Questions tagged [syntactic-analysis]

Parsing or syntactic analysis is the process of analysing a string of symbols, conforming to the rules of a formal grammar.

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How can I distinguish between supplements and modifiers as proposed in The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (CGEL)?

In CGEL, the authors use the term 'adjunct' as an umbrella term to cover an element that is either modifier or supplement. On page 1350, the authors explain the properties of supplements to ...
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The distribution of *by*-phrases in complex nominals

I was recently reading page 39 of Surface Structure [1980] by Robert Fiengo when I stumbled upon the following dataset: (1a) The suggestion of a different tactic by John (1b) *The suggestion of depth ...
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Is there an alternative modern approach to the fused-head NP?

The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (Page 410) defines "Fused-head NPs" as follows: Fused-head NPs are those where the head is combined with a dependent function that in ordinary ...
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Structure and usage of the construction - BE of

I have seen various sentences like this: The availability of two reasonably complete mammalian genomes is of great help to gene finders. - The New York Times I do my utmost to dress the actors very ...
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Participle Phrases as Adverbs

I'm teaching my daughter some grammar lessons and ended up a bit confused about how to analyze participle phrases such as "removing his coat" in the following sentence: Removing his coat, ...
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Prepositional verb structure - "[rely] [on John]" or "[rely on] [John]"

It is difficult to determine the correct consituent structure of prepositional verbs, such as rely on someone. Either on someone forms a constituent to the exclusion of rely, as in (1), or rely on ...
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I would like to have met her

The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language, page 148, reads I would like to have met her and I would have liked to have met her, which are often used to convey the same meaning as I would have ...
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What part of a sentence is "regarding X" classified as?

In the process of learning Japanese, I've been doing some grammar analysis on sentence structure (across languages), Eg. subject, object, etc. I've come across something I haven't heard of before: the ...
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Can I really follow the theoretical framework proposed in the Cambridge Grammar of the English Language?

In the book 'the Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (CGEL)', the authors propose the theoretical framework used to describe the English sentences as shown below: CGEL, page 26 To get the tree ...
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"The number of Xs" - why no article?

Looking at Why not add ‘the’ before the last ‘steps’ word? as recently asked on ELL, I was struck by the realisation that it's very difficult to find contexts where we would include both articles in ...
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Analyzing the verb “to head”

This is both a usage question and a grammatical analysis question. I am familiar with complex transitive verbs, such as "to place", where one has to have at least one complement, besides the ...
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What is a role of 'how' in 'How so many people' : [how][so many people] or [how so many people]?

I realize how so many people don't have those simple things that we so much take for granted. "how so many people don't have those simple things that we so much take for granted" is an ...
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What is the 'predicate' in the sentence 'Frank has been studying syntax lately.'

Certainly the content verb is viewed as the (core of) the predicate. but I am curious about the auxiliary verbs. Should they be included in the main predicate? In other words, is the main predicate in ...
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Dangling modifier and the order of the modifier and the referent

Somewhere else on SE I came across the phrase "As an engineering prof, let me try to guess..." that felt like it had a dangling modifier. I suggested an edit, moving "let me" to the beginning of the ...
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English comparative words (than, so, as, and maybe like): why are they so weird?

I promise this is an actual, answerable question. But I want to explain myself when I call these specific words "weird"; English is so often "exceptional" that referring to any particular part of it ...
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What do you make of sentences such as: "He completely missed his shot, did Mark!"

I sometimes hear people, Brits in my experience, say things like : He completely missed his shot, did Mark! He's out of his mind, is Ronnie! The sense is clear but I haven't seen this described ...
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Difference between supplemental NP and absolute clause?

What is the difference between a supplemental noun phrase and a absolute clause? In these examples and in general. Is it just the non-finite nature of the second example? Are they not serving a ...
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'Paper is used for writing on' or 'Paper is used for writing', which one is grammatically correct?

Paper is used for writing on. or Paper is used for writing. ... which one is grammatically correct ? Chopsticks are used for eating. or Chopsticks are used for eating with? This desk is used for ...
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By which, to which, at which, to whom: are these relative pronouns in adjective clauses?

From experience, I know that: which, who, where, why, whom, there, that are relative pronouns but I wonder about the expressions: 'by which', 'to which', 'at which', 'to whom Are ...
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Doesn't Swan's example sentence violate adjunct island constraint?

After I posted the question Can relative clauses be combined with adverbial clauses other than if-clauses? and got no answer, I realized that this might be something to do with adjunct island ...
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"It's only a matter of time until..."

Is this construction an example of extraposition? It's only a matter of time until all hell breaks loose Normally extraposition involves infinitive phrases or that-clauses, but it seems like the ...
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Introductory Clause and Subject Agreement

I am unsure whether the following sentence reads correctly with the given introductory clause. "In addition to embodying my interests, I am confident that this program will provide me with extensive ...
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How are 'them' and 'werewolves' placed together?

Should’ve thought of them werewolves before you got in trouble, shouldn’t you? This is a sentence from Harry Potter I. Would it not be appropriate to omit them from the sentence?
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"They survived the journey" is journey a direct object?

In the sentence: "There was no guarantee that the travelers would survive the journey." Would "the journey" be considered a direct object, or what would it be? In this sentence nothing seems to ...
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it's strange that he * it's strange for him to

My wife and I are waiting for a friend. It's late. I say to my wife: It's strange that he should be late. He's always on time. It's strange for him to be late. He's always on time. It's strange that ...
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How is this structure named in English grammar? (main clause + object + -ing form)

I've been hearing this sentence structure for a while, so i wanted to learn about it but couldn't find specific information on the internet since i didn't know how this structure was named in English ...
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How do you parse the sentence?

The original sentence: In this way, we have learned all that we know of the laws of astronomy, or of the habits of the social insects, let us say. Please let me make it simpler as below: In ...
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WH-movement with complex sentences

I'm editing a biography in which the author, who isn't a native English speaker, stated the following: I started a business at the age of 21 and had no idea what were the most important skills I ...
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Should I put ‘there’ after ‘which’ in a given example?

Go along the street at the end of which there is the railway station.
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sentence structures using different degrees of adjectives

I am not a native speaker. I feel very confused whenever I write sentences like the following using comparative or positive degree.I want native speakers to guide me which of the following sentences ...
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do anything vs do something

Which is correct? Please let us know if we need to do anything about it. or Please let us know if we need to do something about it.
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assumptions without "if" and so on

Today in the newspapers I read Rodgers yesterday claimed had Sturridge been with his club he would have been given extra time to recover in the same situation. I don't understand how this ...
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Inexplicable 'it'

I have myself used and been OK with it in sentences like: What is it that you're doing? What is it that it means? But now I can't quite understand why it is necessary here. Also a very ...
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Why both “had” and “after” in “.... after we had completed our work”?

We went to watch a movie after we had completed our work. Why the need for the word "had" when there is the word "after"?
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Odd sentence structure used throughout Dune

I'm reading Frank Herbert's Dune and I've noticed a certain type of sentence structure he uses quite often. It seems to me to be wrong, or at least non-standard, but I cannot find an explanation of ...
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What is the predicate part of the sentence in an "X is ___ed" pattern?

Basically, this derives from an NLP problem I am facing in software development. NLP stands for "Natural Language Processing", and it is ML dependent. Since it depends on ML, it is ...
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As if as though

I am having a problem identifing which gramatical function as if (as though, like) has As far as I know After linking verbs, we have noun/ noun phrase/ noun clause and adjective/ adjective phrase ...
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How to explain this sentence structure

He later admitted having seen the dish on the menu... Would I break down the form of this as follows: admitted (verb, past participle of admit) + having (verb to have + -ing) + seen (verb past ...
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(Rather than) as a conjunction

It is said that, as a conjunction, the two constructions on each side of (rather than) must be parallel. So can this phrase join two sentences like this? (I know there are better ways of doing it) I ...
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How to understand the grammar structure of this sentence? especially the "by which that which"part?

"This whole government is carried on with our assistance and they try to keep us in ignorance of our power of cooperation between ourselves by which that which is in our own hands at present can ...
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Is this prepositional phrase acting as an adjective?

The example Create a referral to a specialist. The question Is that sentence grammatically correct? I think it is because the prepositional phrase is acting as an adjective (modifying "referral&...
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What are syntactic structures?

I was hoping you could help me clarify what the term syntactic structure refers to. I came across a question about which syntactic structures play a certain syntactic function (verb, object, etc.) in ...
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What is the constituent type of 'laugh' in 'I saw her laugh'?

Could someone explain to me the constituent type of “laugh” as in “I saw her laugh”? Best with an X-bar graph. I know it's a lot of trouble. You don't have to draw the whole thing, a simplified ...
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Please grammatically analyze the structure of this sentence

I quote this from MakeUseOf site. So, really, you'd be paying way, way upwards of the $70 price-tag games are going to be sold for. I can't find out the structure of this sentence, and further more, ...
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Why do we sometimes omit and sometimes retain the conjunctions "because/while/when etc" when reducing adverb clauses?

We can reduce this sentence "Because she has a test next week, she is studying very hard." (1-1) -> "Having a test next week, she is studying very hard." (1-2) "Before he ...
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-ing nominals versus derived nominals

Can we form -ing Argument Structure nominals that are derived from the following sentences? If so, what is the semantic difference between derived nominals and -ing nominals based on the given ...
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What kind of sentence structure is this? "The true measure of our character is ..."

The true measure of our character is how we treat the poor, the disfavored, the accused, and the incarcerated. I don't know what type of sentence this is. If any of you know please answer! Complex? ...
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2 answers
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Recognizing phrases with determiners

I've just started learning syntax, from Jim Miller's Edinburgh introduction. Please answer for Miller's analysis, if possible. Currently, I am concerned I'm being too zealous in recognizing new ...
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Need help parsing "Everything I moved here to get away from"

I was just watching Homeland and the main character, Carrie, referred to her old life as "everything [she] moved here to get away from". I understood what she meant but had to pause the ...
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How can I tell if a prepositional phrase is a complement to a noun or a modifier? And how are these two different?

In the NP "mines in wartime", "in wartime" modifies the head "mines". that nice tall man from Canada whom you met "from Canada" modifies "man". But ...
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