Noun Phrase (NP) NP is available in all natural languages including English, e.g. John, man, family, and father-in-law. It also includes the pronouns he, she, you, them, etc. It functions as a subject or object in the sentence. The noun phrase like these is called an ‘argument’ and is assigned meaning (theta role) and case (nominative, accusative, or genitive) as will be seen later. Technically, the nouns of one word structure along with the compound nouns are equally called noun phrases.
Verb Phrase (VP) Verb phrases contain a lexical verb, which is either followed by other categories or not. Examples for illustration are: They traveled. They traveled to Mecca. John rewarded Mary a nice reward yesterday. The underlined verbs in the sentences above are verb phrases. Such verb phrases can appear as stative, i.e. they are followed by a complement but with no object. Transitive verb phrases, i.e. those which accept only one object (John wrote the lesson), or ditransitive verb phrase (John gave Mary a book.)
Preposition Phrase (PP) It is the phrase that comprises a preposition and a noun as its complement, e.g. I met John at school. Adjective Phrase (AP) This phrase is composed of an adjective which usually modifies a noun, e.g. John is clever. Adverb Phrase (AdP) It modifies the verb in the sentence, e.g. John came quickly.
Complementizer Phrase (CP) This phrase is a functional category and is headed by a complementiser like; the relative pronouns. Consider: I met the teacher who taught me English at the secondary school. Who in (1), like the rest of relative pronouns, is counted as a complementizer and functions as a head of the complementizer phrase. However the wh.NPs like what, who etc locate at the specifier of the CP as will be seen later.
Inflection Phrase (IP) It is of the following constituents: tense, person, number, gender, aspect, case, and mood The English IP contains tense, e.g. present, past. The stem of the verb must be inflected with one of them. Person is the next feature of the inflection (subject-verb agreement ‘s’). Number is a basic feature of the inflection phrase. However, it is along with gender not available overtly in the English IP, whereas it is available in Arabic, and other languages. Consider the following example from Arabic:
2a. Tal9ab al-bint-u Feminine-play the-girl The girl plays. b. Yal9ab al-walad Masculine-play the-boy The boy plays. c. Al-awlad-u yal9ab-uun The- boys play-3MP ‘The boys are playing’
Case is visibly (overtly) seen in personal pronouns, e.g. he, him, his, and the ‘s’ genitive case in English, e.g. John’s book, while nominative and accusative cases appear covertly (invisibly) in English. However, the three cases appear overtly in Standard Arabic. According to the split-inflection hypothesis the IP is split into other phrases. Theses are like: Agreement subject Phrase (AgrsP) Tense Phrase (TP) Aspect Phrase (AsP) Mood Phrase (MP) Agreement object Phrase (AgroP)
Heads One of the main properties of the phrases above is that every phrase has a head. the verb (V) is the head of VP. the inflection (I) is the head of IP, the noun (N) is the head of NP, the adjective (A) is the head of AP, the adverb (Ad) is the head of AdP, and the complementizer (C) is the head of CP. The head in the phrases above is responsible of projecting the other constituents of the phrase following it, e.g. the grammatical properties of the VP are determined by the verb.
Consider the following examples: The boy plays tennis. *the tennis plays. The sentence in (b) above is ill-formed because the projected words precede the projector (i.e. the verb plays). The mechanism of projection is interpreted by the fist submodule of GBT called X-bar theory.
X-bar theory X-bar theory (=Principles and Parameters theory) is considered as a basic module of GB. It is centrally concerned with D-structure representations and the imposition of certain constraints on them. It may also be involved at S-structure in cases of adjunction Horrocks (1987:101) maintains:
X-bar theory provides principles for the projection of phrasal categories from lexical categories and imposes conditions on the hierarchical organizations of categories in the form of general schemata Such schemata can be formulated according to Chomsky (1989: ) as in (3) below: 3) a. X’ = XX”* b. X’ = X’X”* c. X” = X”*X’
The schemata in (3) can be represented diagrammatically as in (4) below: X” (spec) X’ X’ (adjunct) X complement
The maximal projection XP (X”), in (3), is projected from the first level projection X' (X-bar) combining with an optional specifier. Chomsky (1986a). The X' is optionally projected from another X' in combination with adjunct. X' is projected from X (the head) and a complement. Furthermore, the order of the head and its complement and that of the X' projection and its specifier are subject to cross linguistic variation; this variation is generally assumed to follow from the values assigned to the head parameter in (5a) below and to the specifier parameter in (5b):
These principles show that a large range of structures of various languages may be accounted for in a straightforward way. These could include English, Arabic, Turkish, Japanese, etc. Further, we might suppose that an adjunct parameter can have two values: 6a. Adjunct final b. Adjunct initial
The parameters and values given above define logical space of eight possible phrase structures. For example, English and Arabic are head initial languages, while Dutch and Japanese are head final. (cf Hoekstra, 1991, and Souali, 1992). English and Arabic are also specifier-initial languages while Bulgarian is a specifier-final language. (cf Travis, 1989, and Atkinson 1992).
A further observation related to X-bar theory is that the variable X, according to Chomsky (1986b), and Abney,(1987), among others ranges over not only lexical categories e.g. N,V,A,P, etc, but also cover non-lexical categories namely Inflection (I), Complementizer (C), determiner (D). Other functional categories are added recently within the Split-Inflection framework... namely agreement (Agr), tense (T), aspect (ASP), negation (NEG), quantifier (Q). (cf Pollock, 1989 and Ouhalla, 1991, Shlonsky, 1981, Chomsky, 1991, Mahajan, 1992, Johns, 1992, and many others).
Furthermore, the X-bar theory described above allows a single head to have more than one complement. Therefore complements are considered sisters of heads. Consistent with this the representation of an X with two or more complements is allowed to be as in (7): X’ X YP ZP
The structure in (7) represents what so called the multiple complement hypothesis (MCH). In dealing with double object construction this hypothesis leads to the adoption of the flat structure in (7) above (cf Chomsky, 1981: 48, Barss and Lasnik, 1986, Baker, 1988b, Napoli, 1992, among others).
After briefing the X-bar theory let’s now identify the syntactic projections of the head, starting with VP. The verb (V) projects a verb bar (V’) to be a place for the adverb in the tree diagram as appears below. Then the V’ projects a VP as a maximal projection. The maximal projection has a specifier to the left. In English and Arabic. The specifier position is the place of the subject at D-structure. Then the (V) as a head has a complement to the right. Consider the tree diagram below.
Inflection Phrase Inflection Phrase is another functional category and is analyzed syntactically in two ways: The non-inflection hypothesis, which deals with IP as one phrase (One maximal projection). This type is represented diagrammatically as below
Note that the adjunct position at I’ can be occupied in case of having an adverb before the verb. Consider the example below: He directly responded to them Here the position of the adverb directly is n I’ position to the left.
IP Specifier I’ NP he Adv. I PP directly Responded to them
The second hypothesis is called the split inflection hypothesis and divides the inflection phrase into its minimal parts considering each part as a phrase (a maximal projection) such parts as mentioned above are : Agreement subject Phrase (AgrSP), Tense Phrase (TP), Aspect Phrase (AspP), Agreement Phrase (AgrOP). Following this classification, sentences may be diagrammatically represented as follows: ارتباط.docارتباط.doc
Complementizer Phrase Complementizer Phrase (CP) is represented diagrammatically as follows ارتباط.docارتباط.doc
The diagram above shows that the verb was originally based at (V) position lower on the tree (at deep-structure) then it moves to (I) position to be inflected with tense, leaving a trace (t). Then the noun phrase in the specifier of VP position moves to IP specifier position then it terminates at the specifier of CP leaving traces on the IP and VP specifier positions. A point to notice is that the movement occurs from head to head position and from specifier to specifier position and every moved element leaves a trace. Still, there is another type of movement that differs from the minimal movement above. This is called long distance movement. Consider the movement of the logical object (direct object in the sentence below.
ارتباط.docارتباط.doc Here the object lower in the tree moves long distance movement directly to the specifier of CP (what) changing the declarative sentence into a question. Movement is free everywhere in natural languages unless the moved element meets a barrier or bounding node. The barriers in English are NP and IP and the condition for movement which is called subjacency condition is stated as “No constituent can be moved out of more than one bounding node.” For convenience, consider the following example:
a) [who [did [Mary have [the assumption [t that [John saw t]]]]]] CP IP NP CP IP It is assumed that the wh-phrase first moves to the intermediate (spec, CP) position as shown in (a) above. However, its subsequent move to the matrix (spec, CP) crossing NP and IP violates the principle of subjacency above. Of course, the case of long distance movement mentioned earlier obeys the subjacency condition. Now consider the grammatical sentence in (b) below. [who [do [you [assume [t that [John saw t]]]]] CP IP CP IP
Noun Phrase The noun phrase in English along with the NPs in all natural languages is called an argument as mentioned earlier, but if it occurs either in the specifier or the complement position and has a referential function (i.e. meaning). However, the expletives (it and there) are not arguments. 1. It is there.(argument) 2. It seems that the bus is approaching. (non-argument) The noun phrase has the same structured representation as the previous phrases. ارتباط.docارتباط.doc