The Syntax of the English Simple Sentence

Published: 2021-09-13 16:20:07
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The Syntax of the English Simple SentenceII Applied Modern LanguagesCourse instructor: Daria ProtopopescuContact: [email protected] 1The Syntax of Simple Sentences - IntroductionLexical and Functional CategoriesLexical categories = open classes of words that have descriptive content (Nouns, Adjectives/Adverbs, Prepositions, Verbs).They contain an infinite number of members, new ones can always be added to such classes.both categorial selection and semantic selection operate on lexical categoriesare assigned theta-roles (Nouns) or are theta-role assigners (Verbs, Prepositions)are assigned case (Nouns) or are case assigners (Verbs, Prepositions)can license an argument (Verbs) or can be licensed as an argument (Nouns) (= Nouns are always arguments of Verbs)Functional categories = closed sets; no new members can be addedDo not have descriptive content, they are semantically abstract. They serve to express certain morpho-syntactic features that are not expressed by the lexical category they combine with.They always select the same type of argument (they exhibit only categorial selection. E.g. Inflection always selects a Verb Phrase, Determiners always select a Noun.)They are the locus of grammatical information. Parametric variation affects only functional categories.Do not assign theta-roles (thematic roles).Determiners (definite and indefinite articles, demonstratives, the Genitive possessive marker ’s, cardinal numbers, possessives, pronouns) for Nouns, Degree words (-er, -est, more, most, than) for adjectives/adverbs; tense, aspect, agreement, inflection, mood, complementizers (that, whether, for-to) for verbs.The Auxiliaryauxiliaries are a functional category.auxiliaries are base-generated in a pre-verbal position, to the left of the verb.auxiliaries lack an event structure; do not assign a theta-roleauxiliaries move (raise) to Inflection, while lexical verbs do not move in English, they remain inside the Verb PhraseTwo classes of auxiliaries in English: lexical and modal auxiliaries:Lexical auxiliaries: (1) perfective aspect: HAVE-EN; (2) progressive aspect: BE-ING, (3) DO which supports the tense affix or negation in negative, interrogative but also emphatic contexts.Modal auxiliaries: all modal verbs (must, can, could, may, might, will, shall, would, should, dare)The NICE properties (Negation, Interrogation, Codas, Emphatic contexts)auxiliaries can be directly negated by NOT;(e.g.) She does not sing. She doesn’t sing.they can invert with the Subject in question formation.(e.g.) Did Mary wash the dishes? (SAI = Subject-Auxiliary-Inversion)

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