Analysing sentences: an introduction to English syntax by Noel Burton-Roberts

By Noel Burton-Roberts

This hugely winning textual content has lengthy been thought of the normal creation to the sensible research of English sentence constitution. It covers key ideas equivalent to constituency, type and capabilities, and likewise utilises tree diagrams all through to aid the reader visualise the constitution of sentences.

In this fourth version, Analysing Sentences has been completely revised and now encompasses a fresh significant other site with extra actions and workouts for college kids and a solution e-book for the in-text workouts for professors. the additional actions at the site provide scholars perform in choosing syntactic phenomena in working textual content and should support to deepen knowing of this subject.

Accessible and transparent, this e-book is the suitable textbook for readers coming to this subject for the 1st time. that includes many in-text, end-of-chapter and additional routines, it's compatible for self-directed research in addition to to be used as middle examining on classes.

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Extra resources for Analysing sentences: an introduction to English syntax

Sample text

But what kind of relationship holds between beside and PHRASE–b (a stream)? Try to determine whether it’s a twoway dependency (both elements obligatory) or the one-way dependency of (optional) modifier and (obligatory) head. You will need to consider the phrase in the context of its sentence, Old Sam sunbathed beside a stream. The way to do this, remember, is to see if either of the constituents of the phrase can be omitted individually in the context of the sentence. In fact, neither can be omitted.

We can form a question from [4] by replacing beside a stream with the question word where as in [23] and [24]: [23] Old Sam sunbathed where? [24] Where did old Sam sunbathe? Since we have used where to replace beside a stream, it’s natural that beside a stream should be a possible answer to the question. Answering such questions is a matter of replacing the question word with an informative phrase. So, answers to ‘WH’ questions (that is, questions that contain one of the question words who, which, what, why, where, when, whose, and how) are phrases.

And the oddity of *What did Rory put? (g) On one interpretation the sequence is a constituent, cf. Sam managed to touch him and Who did Sam manage to touch? ) On the other interpretation, it is not a single phrase but a sequence of two phrases. Cf. Sam managed to touch him with an umbrella, Who did Sam manage to touch with an umbrella? ) 5. The fact that (b) is a well-formed sentence means that every sequence of words omitted from (a) in order to form (b) can be counted as a constituent of (a).

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