0

I am experiencing a bit of trouble in drawing grammar trees or parse trees. I can draw simple enough trees such as "The girl with long hair is looking at you" and longer sentences with complements (At least I think I can draw them properly). Since I just started exploring grammar trees a few days ago there are a lot of things which I don´t know how to draw. For example " Living in China for so many years made me miss home" How would I draw the clause "Living in china? Another problem is the relative clause. How does one draw that? A complement clause you would mark with CP, but I am at a loss when it comes to other clauses. I know that this might seem like silly questions but I would love to be able to draw parse trees properly. English is not my first language and my knowledge of English grammar isn't the best so I apologize if the question is strange!

  • The question doesn't really fit our format, here, so we can't really offer formal answers. It's worth noting, though, that's are plenty of freely-available online tools to build parse trees and diagram sentences you enter. Worth googling for one you like and then using that to learn how to do it for yourself. – Dan Bron Aug 17 '15 at 14:59
  • Note too that there is no one 'official' way of drawing parse trees: not only does every syntactic approach have its own quirks, but in any given parsing the tree may be constructed with more or less detail to reflect the particular sort of information you want to communicate. – StoneyB on hiatus Aug 17 '15 at 15:11
1

I suggest you search online for the phrase parse tree online

I did so and found this: Parse a sentence

I then pasted in your sentence, Living in China for so many years made me miss home.

Here is the result,

enter image description here

  • This is probably better suited as a comment rather than an answer. – Dan Bron Aug 17 '15 at 16:53
  • I've edited to give an actual answer to the question, "... I don´t know how to draw. For example " Living in China for so many years made me miss home" How would I draw the clause "Living in china? Another problem is the relative clause. How does one draw that?" – chasly from UK Aug 17 '15 at 17:18
  • It gets tripped up by the first sentence there: Experiment with a new feature of version 4.0--a "phrase-parser" which shows a constituent representation of a sentence. – TRomano Aug 17 '15 at 19:59
1

I'd start with a structure that gives an account of the sense, then try to explain the differences between this and the word-for-word details.

[[I live in China for so many years] cause [I miss home]] (leaving out past tenses)

There are two sentential complements of "cause" here, so you'd expect each to be a noun phrase argument of "cause" (i.e. "make"). Sentences in noun phrase position generally require a complementizer. The "-ing" suffix to "live" suggests the logical subject of "cause/make" has a POSS-ing complementizer:

[POSS-I=my live-ing in China for so many years]

But of course there is no "my" present, so the derivation will have to involve deleting it, somehow.

The logical object of "cause/make" doesn't seem to have a complementizer, so this is a problem. But there is a passive of "make" that comes close to working here, "I was made to miss home", where we have a "to" that could be from the for-to complementizer, giving us

... make [for-I to miss home]

Somehow in the derivation the "for" is lost, and the "to" is lost, I guess. The loss of "to", I happen to recall, can be historically documented, since it sometimes turns up in Shakespeare's English, in similar "make" constructions.

So, how I would parse this begins with an idea about its meaning and proceeds with a series of conjectures about how the words get into the sentence form we observe.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.