7 Exercises and Problems

General notes

Key combinations for Mac grammar tool

See the "Instructions" menu item in the grammar tool.

Key combinations for Windows grammar tool

Adjunction, rightward Drag adjunct to target of adjunction while holding down Shift.
Adjunction, leftward Drag adjunct to target of adjunction while holding down Shift+Alt.
Movement Drag the appropriate constituent while holding down Alt.


Exercise 7.1

A. Using the grammar tool in English passive (Mac | Windows), build structures for the sentences in (1) and (2). For simplicity, we omit the internal structure of object idiom chunks.

(1) a.   We expect them to make headway.
b. We expect headway to be made.
c. Headway is expected to be made.
(2) a.   The media expect the guerillas to shoot the journalist.
b. The media expect the journalist to be shot by the guerillas.
c. The journalist is expected to be shot by the guerillas.

B. One of the sentences in (2) is structurally ambiguous. Briefly explain which one it is.

Exercise 7.2

A. Using the grammar tool in English passive (Mac | Windows), build structures for the sentence in (1).

(1) a.   The puppeteers might be arrested.
b.   The puppeteers were arrested.

B. A question that arises in connection with building the structures for (1) concerns the proper analysis of the passive auxiliary be. Does it originate in I? Does it originate and remain in V? Does it originate in V and move to I? Is the answer the same for both sentences? Briefly explain your answer, providing the evidence on which you base your conclusion.

C. In light of your answer to (B), do you need to amend your structures for (1c) and (2c) of Exercise 1? For simplicity, you can make any corrections manually.

D. In addition to the passive auxiliary be, English has a second passive auxiliary---get---which is illustrated in (2). In what syntactic respect(s) do the two passive auxiliaries differ? (You don't need to build structures for the sentences in (2).)

(2) a.   The puppeteers might get arrested.
b.   The puppeteers got arrested.

Exercise 7.3

A. Using the grammar tool in English passive (Mac | Windows), build structures for the sentences in (1).

(1) a. Standard English   The car needs to be washed.
b. Pittsburgh English   The car needs washed.

B. Based on the evidence in (1), compare the syntactic properties of Standard English versus Pittsburgh English need. Be as specific yet as brief in your answer as possible.

Exercise 7.4

A. Using the grammar tool in English passive (Mac | Windows), build structures for the sentences in (1).

(1) a.   They proved there to be an error in the calculation.
b.   There proved to be an error in the calculation.

B. Which case is assigned to there in (1a) and in (1b)? Support your answer with two sentences that are structurally analogous to those in (1) that unambiguously show which case is assigned to the position that there occupies in (1).

C. In which configuration(s) is case assigned to there in (1a) and (1b)?

D. Briefly explain how the syntactic properties of prove differ in (1a) and (1b).


Problem 1

Radford 1997:365 reports the passive constructions in (1), in which try and attempt have different syntactic properties than they do in ordinary usage. Describe the differences. Issues to consider include whether the verbs/participles are raising or control predicates, whether the verb/participle's elementary tree contains a specifier position, and whether the verb/participle assigns case.

(1) a.   The word has tried to be defined in terms of a phonetic matrix.
b. Dialects are often attempted to be suppressed.
c. Some journalists have been attempted to be attacked.