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The Syntax of Complement Clauses Spring Term, 2013-2014 Seminar 1: Intro & Revision

A. Revision
1. Discuss the main properties of lexical and functional categories. Provide examples. Start from the following: belong to the conceptual/mental compartment // belong to the grammatical compartment belong to an open system/belong to a closed system have substantive content/ have functional or grammatical meaning represent the locus of grammatical information s-select/ c-select their complement are/are not theta-role assigners 2. What is the role of functional categories? 3. List the functional categories of the verb. Provide examples. 4. Identify the head of the following phrases and represent: a. book of literary criticism / interesting book of linguistics / very interesting book of linguistics b. read books / read books in the kitchen / often read books (in the kitchen) c. belief in God / strong belief in God d. interested in music / awfully interested in syntax e. under the table / lie under the table f. in the sun g. two meters to the left 5. Illustrate the main morpho-syntactic properties of auxiliaries (the NICE properties). Compare them to lexical verbs. 6. Illustrate the main morpho-syntactic properties of modal verbs. Compare them to auxiliaries and lexical verbs. Provide examples. 7. Explain why Inflection is the head of the sentence. Give examples of elements which can occupy the head of IP. 8. V-to-I movement or Auxiliary Raising: Identify which of the examples below involve (i.e., are instances of) V-to-I (auxiliary raising) (1) a. She may be upset. b. She has read this book a. She may be enjoying syntax. b. She is enjoying syntax. (2) a. She may often have visited London. b. She has often visited London. 1


a. b.

He might already have done it. He has already done it.

9. The Head Strength Parameter Questions in Elizabethan English involvd V-to I and I-to C (see the examples below). None of the examples above are possible in contemporary English. Suggest an explanation. a. Saw you my master ? b. Speakest thou in sober meaning ? c. Know you not the case? 10. Draw tree diagrams to represent the structure of the following sentences: a. They like icecream. b. She often eats ice-cream in winter. c. They will buy this book. d. Bob has read this book. e. Should we learn syntax? f. Have you read this book?

B. Introducing the complex clause

1. Define and illustrate: (i) simple sentence; (ii) complex sentence; (iii) main clause; (iv) embedded clause. 2. What is the status of: (i) root clauses ; (ii) embedded clauses; (iii) interrogative clauses? Provide arguments in favour of your analysis. 3. Discuss the difference between finite and non-finite complement clauses with respect to : (i) Tense marking; (ii) Agreement; (iii) case assignment to the subject. 4. State whether the bolded sentences in the text below are main clauses or embedded ones:
The cave lay some way above the path. Many years before, a holy man had lived there, meditating and fasting and praying, and the place was venerated for the sake of his memory. It was thirty feet or so deep, with a dry floor: an ideal den for a bear or a wolf, but the only creatures living in it for years had been birds and bats. But the form that was crouching inside the entrance, his black eyes watching this way and that, his sharp ears pricked, was neither bird nor bat. The sunlight lay heavy and rich on his lustrous golden fur, and his monkey hands turned a pinecone this way and that, snapping off the scales with sharp fingers and scratching out the sweet nuts.

5. Identify the finite and the non-finite clauses in the text below.
Hume wanted to investigate every single idea to see whether it was compounded in a way that does not correspond to reality. He asked: From which impression does this idea originate? First of all he had to find out which single ideas went into the making of a complex idea. This would provide him with a critical method by which to analyse our ideas, and thus enable him to tidy up our thoughts and notions.