that the verb needs for it to make sense in a sentence. Note that the verb chase needs a subject and object; *the dogs chased is not a well-formed sentence. On the other hand, we don’t really need through the bushes ; this is extra information and so this PP is sometimes considered an adjunct to the verb. Some verbs take only one argument, the Subject. Rip van Winkle slept and Rip van Winkle slept for twenty years are both perfectly good sentences; for twenty years is an adjunct adverbial expression that adds information, but isn’t required. On the other hand, some verbs need more than a subject. Take the sentence Sally gave Mary a book . Here we have three arguments: subject ( Sally ), direct object ( a book ), and indirect object ( Mary ). * Sally gave Mary doesn’t work well. * Sally gave a book sort of works, but only with the caveat that there’s an implied recipient somewhere in the larger universe of discourse: the library? Mary? As we saw with Latin, some languages use morphology to signal grammatical relations, while others (like English) use mainly syntax: Agricola puellam amat farmer girl loves ‘the farmer loves the girl’
47 Agricolam puella amat farmer girl loves ‘The girl loves the farmer' Hierarchical structure Recall that one of the Principles of Universal Grammar is Hierarchical Structure. We have seen this in the internal structure of words, but it becomes even more obvious when thinking about sentences. Sentences are not simply strings of words placed one after the other; rather, they have an internal logic that is structured into constituents which occur at different levels in a phrase structure. In other words, not this: But this: Note that the triangles in the last tree diagram are simplifications of the internal structure of the subject and object. The Subject is actually a Noun Phrase or NP, which we can represent approximately this way ("Det" stands for "Determiner" which is our new word for "Article").
48 The Predicate is actually a Verb Phrase or VP, with a verb and NP object with its own Det and N: Components of phrases A Phrase is the maximal projection of a lexical category (Noun, Verb, Preposition, Adjective, etc.). A phrase may contain only one word, for example the NP [cats] has only the word "cats." In this case, [cats] is the Head of the phrase. Besides the Head, there other components
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