Presentation on theme: "English Syntax – Lecture 2 David Brett University of Sassari 2007."— Presentation transcript:
English Syntax – Lecture 2 David Brett University of Sassari 2007
Constructions Copula constructions link subject and other phrase These can be of three types: NP Copula APJack is very happy. Ascriptive NP Copula NPJack is a boy.Equative NP Copula PPJack is in the class. Locative
Other qualities of constructions INTERROGATIVE V. DECLARATIVE INTERROGATIVE: 1.YES/NO 2.WH- ACTIVE V. PASSIVE DIRECT OBJECT v. OBLIQUE OBJECT v. DOUBLE OBJECT
Example 1 The dog eats brown biscuits [NON-COPULA, DECLARATIVE, DIRECT OBJECT, ACTIVE]
Example 2 Where are the brown biscuits? [COPULA, INTERROGATIVE, WH, LOCATIVE]
Example 3 How many linguists was the light bulb changed by? [NON-COPULA, INTERROGATIVE, WH, PASSIVE]
Classify these clauses Jane is desperate Coffee has been drunk for centuries. Were they broken by the hooligans? Are the books in the shop? Where did they go for their dinner? Who was the car crashed by?
Classes of verbs and subcategorisation restrictions ClassDefinitionExample Intransitive Verbexcludes a noun phrase to its right Mr Knightley woke up. Transitive Verbrequires a noun phrase to its right Emma criticised Miss Bates. Ditransitive Verb'twice transitive’ requires two noun phrases to its right Frank gave Jane a piano.
Classes of verbs and subcategorisation restrictions #2 ClassDefinitionExample Intransitive Locational Verb excludes a noun phrase to its right but requires a prepositional phrase, Mr Woodhouse sat in an armchair. Transitive Directional Verb requires to its right both a noun phrase and a directional phrase John pushed his son into the room
Classes of verbs and subcategorisation restrictions #3 ClassDefinitionExample Copula requires to its right: an adjective phrase Jane seemed happy. or a noun phrase…seemed a sensible person or a prepositional phrase …seemed in good spirits or an infinitive…seemed to be unhappy
Classes of nouns concrete Vs. abstract commonproper countmass animateinanimate humannon-human
What is wrong with the following? The stone ate the apple. The spaghetti are very tasty. The dog promised not to do it again. John put the ideas in another room. The Michael is very good at football.
What is wrong with the following? The stone ate the apple.EAT requires animate noun The spaghetti are very tasty.Spaghetti is a mass (uncountable) noun in English – hence non-plural The dog promised not to do it again. PROMISE requires human noun John put the ideas in another room. PUT requires concrete noun The Michael is very good at football. Proper noun cannot be preceded by a determiner
Fixed phrases (after Crystal) POLYWORDS:in a nutshell once and for all INSTITUTIONALISED EXPRESSIONS:Give me a break! How do you do? Long time no see Pleased to meet you See you soon come to think of it it doesn't bear thinking about HIGHLY CONSTRAINED PHRASESas I was - (saying/mentioning) as far as I - (can see/can make out/know) I (just) can't think straight I thought I told you not to do that SENTENCE BUILDERS:my point is that let me begin by not only... but also COLLOCATIONS:staple food/diet/industry wouldn't/won't/ couldn't budge a heavy smoker a heavy drinker
Main and subordinate clauses Compound sentences consist of two or more clauses joined by conjunctions. e.g. [I went to bed] but [Harry went out]. [Jack painted the gate] and [I helped him a bit].
Subordinate clauses Complex sentences consist of a main clause and one or more, other clauses subordinate to it Main types of subordinate clause complement clause relative clause adverbial clause
Complement clauses I like the idea that you came up with. NOUN COMPLEMENT I feared that I would have to call the police. VERB COMPLEMENT
Relative clauses I liked the book that/which you gave me. The man that/who attacked me is now in jail
Adverbial clauses Reason Because Marianne loved Willoughby, she refused to believe that he had deserted her. Time When we returned, we found the dog had eaten the Christmas tree. Manner Henry packed his bags as quickly as possible. Concession Although I disliked Mrs Bennett, I loved her daughter. Condition If she had left Hartfield, her boyfriend would have been unhappy.
Can you identify and define the subordinate clauses (complement, relative or adverbial)? I believe that she is sincere They accept the theory that the earth is flat. I called a girl that I had met last year. Since you don’t like wine, I’ll get you a beer. When you go home, don’t say a word about this. A man who could play the piano helped us tune it. If you don’t go away, I’ll call the police. I’ll give them the book I got last year. They fear that they will never be able to find the mountaineers.