X-Bar Syntax

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					X-Bar Syntax

 - an overview
     Constituents again…

 Determine the constituent structure of the
 following two sentences

The long hot summer which everyone loved
is over

 It has been the best summer ever
[[The long hot summer which everyone loved] [is over]]
Concentrate on the first constituent
It contains several constituents:
 [[The] [[long] [[hot] [[[summer]] [which everyone loved]]]]]
’The’ and ’summer’ are obligatory, the rest optional:
[The long hot summer which everyone loved]
’Summer’ is a N, so the type of phrase projected from it is a NP:

         NP                   The D(eterminer) is said to specify
                              (or be the specifier of) N
  D              N


 The          summer
- but what do we do about all the other words in the original?

They are constituents of the NP, but they are not necessary
constituents

Question: Which of the two obligatory words (the and summer)
do they seem to be connected with most closely?

Answer: summer

Test: Long, hot summers which everybody loves
      *The hot, long which everybody loves

So, we have to insert them in connection with N. How?
Let’s try one at the time
Long and hot are Adjectives (A)
which everybody loves is a Relative Clause


Adjectives and Relative Clauses are Modifiers of N




        NP


  D             ?

           A          N


 The     long       summer
It is the category formed by long and summer that is called an
N-bar (N´)

The (single-)bar categories, X´, are intermediate projections
between the lexical level (X0) and the phrasal level, which is also
called double-bar (X´´)


      NP (= N´´)


  D                N´

           A            N


 The      long      summer
But as you see from the original phrase, there may be more than
one A and Relative Clause modifying N.

We say that the single-bar categories are recursive


  NP (= N´´)

  D        N´

       A         N´

            A         N


 The long hot      summer
 NP (= N´´)              Relative Clauses are subordinate
                         clauses usually introduced by a
D         N´             Relative pronoun, here which; it
                         functions as a Comp(lementizer)
     A         N´        and as Direct Object of loved.
          A         N´

               N´          RC

                    Comp             S

               N             NP              VP

                                         V        NP

The long hot summer which everybody loved         Ø
[[It][has been the best summer] [ever]]
Concentrate on the second constituent
It contains three constituents:
[[has] [[been] [the best summer]]]
All three constituents are obligatory, and been is the head word
It is a V, so the phrase it projects is a VP
                           Here, has is an Auxiliary,
                           while the best summer is the
                           Complement of V
  VP (= V´´)

                           A main verb and its complements
Aux        V´
                           form a V´
      V         NP




has been the best summer
Maximal generalization:
     Let X = {N | V | A | P | Adv}
     Then X0 < *X´ < XP
Rules:

    1.      XP => ZP; X´    [ZP is the Specifier of X0]

    2. a.   (X´ => YP; X´) [YP is a Modifier of X0]

    2. b.   X´ => X0; WP    [WP is the Complement of X0]

                            [X0 is the Head]


    Rule 2.a. is optional
 X-Bar Theory
                                              Maximal
                       Head
                                             projection


           Specifier                  XP                       X-bar


                              ZP                 X´                    Complement


                                      X                   YP




                 X=V      John     destroyed           the plane           ZP = NP; YP = NP

                 X = N John's      destruction        of the plane         ZP = GenP; YP = PP

                 X=A     rather    destructive         of planes           ZP = AdvP; YP = PP

                 X=P      right        off             the plane           ZP = AdvP; YP = NP



Desuden:      C(omplementizer) P(hrase) = (tidligere) S´
              I(inflectional) P(hrase) = (tidligere) S                                        12
Generalized Phrase Structure



              XP (= X´´)
         Specifier

         ZP                 X´
                 Modifier

                (YP)                    (X´)
                                 Head      Complement

                            X0                 WP

 Modifiers may precede or follow the Head, depending on type
  However….


     NP | VP
Specifier

ZP            N´ | V´                            PP | AP

        Modifier                           Modifier

       (YP)             (N´ | V´)         (ZP)             (P´ | A´)
                   Head      Complement               Head       Complement

              N0 | V0               WP           P0 | A0               WP


            Only N and V clearly show the full structure
            P and A (and Adv) often lack the Specifier level

				
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posted:3/4/2012
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