LINGUISTICS COURSE! File 5.1—Basic Ideas of Syntax Exercises 1. We noted that some sentences can have bizarre meanings but are syntactically well-formed nonetheless, e.g., Colorless green ideas sleep
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File 5.1—Basic Ideas of Syntax Exercises
1. We noted that some sentences can have bizarre meanings but are syntactically well-formed nonetheless, e.g., Colorless green ideas sleep furiously. Construct three original sentences of English that all mean something very strange. What does the existence of such sentences tell you about the relationship between syntax and semantics?
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2. Look at the following strings of words, and then answer questions (i)–(iv) below.
a. Sally bought computer.
b. I explained him how it work.
c. Bob slept not last night.
d. This my friend is coming over.
i. For each string of words above, say whether it is a sentence of English or not.
ii. Is it possible to understand the intended meaning of the strings of words above that you do not think are syntactically well-formed?
iii. For each string that does not form a sentence of English, fix it in order to create an actual sentence.
iv. What does the existence of strings like those in (a)–(d) tell you about the relationship between syntax and semantics?
File 5.2—Syntactic Properties Exercises
4. For each of the following strings of words that do not form sentences of English, say whether they are syntactically ill-formed because of word order, a violation in co-occurrence requirements, or both.
a. sleeps Sally
b. Sally is girl
c. Polly is fond of
d. is fond of cats Polly
e. Bob convinced
f. Sally beer drinks
g. Polly gave the book Tom
h. Sally said me that she would be there
i. bought I this present for
j. Sally and arrived
5. In each of the following pairs of sentences, the underlined expression is an argument in one sentence, but an adjunct in the other. Figure out in which sentence it is an argument and in which sentence it is an adjunct. Provide evidence for each answer, citing the relevant properties of adjuncts and arguments.
a. Yesterday was a great day. Sally had a great day yesterday.
b. Polly seemed excited about her new job. Bob’s roommate, excited about her new job, got up at 6 A.M. on Monday.
c. The book on the shelf is very dusty. Sally put the book on the shelf.
d. To study French is something Sally always wanted to do. Sally went to Paris to study French.
6. Give two pieces of evidence that his friend in Bob bought a birthday present for his friend is an argument of for.
7. Consider the sentence Sally sent Bob a letter, and then answer the questions below.
i. Is a letter an argument or an adjunct? Give evidence to support your answer.
ii. Is Bob an argument or an adjunct? Give evidence to support your answer.
8. Consider the sentence Sally emailed some pictures to Bob. Are some pictures and to Bob arguments or adjuncts? Show evidence to support your answer.
9. Consider the sentence Sally told Bob she was leaving. Are Bob and she was leaving arguments or adjuncts? Show evidence to support your answer.
10. Consider the sentence Sally was scared of Polly. Is of Polly an argument or an adjunct? If it’s an argument, which expression is it an argument of?
11. Consider the sentence I don’t want to take a really difficult class. Is really an argument or an adjunct? There is an expression in this sentence that allows really to occur in the sentence. If we got rid of this other expression, we would also have to get rid of really. Which expression is the occurrence of really dependent on?