4 Embedded Clauses: Constraints Main verbs are subcategorized forThe complementizer (that, for, to, etc.) Non-finite for-toWe hoped for there to be no trouble.A word at the beginning of a subordinate clause that identifies it as a complementThe morphology of the embedded verbFinite: present or past tenseNon-finite: infinitive, present participle, past participle
5 Examples: Constraints imposed by the main verb on the embedded verb “Say” requires a finite embedded clause:Sam said that Sue saw him.*Sam said Sue to see him.*Sam said that Sue seeing him.“that” is a complementizer that goes with finite clauses. When it comes after a verb, it is optional:Sam said Sue saw him.That he left is a problem.*He left is a problem.“That” is only optional after a verb.
6 Examples: Constraints imposed by the main verb on the embedded verb “Expect” takes a finite clause or an infinitive, but not a participle:We expect to see him.We expect that we will see him.Modal auxiliary verbs (will, would, may, might, can, could, shall, should, etc) are always finite.*We expect seeing him.Might sound grammatical because “seeing him” can be a noun phrase, and “expect” can occur with a noun phrase: “We expect problems”*We expect seen him.
7 Finite embedded clauses I believe (that) it is snowing.Say, think, screamFinite with dummy subjectIt seems that they have left.Finite embedded questionI wondered/asked whether/if it was snowing.Finite plus objectWe told them that it was snowing.Finite plus PPWe said to them that it was snowing.
8 Non-finite embedded clauses Non-finite for-toWe hoped for there to be no trouble.Non-finite: Raising to subjectThey seem (to us) to have left.Appear, continueNon-finite: Subject EquiThey tried to leave.Intend, expect, plan, hopeNon-finite: Raising to objectWe believe them to have left.considerNon-finite: Object EquiWe persuaded them to leave.Convince, order, force, signaledNon-finite: promiseWe promised them to leave.
9 English Auxiliary Verbs Modal verbs: (will, would, can, could, shall, should, may, might, and a few others)Invariant: don’t have a third person singular form.Only occur where you can have present or past tense. Don’t occur in infinitives, gerunds, or participles:I will go.I would go.I said I would go.*I want to can go.Compare: I want to be able to go.*Canning go would make me happy.Compare: Being able to go would make me happy.The next verb must be an infinitive without “to”.I will have gone.I will be going.*I will going/gone/went/goes.
10 English Auxiliary Verbs “Have”Must be followed by a past participle:I have gone.*I have going/went/goes/go.Progressive “be”Must be followed by a present participle:I am going.*I am goes/went/go.Passive “be”Must be followed by a passive verb:The cookies were devoured.*The cookies were devouring/devours/devour.
11 Auxiliary verbs as main verbs (for syntax; not for semantics) The auxiliary verb can impose constraints on the main verb.Sam is sleeping/*slept/*sleeps.The main clause has to be finite (has a tense).Sam sleeps/slept.*Sam to sleep.*Sam sleeping.The auxiliary verb carries the tense, not the main verb:Sam is sleeping.*Sam be sleeps.
12 SSam is sleepingNP VPV VPSSam has sleptNP VPV VP
13 Summary of constraints on embedded clauses The main verb determines the tense and morphology of the embedded verb.More than one embedded clause:Each verb determines the tense and morphology of the next one:I think that Sam tried to sleep.“Think” requires “try” to be finite.“Try” requires “sleep” to be infinitive.
14 The car needs washed.In most dialects of English, “need” takes an infinitive as a complement:The car needs to be washed.Sam needs to sleep.There are a few verbs that take passive participles as complements:We had them arrested by the police.We got them arrested by the police.They were arrested by the police.They got arrested by the police.In Pittsburgh, “need” and “want” can take passive participles as complements:The car needs washed.Do you want pushed?
15 Semantic Roles Syntax Word order Constituent structure Constraints: agreement, subcategorization, case markingSemantic roles:Sue interviewed Sam.Sue is the interviewer.Sam is the interviewee.
16 Semantic Roles in Embedded Clauses Sam tried to sleep.Sam is the agent of “try”Sam is the agent of “sleep”“Sam to sleep” is what was tried.Sam seemed to sleep.Sam is the agent of “sleep.”Sam is not an argument of “seem.”“Sam to sleep” is the only argument of “seem”.
17 Just the facts How many semantic arguments does each verb take: “Try” takes two.“Seem” takes one.Do the main clause and the embedded clause share a subject?Yes. Both “seem” and “try” share their subjects with the embedded verb.
18 How we know that the semantic role assignments are different with Seem and Try The cat seems to be out of the bag.There seems to be a problem.That seems to be my husband.The doctor seemed to examine Sam.Sam seemed to be examined by the doctor.The cat tried to be out of the bag.*There tried to be a problem.That tried to be my husband.The doctor tried to examine Sam.Sam tried to be examined by the doctor.
19 Raising to subject S COMP NP VP COMP It seems that they have left. V S-barNP VPThey seem to have left.COMPVPV VP-barNP VPS
20 Two ways to represent that “seem” and “leave” share a subject. NP VPV VP-barSubj theyVerb seemComplement subjverb leaveVPCOMPThey seem to have left.SNP VPV SNP VPThey seem e to have left.
21 Comparison Second method: First method: Allow empty strings as terminal nodes in the tree.An empty string needs to take the place of the missing subject of the lower clause.The empty string is linked to the subject of the main clause to show that the main and embedded clauses share a subject.The tree represents: word order, constituent structure, grammatical relations, semantic roles.First method:No empty strings in the tree.The tree represents only word order and constituent structure.Grammatical relations and semantic roles are represented in a separate structure.Structure sharing in the representation of grammatical relations shows that the two verbs share a subject.Is one method simpler than the other?No. Both methods have to represent word order, semantic relations, grammatical relations, and semantic roles.People who argue that one is simpler are usually wrong – they don’t know how to count steps in a derivation.
22 Two ways to represent that “try” and “leave” share a subject. NP VPV VP-barSubj theyVerb seemComplement subjverb leaveVPCOMPThey try to leave.SPRO is an empty string, but not the same kindof empty string as e Coindexing indicates that PRO refers to “they”.NP VPV SNP VPThey(i) try PRO(i) to leave.
23 “Seem” type verbs in TAG VPSJohn to be happyV APNP VPAdjunction siteV VPseemAuxiliary TreeInitial TreeThese trees represent the number of arguments for each verb:“Seem” has one argument, represented as a VP.“To be happy” has one argument, “John”.
24 V VPVPseemSAdjunction siteNP VPVPV APto be happyJohn
25 S NP John V VP VP seems S NP VP John to be happy V AP V VP VP seem VP AdjunctionVPto be happyV APThis tree shows word order and constituent structure.It also shows that “John” is the subject of “seem.”It doesn’t show that “John” is the subject of “to be happy.”
26 “Try” type verbs in TAG S S NP VP NP VP TO VP V PRO leave John tried Adjunction siteSNP VPTO VPPRO leaveSVNP VPJohn triedInitial TreeAuxiliary TreeThese trees show the number of arguments for each verb:“Try” has two arguments.“Leave” has one argument.
29 S NP VP V S NP VP John tried TO VP PRO leave Adjunction is only allowed at the top S node so as not to mess up compositional semantics:After you put together “try to leave” you don’t want to have to take it apart again by inserting another verb like “expected” as in:John tried to expect to leave.Inserting “seem” into the middle of the tree doesn’t require you to disassemble any of the semantic pieces that were already assembled?SVNP VPJohn triedSNP VPTO VPPRO leave