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Fourth Edition
Revised and Updated

Universitatea SPIRU HARET

Editura Fundaiei Romnia de Mine, 2007

Editur acreditat de Ministerul Educaiei i Cercetrii
prin Consiliul Naional al Cercetrii tiinifice din nvmntul Superior

Descrierea CIP a Bibliotecii Naionale a Romniei

English syntax workbook / Domnica erban, Raluca Ha gan,
Denisa Dr guin. Ed. a 4-a. Bucureti, Editura Fundaiei
Romnia de Mine, 2007
ISBN 978-973-725-830-4
I. Ha gan, Raluca
II. Dr guin, Denisa

Reproducerea integral sau fragmentar , prin orice form i prin orice

mijloace tehnice, este strict interzis i se pedepsete conform legii.

Rspunderea pentru coninutul i originalitatea textului revin exclusiv


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Fourth Edition
Revised and Updated


Bucureti, 2007
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Acknowledgements .


Contemporary English Course in a Nutshell: The Syntax
of the Simple Sentence..


Objectives of the English Syntax Course


I. Theoretical Preliminaries..


II. Defining Grammars.


A. Survey of G approaches.
B. Generative Transformational Grammar (GTG).
C. The Constituent Structure of the Sentence. Phrase Structure
Rules and Phrase Markers. The Lexicon
D. Subcategorization Rules and the Lexicon.
E. The Transformational Subcomponent...


III. Further Refinement of Gs: The Government and Binding

(GB) Model...


IV. The Sentence (IP). Properties and Types..


V. Predication. Structural and Logico-semantic Tasks..


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VI. Intransitives..


VI. 1. The Copulative Predication Type.

VI. 2. Non-copulative Intransitives....


VII. Transitive Predications......


Syntactically Simple Transitives [- NP]..

Syntactically Complex Transitives..


VIII. Dative Configurations..


IX. Passive and Passivization....


Basic Linguistic Concepts.


Constituent Structure...
Representations of Syntactic Structures..
Syntactic and Lexical Categories....
Alternative Theories and Representations (X-Bar Convention).
Thematic Relations..


Inventory of Theoretical Concepts..




Sentence Structure.


Copulative Predication..


Copula-Like Verbs


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Intransitive Predication: Simple and Complex.


Transitive Predication...


Monotransitive Configurations..
Lexically Complex Transitives..
Reflexive and Reciprocal Transitives
DO and MAKE-Multiple Regime Transitives...
Ergative Verbs...
Causative Verbs.


Ditransitives: Dative Configurations...


Passive Configurations..


Syntactic Functions


The Subject Function ...

The Direct Object Function
The Indirect Object Function.
The Prepositional Object Function
The Adjunct Function


Syntactic Analysis.................................................................


Tests in English Syntax.




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This workbook is meant to provide theory and practice in the
domain of English syntax, where our students are confronted with
abstract grammatical concepts and principles. Therefore, this material
should be taken as a means to consolidate the theoretical aspects
taught in the respective course of lectures, to deepen and refine the
students knowledge of the frame the course is based on. The
workbook supplies numerous applications of the syntactic issues that
have a concrete realization in everyday language. Some of the
exercises reinforce the basic structures and syntactic mechanisms the
student has to handle at intermediate and advanced levels.
This twofold conception of the material is properly reflected in
its complex internal organization. Thus, the first section consists of
Contemporary English Course in a Nutshell: The Syntax of the Simple
Sentence. Section II includes a package of exercises focused on the
theoretical aspects discussed in section I. The course and the
accompanying workbook address the second year students, as well as
all the undergraduates who intend to prepare for the graduation exam.
An even wider readership results if we integrate the postgraduates
who study for entering the MA programmes organised in the
Romanian academic context, or for obtaining further degrees in
teaching English.
In Section III we have included an inventory of definitions and
brief statements clarifying theoretical notions and offering clues to the
student who wants to solve the set of exercises in Section IV. The
latter concentrates on the syntax of the Simple Sentence, supplying
applications in particular areas like the typology of predications
realized by verb subcategories, the domains of dative and passive
constructions in English, the range of syntactic functions a.s.o. The
exercises are varied enough and the corpus selected by the authors
best illustrates the English used by our contemporaries. Thus part of
this corpus is made up of language samples selected from recent
British newspapers and magazines. The final sections supply exam
materials consisting of syntactic analyses and tests.
We hope that this workbook will equip the student with all the
necessary tools for a successful assimilation of syntactic notions with
direct applications in present-day English grammar.
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We are indebted to the following assistant lecturers who have
contributed with small sets of exercises to some of the chapters in our
M d lina Crivoi
Oana Ionescu
Ana Maria Iv nescu
Irina Vasilescu
We hereby express our gratefulness to our colleagues above,
hoping that they will continue to cooperate fruitfully for the
production of further language materials addressing our students.

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Reader dr. Domnica erban

The course supplies the description of categories and functions
at the syntactic level. After introducing essentials of the theoretical
frame in the preliminary lectures, we focus on the syntactic categories
sentence and phrase, whose properties and possible representations
are discussed in terms of the Standard Generative-Transformational
Grammar, as well as the Government and Binding Model. The second
part of the course is a detailed account of verb subcategorization that
provides a thorough picture of the syntactic behaviour and logicosemantic features of intransitives and transitives in the Lexicon of
The course addresses the 2nd year students whom we
recommend to refresh their knowledge of basic linguistic concepts
having as a main source the Lingvistic General course covered in
the 1st year. Besides they are required to study particular sections from
Concepts of Modern Grammar by Alexandra Cornilescu (see
Bibliography). For the central and final parts the students have to go
through English Syntax, volume I, by Domnica erban.
Objectives of the English Syntax Course
The course aims at making the students familiar with the
conceptual apparatus relevant for the description and explanation of
categories, relations and functions at the syntactic level. The
theoretical frame will enable our students to better grasp the
constituent structure of English Sentences and Phrases, helping them
to correctly identify constituents and functions in English syntax. The
central lectures will make them aware of the typology of predications
in English, which represents the basis for the adequate sentence
construction and use in daily contexts.

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I. Theoretical Preliminaries
Basic linguistic concepts relevant to the study of Syntax
We supply below a selection of basic linguistic concepts that
belong to linguistic theory (LT), being indispensable for the students
comprehension of English syntax issues. Part of these notions have
already been acquired by our students, therefore they only need
1.Linguistic levels (including the basic units at each level, their
formal and semantic properties, their dependency relations, their
functional status). The components of linguistics which are concerned
with the description of each level and corresponding unit will be
specified for each level. Out of these the student has covered so far
Phonetics and Phonology (1st year, 1st term) and Derivational and
Inflectional Morphology (1st year, 1st and 2nd terms, respectively).
i. The phonological level: The student is required to revise the
definition of the phoneme and the allophone, distinctive features etc.,
as well as the brief outline of the Object of Phonology;
ii. The morphological level: The student should revise the
definition of the morpheme, its classification into free and bound, into
inflectional and derivational, the relationship between the morpheme
and the word, the object of Morphology and its subdivision into
Inflectional Morphology (dealing with the grammatical categories
pertaining to the parts of speech) and Derivational Morphology
(classical Lexicology Word Formation);
iii. The syntactic level is concerned with the description of the
units Phrase and Sentence as constructions or groups of constituents
round a head/nucleus and with the internal phrase structure of Noun
Phrases (NPs), Verb Phrases (VPs), Prepositional Phrases (PPs),
Adjectival Phrases (APs), Adverbial Phrases (AvPs);
iv. The logico-semantic level deals with logical propositions,
logical predicate and arguments, argument structures, thematic roles;
semantic features and semantic fields.
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Between the four levels there are strong correlations. The ones
that interest us most in syntax occur between the syntactic level and
the logico-semantic one.
2. Categories
i. syntactic categories are terms referring to groups/clusters
such as the phrase and the sentence (S), hence Grammars that take as
primes phrasal constituents are considered to be categorial (e.g. GT
and GB Grammars);
ii. lexical categories coincide with the classes of lexical items
(words), such as Nouns, Verbs, Adjectives, and Adverbs which are
iii. functional categories refer to the items whose role is
mainly grammatical, like Inflection, Determiners and Degree
iv. grammatical categories pertain to the word classes/partsof-speech, e.g. the verbal categories of Mood, Tense, Aspect, the
nominal categories of Person, Number, Gender, the category of
Comparison with Adjectives and Adverbs.
Notice that the categories above form a hierarchy, with syntactic
categories on top.
3. Syntactic relations regard the inter-relations between the
constituents of phrases and sentences, including the relations of
predication, government, modification, determination, quantification.
4. Syntactic functions are discharged by constituents, being
determined by their position/distribution in phrases/sentences; they are
marked by inflections or prepositions, or both, depending on the
language type. The main functions are universal: Subject, Predicate,
Direct Object, Indirect Object, Prepositional Object, Noun Modifier
(the classical Attribute), Adverbial Modifier.
Notice that functions, like categories, also form a hierarchy.

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II. Defining Grammars

The definition of Grammar (G) depends on the goals, frame and
addressee of each G approach. We can distinguish between theoretical
Gs, based on models, and pedagogical Gs set up for teaching/learning
goals. Another criterion is the nature of the grammarians ultimate
goal, which can be either a) prescriptive (of norms) or b) descriptive
of speakers internalised, tacit knowledge of language, currently
labelled as Competence. The former characterizes pedagogical
grammars that teach Standard Language norms and usage, the latter
holds good for theoretical Gs, which are tentative descriptions of the
grammatical competence we all possess as a mental store.
Data Coverage: irrespective of the presence or absence of a
theoretical frame, Gs cover the data pertaining to morphology and
syntax, hence the classical format and its rearrangement in the
organization of GT and GB. In modern grammar frames the syntactic
component is central.
A. Survey of G approaches
i. Traditional G is pre-theoretical (based on no model),
prescriptive, notionally biased, atomistic (focusing on L particulars,
exceptions included); it defines its concepts (e.g. the parts of speech)
in terms of extra-linguistic entities, rather than linguistic properties;
ii. Stages of Structural G:
a) Early structuralism or Classical Analytical Structuralism
(CAS), resorted to analytical procedures such as Immediate
Constituent Analysis; its main goals were the identification and
classification of formal units; CAS only described one level of
syntactic structure, the surface linear string, paying no attention to its
correlative meaning interpretation.
Failures of CAS:
1. to analyse/describe syntactic homonymy /ambiguity: one
surface string has at least two semantic interpretations, e.g. Walking
patients can be dangerous;
2. to analyse/describe syntactic synonymy: several distinct
surface strings are underlain by one semantic interpretation, e.g. The
boss turned down the offer. / He turned the offer down. / The offer was
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turned down.;
3. to analyse discontinuous constituents, e.g. Whom did you talk
to? (discontinuity of questioned Indirect Object);
4. to analyse missing constituents, e.g. Stop complaining!
(missing you Subject in Imperative Ss);
5. to analyse non-binary structures, e.g. Tristram, Brian and
Andrew were quarrelling about trifles.(Compound Subject).
b) Late structuralism or Synthetic Structuralism was best
represented by the Standard GT Model (based on Aspects of the
Theory of Syntax, launched by Noam Chomsky in 1965). It is a model
of Competence, postulating two levels of syntactic structure: Deep
Structure and Surface Structure. The student should try to reconsider
the Ss above, which illustrate the 4 failures, and see how the problems
of S constituency and meaning appear from the perspective of Deep
and Surface Structure.
The concept of Grammar has been revisited in the last three
decades. Here is a tentative definition suggested by Noam Chomsky in
his Lectures on Government and Binding (1982): Grammar is an
account of the way representations of form associate with
representations of meaning. While classical Gs were biased for
meaning-based definitions and, on the other hand, early structuralists
manifested a strong neglect of semantic aspects, in the abovementioned definition form and meaning appear to be closely
correlated, so that logical and semantic elements come to be integrated
into Syntax.
The Standard model postulates two levels of syntactic structure:
Deep Structure and Surface Structure.
Deep Structure (DS) is a phrase structure representation of the
basic, underlying syntactic configuration which is interpreted
semantically by rules of the semantic component.
Surface Structure (SS) is the linear concatenation of lexical
items and grammatical formatives which, after processing by
phonological rules, is ready to be performed (SS is produced by
Transformations are meaning-preserving structural operations
(deletion, movement, insertion, substitution). They are relations
holding between phrase markers, therefore, they are relations between
intermediate descriptions of sentences.
For instance, the sentence The pavilion has been redecorated by
Brian. represents the surface structure of a passive S, which is
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underlain by the simpler active string Brian has redecorated the

pavilion. The latter is, therefore, considered the deep structure of the
former. It has been obtained by a transformation called Passivisation
which consists of movement and insertion operations (the deep
Subject has moved in final S position becoming a Prepositional Object
of Agent; the deep Object has moved to the Subject position; auxiliary
BE and the past participle marker en have been attached to the
predicate). Despite the rearrangement of S constituents the meaning is
roughly the same. Both Ss refer to the same activity (redecorate)
performed by an Agent (Brian) and undergone by a Patient (the
pavilion). The Object of Agent becomes an optional constituent, an
Adjunct, which can be deleted under certain conditions, in the context
of discourse.
B. Generative Transformational Grammar (GTG)
GTG is a model of Competence, of our internalised grammar.
It describes the definite set of rules by means of which an infinite
number of grammatical sentences are generated and possibly
transformed. Like any other model, GTG is a hypothetical construct,
an approximate description which can be further improved and
The system of rules for S generation and transformation,
representing our abstract knowledge of language, enables us to
produce grammatical, well-formed Ss. The property of grammaticality
or well-formedness is gradable. We can establish degrees of
grammaticality, depending on how serious the violation of rules for S
generation has been. For instance: *Bob sits up often late (with the Av
often misplaced) is more grammatical than: **Bob sits often late up
(where the two Avs are placed in between the V and its Particle). This
is in turn more grammatical than *** Sit often up late Bob, which
violates several rules of word order, as well as the rule for Agreement.
The Organisation of GTG
The Grammar is made up of three components:
The Syntactic Component occupies the central position. It
includes two sub-components:
a. The Base: RULES (e.g. Phrase Structure /PS Rules) and the
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b. The Transformational Subcomponent

The Semantic Component is made up of rules of semantic
reading/interpretation that assign meaning to syntactic structures at the
Deep Structure level;
The Semantic Component is made up of rules of semantic
reading/interpretation that assign meaning to syntactic structures at the
Deep Structure level;
The Phonological Component is made up of rules of
phonological interpretation meant to assign sound representations to
the Surface Structure.

The Syntactic


The Transformational



C. The Constituent Structure of the Sentence. Phrase

Structure Rules and Phrase Markers. The Lexicon
The Sentence (S) used to be analysed within the Standard
version as an exocentric construction (a phrase without a head, i.e.
neither the Subject NP nor the Predicate VP is the head of S). Here is
a representation of the S as a binary construction, in which the node S
immediately dominates the lower constituents NP and VP. We notice
that there is a hierarchy of constituents, starting with S as top unit,
going through several layers of immediate constituents up to the
final (bottom) linear string wherein lexical items have been inserted.
Such graphic representations of the hierarchy of S constituents are
called Phrase Markers (PMs).
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The sentence The students should revise my lectures is

represented below by the following PM which reflects its inner



[+def] [+N]




[+__ NP] Det
Poss [+common]

shall revise



The surface string The students should revise my lectures results

from the application of the Phrase Structure (PS) rules for S
generation, rules that analyse syntactic categories (S, P) in terms of
lexical categories (N, V etc.) up to the final stage, when lexical items
are inserted from the Lexicon in the appropriate slots. Here are some
examples of PS Rules:
AUXTenseModAspect; MVVNP


D. Subcategorization Rules and the Lexicon

The Base also includes rules which secure the division/partition
of the lexical categories into smaller subcategories that share a set of
features. Thus, by applying these rules we can group together
countable Ns versus uncountable ones, or transitive Verbs versus
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intransitive ones. The features that determine this subdivision can be

of two kinds:
1. inherent (e.g. [+/-animate], [+/-human] etc. for Nouns, [+/state] for Verbs); they are of semantic nature and have grammatical
relevance; they are context-free features;
2. non-inherent, contextual (context-sensitive/bound); in their
turn they result from the application of two types of rules:
a. Strict subcategorization specifies the context in which the
lexical category occurs; the subcategorization frame (indicated by a
pair of square brackets) includes the categorial feature of the lexical
item we describe, followed by the syntactic categories selected as
neighbours to the left or to the right, the dash shows the position of the
item we refer to, as in the examples below:
Nouns: [+N, + Det__ ], valid for Ns in NPs like that guy
the street
my friends
( Art) steel
( Art) trees
Verbs: [+ V, + __ NP, to/for NP], valid for dative Verbs like:
to hand (roses to a girl)
to send (a letter to ones mother)
to buy (a dictionary for James)
to cook (a pizza for the guests)
The frame for Nouns indicates the left-hand specifier position
(usually occupied by Determiners), the frame for Verbs (in this case
transitives) indicates the right-hand complement position where we
find sister constituents like simple or clausal NPs functioning as
Direct Objects, e.g. John met Helen or John thought that Helen was
Other subcategorial features for Vs can be specified by the
following frames: [ __ # ] for intransitives like bark, chirp, sleep
etc.; [ __ PP] for intransitives with obligatory Prepositional Object
like look after, consist in, team with, rely on etc.; [ __ NP] for
transitives with one Direct Object (monotransitives) like read, make,
break, cut, hit etc.; [ __ NP,PP] for transitives with a DO and a PO
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like blame smb. for smth., remind smb. of smth. etc.. The predicate
selects the syntactic categories it allows as sisters, so we can also
label this as c-selection. The Subject NP is selected by the whole VP
(the Predicate Phrase). The frames only specify the obligatory
neighbours, they never include optional ones (e.g. Adjuncts like
Adverbial Phrases).
b. Selectional subcategorization further introduces selectional
restrictions of a semantic nature. They are imposed by each item on its
sister constituents. Transitive predicates, for instance, differ in point of
the semantic features of the NPs they take as Direct Objects. Consider:
Bob is eating a pizza/ his nails/ *his chair/ *his freedom; Sheila
married George / a great pianist/ *the pavement.
Violation of selectional restriction results in ungrammatical
strings. However, in idiomatic or metaphorical phrases selectional
restrictions can be violated (e.g. eat ones words).
The Lexicon
In the general frame of GTG the Lexicon appears as part of the
Base. It is an overall list of the words (lexical items) that form the
vocabulary of the respective language. It includes lexical entries that
supply complete information (phonological, morphological, semantic
and syntactic) about each item. This information is provided under the
form of a Complex Symbol (CS) including the inherent and contextual
features characterising each item, e.g. inherent semantic features
pertaining to Nouns: [+ common] in opposition with [-common], the
latter being specific to Proper Names, [+ animate] versus [-animate],
[+human] versus [-human] etc. For contextual features see section
E. The Transformational Subcomponent
This subcomponent is made up of transformational (T) rules,
which rearrange the constituents in basic strings and derive a
synonymous surface string, e.g. T Passivisation, by means of which
active sentences are converted into passive ones. This T, like all other
Ts, is a complex of operations: movement of the active Subject and
Object, insertion of be-en and of the Preposition by, possible deletion
of the by-Object of Agent. Here is the list of operations that possibly
make up T rules:
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a) movement of a constituent, reordering (e.g. Particle

Movement as in The boss turned down the application --- The
boss turned the application down; Dative Movement as
illustrated by: The student handed his essays to the lecturer --The student handed the lecturer his essays);
b) substitution of a constituent (e.g. pronominalisation of
NPs, substitution of V or VP by do (it), do (so));
c) deletion of a constituent (e.g. Direct Object Deletion as
in: They were eating/smoking/writing something; Preposition
Deletion, as in: He talked about politics --- He talked politics);
d) insertion of a constituent (e.g. there-insertion as in:
There emerged a new trend in architecture; it-insertion, e.g. It
was announced that taxes would not be altered)
Transformations are meaning preserving, they do not change the
semantic interpretation of basic strings. They apply on deep structure
strings, having as output synonymous surface structure sentences.
III. Further Refinement of Gs: The Government and Binding
(GB) Model
The model was launched in 1981, mainly through N. Chomskys
Lectures on Government and Binding. We shall present below the
main changes introduced by this new theory.
1. The X-bar Convention for Phrase Structure
The convention is based on the principle of phrase
endocentricity/headedness. According to this, every syntactic
group/phrase XP is built round a head, be it lexical or functional,
symbolised as X. The head is projected maximally as XP ( = X). In
between, there is a first projection, X, that includes the obligatory
complements (constituents that take part in subcategorization),
according to the formula:
Complements are post-head sisters of Xo and correlate with
argument positions. Thus within VP (=V) the lower phrase level V
(equivalent of Main Verb/ MV) dominates V and the Complement
NP to the right.
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NP (Complement


a model


Standard representation

a model

X-bar representation

This representation brings into relief similarities between

phrases belonging to distinct lexical categories. Consider the N below
in comparison to the V above and notice the similarity:


PP (Complement position)

a model

The higher level represents the X which includes Specifiers to

X: XSpecX. As a rule, Specifiers are pre-head constituents that
express specifically the reference of the head, e.g.: his creation of a
model, where the Possessive Determiner his occurs in Spec position
and gives the clue as to the identity of the logical (deep) Subject of the
nominal phrase: NPoss DetN.






of a model

The endocentricity principle is generalised so that, as suggested

by the representation above, it conveniently applies to the major
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category Sentence (S), whose left-hand Specifier is the Subject NP.

The S is reinterpreted as the maximal projection IP (I) of the head
Inflection (IO), consisting of Tense (T) and Agreement (Agr)
formatives. This cluster of constituents is separated from the V head
(of VP).
1) S






VP( V)

V NP N0 T Agr V0 NP
He -ed create a model

[+sg] create a model

The new vision on phrase constituency also eliminates the

redundancy of information caused by the coexistence of PS rules and
subcategorization rules (one and the same category, e.g. transitive Vs,
used to be described twice: by means of the PS rule - MVVNP
and, concomitantly, by the subcategorization rule V[+V, +__NP]).
The proposal was made to give up PS rules in favour of the X-bar
representation which applies uniformly upon all phrases, according to
the formulae:
Another consequence of the application of this principle is that
heads subcategorize for their complements, rather than for their
Specifiers or for their Adjuncts (i.e. optional constituents outside the
subcategorization frame). Thus Transitive Verbs subcategorize for
non-prepositional NPs chosen as Complements and functioning as
Direct Objects, setting up the class of transitives versus the class of
intransitive prepositional Vs that select PPs in Complement position,
i.e. functioning as Prepositional Objects (e.g. emphasize an idea
(VNP) versus insist on an idea (VPP)).
The head-complement relation presupposes the dependence of
the constituent in complement position upon the verb. Indeed in the
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transitive configuration above, the NP an idea is marked by the

Accusative case only by virtue of its being governed by the transitive
V head. Such dependence relations between a head of a construction
and its dependent term are described, therefore, as government
relations. They hold between governors like Vs, Prepositions and
Inflection heads, and their governees (NPs in all the three cases). The
governor assigns morphological case to its governee, as follows:
kissMary/her; withMary/her ;
The theory of Government explains how morphological case,
which is not inherent in Ns, is assigned to Subject and Object NPs.
2. Further aspects of Government
We have seen that Government holds between two terms that are
to be found in the maximal projection of a head X0:


b) P




In both cases the two lower nodes are part of the same
constituent, which singly dominates the two constituents. This is a
relation called constituent-command/c-command, which can be
defined as follows:
c-commands if,
every branching node dominating dominates
This is the configurational key to structures based on
government like a) and b). The head governor X0 and the governed
term are within the same maximal projection. To sum up we shall
supply below the complete definition of Government that contains 3
governs if,
a. is X, i.e. lexical head, for some X
b. c-commands
c. for all maximal projections , if dominates , then it
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also dominates
Let us reconsider the representation of the S as the maximal
projection IP of the head I. The NP Subject is placed to the left of the
head, in Specifier position. Both this NP and the I are dominated by
the node that labels the maximal projection the IP node. I governs
the Spec NP (Subject) which is within its c-command domain. As
governor of Spec NP, I assigns Nominative case to the latter.
3. Levels of Structure in GB
The two levels of syntactic structure are D-Structure (roughly
the same as in GTG) and S-Structure, which results from movement
rules (move-&). These often produce semantic changes if the linear
string is rearranged e.g. the effect of semantic operators (manner
adverbials, quantifiers, negators, modal adverbs etc.) with a variable
The gangsters shot the nigger cheerfully.
The nigger got shot cheerfully.
The manner adverbial (cheerfully) has the Agentive Subject
gangsters in its scope in the active S (it shows how their action was
performed). In the second S (with a get passive predicate) the same
adverb refers to the way the Passive Subject, a Patient, underwent the
I wont paint the President.
The President wont be painted.
Hence semantic interpretation should apply after the T rules.
The transformational apparatus of GT is reduced to the move-
rule (where is the constituent that moves). Other rules like deletion,
for instance, operate at the level of the Phonological Component.
The Semantic Component is labelled as Logical Form.
Here is the picture indicating the organization of GB Grammar:

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Logical Form
(Semantic Component)

The D-Structure level gives information about basic constituents

and syntactic functions. This information is made apparent in SStructure too, by the introduction of a phonologically void category,
Trace, left behind after the application of move- on a certain
constituent. The Trace t indicates the basic position of the moved
constituent and the subcategory neighbour constituents belong to.








V(o) NP



wash the shirt well

The shirt

-s wash t well

4. Argument Structure and Thematic Roles

Each predicate takes a set of arguments that reflect the
participants in the respective event. Each participant plays a role
(hence -role).Thus, the Agent represents the initiator and performer
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of an activity, the Patient is the role of the participant undergoing the

effects of an activity. They all form the role-structure associated with
the logical predicate (realized grammatically by a Verb or an
Adjective). Each argument bearing a -role is grammaticalised as an
NP in a certain position as to the main verb. Role structures are part of
our mental and linguistic Lexicon, they represent lexical conceptual
structures (LCS). The roles are indicated in -grids for each V or A.
The roles correspond to/match the constituents that make up the
subcategorization frame.
Other roles:
Experiencer the participant experiencing a psychological
process (cognitive, affective etc., with Vs like enjoy, love, dislike,
think, remember etc.);
Goal the location or entity in the direction of which
something moves;
Benefactive the entity that benefits from the action or event
denoted by the predicate;
Source the location or entity from which something moves;
Instrument the medium by which the action or event is
carried out;
Locative the specification of the place where the action /
event takes place.
Thematic roles form hierarchies, depending on the degree of
prominence of the -roles involved (for details see A. Cornilescu,
Concepts of Modern Grammar, p.155- 183).

IV. The Sentence (IP). Properties and Types

1. Syntactic Properties
According to Classical Analytical Structuralism (CAS), the
Sentence (S) is an independent grammatical unit, the highest in the
hierarchy of such units. It is described as a structured string of
words, occurring as a linear sequence of items grouped round a Noun
head to the left and a Verb head to the right. S is viewed as a binary
construction, in which S immediately dominates the two phrases NP
and VP, which dominate in their turn the lexical categories. At the
bottom there is a terminal string made up of lexical items that belong
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to the corresponding lexical categories.

Ever since the advent of GTG, S has ceased to be analysed at
just one level of structure, which is regarded as surface realization. S
has been supplied a complete representation in terms of an
underlying/basic Deep Structure (including the global semantic
interpretation of S) converted by Transformational rules into a
linearized Surface Structure, ready to be performed phonologically.
The binary constituent structure of S which forms the central
architecture of S used to be considered an instance of an exocentric
phrase, lacking therefore a head or centre and being based on mutual
dependency relations between the Subject NP and the Predicate VP.
The GB frame has replaced this concept of S as a result of the
headedness principle, according to which all phrases (S included) are
headed (see II.1). S comes to be described as an endocentric Inflection
Phrase (IP), having as Head the functional category Inflection (I). To
the left, in Specifier I position there is the Subject NP, governed by
I, which assigns it the abstract morphological case Nominative. This
description has a far greater explanatory power.
2. Logico-semantic Properties
The IP is interpreted semantically by the Logical Form (LF)
Component, which inter-relates the syntactic configuration with the
corresponding logical proposition P, made up of a logical predicate
(realized as V or A) and a set of arguments (realized as NPs). The
predicate expresses an event, a state-of-affairs (or a change of state),
while the arguments represent the participants in the event, in terms of
the roles they play. The meaning of S is also determined by the
presence of logical operators, such as Quantifiers, Modals, or
Negators, which contribute to sentential meaning, even at the level of
S-Structure. LF assigns meaning to sentences in isolation from
3. Phonological Properties
The IP is interpreted phonologically by the Phonological Form
(PF) Component, whose task is to assign the respective string the
proper intonational contour, including the pitch and the junctures. The
intonational contour is specialized for each of the four S types:
declaratives, interrogatives, imperatives and exclamatives.

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4.A.The Information Structure of the Sentence

S meaning can be viewed from a broader perspective that
involves the quality and distribution of the information conveyed by
the sentential string. Thus the Information Structure of the IP consists
of a Topic/Theme that expresses old/given/predictable information
and Comment/Rheme that expresses new/unknown/unpredictable
information. Consider:
The Romanian Government has not passed the bill on radio
[+ old information]
[+ new information]
We notice that the NP functioning as Subject has as referent an
already known entity which is familiar to every Romanian, while the
VP functioning as Predicate renders a new, unpredictable event whose
focus is the last constituent (in bold letters). The alternation old new
information represents the current norm for thematic progression, it
being considered unmarked. If the speaker wants to lay emphasis on
the topic s/he can use a marked construction such as:
A new bill has been passed by the Romanian Government.
This sentence topicalizes (within a Passive sentence) the deep
structure DO of the corresponding active string. Notice that the
determiner in our first example, a definite article used as anaphoric,
has been substituted here by an indefinite article whose function is to
mark new information.
The range of sentence patterns in any language, English
included, represents the syntactic potential of the respective language.
B. Sentence Types according to the Criterion of Structural
A Simple Sentence is based on a single predication or
predicative nucleus. The degree of structural complexity is increased
if one and the same sentence includes two or more such predications,
be they finite (+Tense, +Agr), or non-finite (-Tense, -Agr). A sentence
which is part of a bigger sentence is called clause. Clauses can be
coordinated or subordinated to each other.
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A Compound Sentence is based on coordination of conjoined

clauses that enjoy the same rank:
The tourists visited the National Gallery (clause1) and then went
to the Tower of London(clause2).
Complex Sentences evince an even higher degree of structural
complexity. Minimally, they are made up of a Main or Matrix Clause
(MC) and one Subordinate / Embedded Clause.
E.g.: Recently I have realized [that Scotsmen are quite
Direct Object Clause
The subordinate clause above occurs in Complement post-verb
position, functioning as Direct Object Clause. The that-Clause above
is finite, while the Gerundial (Ger) and Infinitival (Inf) Clauses in the
Complex Sentences below are non-finite.
1.Henry didnt remember [posting the letter.]
Ger Cl DO
2.Henry remembered [to post the letter.]
Inf Cl DO
One and the same sentence may be both Compound and
Complex, thus reaching the highest degree of structural complexity:
When the guide realized that the Etna had erupted again
and that there were still tourists left behind near the crater, he
walked back to rescue them, but the dark prevented him from
advancing too fast.
C. The Clause as Complementizer Phrase (CP)
Clauses are analysed in the GB frame as Phrases headed by
clause introducers in Complementizer position. The Complementizer is
a functional category, like Inflection (I0) and Determiner (Det). It is
realized by conjunctions, wh-words (relative-interrogative pronouns)
or the infinitival particle (to).
E.g.: He remembered [that he hadnt locked the door.]CP
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D. The classification of sentences according to the criterion

of communicative function
If viewed from the point of view of their communicative
functionality, sentences fall into four types, which are specialized
cross-linguistically, as shown below:
a. The declarative sentence type is used to make statements; it
is patterned according to the dominant word order specific to each
language, being taken as Standard form as to the other three types. In
English unmarked declaratives observe the SVO (Subject-VerbObject) word order type.
E.g.: Young people enjoy pop music.
b. Interrogatives or questions are specialized for requesting
missing information. In point of constituent structure they are based
on Subject-Auxiliary Inversion as in:
Has John won the contest?
Will John win the contest?
If the respective IP does not include an auxiliary verb (be, have
or Modal), the auxiliary do/does or did is inserted to carry tense
Did John win the contest yesterday?
The intonational contour of Questions is distinct from that of
c. Imperatives are specialised for expressing commands, orders
or requests. Syntactically they are characterised by the absence of the
Subject You from S-structure, e.g.:
Stop complaining!
d. Exclamatory sentences or exclamatives are used by speakers
to express feelings, psychological reactions of surprise, admiration,
disapproval , and so on. They resemble Questions by their introducers
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which are wh-words.


How peaceful the village is!

What a nice vista (this is)!

In point of word order, exclamatives may either have the

arrangement of declaratives or the one based on Inversion, specific to
Questions. Quite often they undergo deletion of the predicative
(verbal) constituent.

How strange!
What a delightful night!

E. The Classification of Sentences according to Polarity

Most of the sentence types above may vary according to the
polarity criterion. Thus declaratives, interrogatives and imperatives
may be either affirmative or negative, the latter variant being
illustrated below:
Young people dont enjoy symphonic music.
Hasnt John won the contest?
Dont complain about your family!
Negative contraction (aux. + contracted Negator) often occurs in
spoken language.
F. Shift of Communicative Function
Some of the sentence types may deviate from their major
function in communicative context, the respective configuration being
used to serve a different communicative goal. Thus Questions may be
used with the force of imperatives, as in:
Why dont we go to a restaurant?
What about listening to some oldies?
Besides, the negative question form may be used with the force
of an exclamative, expressing admiration or surprise, as in:
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Isnt she a lady!

Hasnt she grown!
The use of Sentence types for Speech Act purposes is part of the
domain of pragmatics to be studied in the 2nd term of the 3rd year.
V. Predication. Structural and Logico-semantic Tasks
The key to the structure of the IP is the predicative core or
nucleus, realizing the relation of predication and the function of
Predicate Phrase. This core is made up of verbal items and phrases,
which form two clusters. The central one is the head constituent
Inflection (I). Its immediate constituents obligatory Tense ( the
formatives 0/-s for the Present and ed for the Past) in finite sentences,
Mood and Modality (the Vs shall, will, can, may a.s.o.), Aspect ( the
set of formatives have + -en for the Perfect and be-ing for the
Progressive), as well as the Agreement markers (the features of
person and number transfered from the Subject NP) carry out all the
formal or structural tasks of predication:
Spec I


[+3rd p.]
[ + sg.]






[+3 p.]

may have-en be ing

may have been sleeping
The head of the VP, V, expresses an event or a state-of-affairs,
or it assigns a property to the referent of the Subject NP. The V head
occurs by itself (for most intransitives), or it selects a sister
constituent in Complement position (for transitives). Together, the V


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and its Complement select the Subject NP, which expresses the main
participant in the event, the Protagonist. In most cases this is an Agent
or an Experiencer, both these thematic roles being realized by
[+human] NPs. The most relevant elements for predication are,
therefore: 1. the subcategorization frame of the verb; 2. the theta-grid
associated with the verb.
In what follows we shall supply the typology of predications in
English, using as a main guideline the subcategories that realize the
predication tasks as heads of the VP.

The Syntactic Property of Transitivity

The main syntactic property that brings about a partition of V items
into two big subcategories is transitivity. The syntactic property of
transitivity refers to the obligatory valency/contextual feature of V:
[+_NP]. Vs that never enter this frame are intransitive. They are further
subdivided into meaningless intransitives called copulas or
copular/linking Vs(mainly the verb BE), and meaningful intransitives.
The latter can be further subcategorized by taking into account the
number of arguments in their theta-grid and the thematic roles they bear.
The main division within intransitives with one argument is that between:
a) unergatives, one-argument Vs that merely take an Agent as Subject,
e.g. cough, sneeze, neigh, sleep, bark, etc.; and b) unaccusatives, oneargument intransitives that take a Theme-bearing argument which cannot
be assigned Accusative case. Hence it has to be moved to Subject
position. Here we include eventives like happen, occur, existentials
like be and exist, Vs of seeming like seem and appear, resultative state
verbs like die.
By contrast with these two subclasses, transitives are associated
with two thematic roles: Agent as external argument and Theme or
Patient as internal argument. The first role is grammaticalized as
Subject, the second as Direct Object. Consider:
a) unergative intransitive:
The boxer was barking (in the back yard).
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b) unaccusative intransitive
The accident happened (last night).
c) transitive
The woman was describing the scene.
Transitivity has a floating nature, it can determine shifts of Vs
from the basic intransitive regime to a derived intransitive one. These
shifts are explained as cases of recategorization. Thus the intransitive
verb LIVE may be recategorized as transitive in the following
contexts: a) if it occurs with a Cognate Object as in They lived a
miserable life; b) if the locative Preposition in is deleted, as in They
lived Oxford Street. The reverse direction can be illustrated by cases
of Direct Object Deletion, e.g. Sean was smoking, or of Passivals,
e. g. That dictionary sold well.
VI. Intransitives
VI. 1. The Copulative Predication Type
A. Copulative Predication is characterized by the following
1) it is a discontinuous, binary structure made up of two
The Copula - a meaningless or quasi-meaningless intransitive
V, like BE and other Copula-like Vs which carries out the formal tasks
of predication;
The Predicative realized by an adjectival or nominal phrase
which conveys the meaning of the predicate, thus performing the
lexical tasks of predication.
Consider: The show was quite successful. (BeAP)
The show was a great success. (BeNP)
The Predicative may be realized by one of the following Phrases:
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Adjectival Phrase (AP)

Noun Phrase (NP)
simple/non-clausal constituents
Prepositional Phrase (PP)
Complementizer Phrase (CP) clausal constituents (finite or
a) This teacher is absent-minded.
- AP
b) This teacher is the Head of the English
- NP
c) This teacher is in need of money.
- PP
d) The problem is that this teacher has not
attended refreshment courses.
- CP
2) the tasks of predication are carried out as follows:
i) the formal/structural tasks are fulfilled by copular BE and
other similar verbs which are the carriers of the markers of predication
(the formatives that make up the Inflection head):
Agreement markers- copied from the Subject NP [person;
Tense, Aspect, Modality markers
Here are examples of Aspect marking: a) John has been very
rude today (the Perfect); b) John is being very rude (the Progressive).
The two Aspects never combine in copulative predicates: * John has
been being rude.
ii) the lexical tasks are carried out by the Phrase in Complement
position, functioning as Predicative; the predicative may:
a) assign a property or an attribute to the referent of the
Subject NP, e.g.:
Peter is fanciful/ a poet / a fanciful poet. ( the last variant
assigns two properties by means of the NP)
b) assign an identity to the referent of the Subject NP,
thus functioning as identifier, e.g.:
Marian is my brother's wife./ She is the leader of our team.
B. More on the Copula and Copula-like Verbs
BE enjoys a multiple grammatical regime, i.e. it may be: a) a
meaningful existential V belonging to the subcategory of
unaccusatives; b) a copular/link(ing) V; c) an auxiliary for the
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Progressive and the Passive; d) a modal substitute (to be to Inf).

a) Once upon a time there was a princess.
existential BE (denoting existence in space and/or time)
Their villa is on the outskirts of the town.
b) Two is company, three is a crowd.
copular BE
c) The application is being typed.
auxiliary BE (marker of the Progr. or Pass)
d) He is to arrive tomorrow.
modal Be
Despite the distinct syntactic and semantic features of the three
types of BE, they all share the same behavioural peculiarities, namely:
a) Be does not require Do-insertion (except Negative
Imperatives like Dont be so cheeky!);
b) in Question it undergoes inversion with the Subject, e.g. Is the
puppy in the kennel? Is it barking? Is it black and white?);
c) the Negator is inserted after Be and contraction can freely
apply, e.g. This pupil is not (isnt) writing;
d) all types of Be can undergo deletion in contexts like Relative
Clauses (the pad which is on the desk --- the pad on the desk),
Accusative with Infinitive constructions (I considered Chomsky (to
be) a genius), Time Adverbial Clauses introduced by when or while
(Tom is very witty when/while (he is) sober);
e) all Bes can undergo There-Insertion, except copular Be,
e.g. There is a puppy in the kennel; There is a man crying for help, but *
There is a girl clever; f) Be does not theta-mark its NP neighbours, but
for existential Be which takes a Theme-marked NP that moves to
Subject position, being frequently associated with a Location, e.g. Paris
is on the Seine. (theta grid: < Theme, Loc>)
Copula-like verbs evince the same combinatorial possibilities
as BE, but they are idiosyncratic; hence the Lexicon indicates the
contextual features specific to each. In point of meaning they are
semantically poor, forming a scale from meaningless to meaningful:
MAKE is, like BE, meaningless or it may have a tinge of becoming
(the [+inchoative] feature), e.g. This book makes excellent reading;
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She will make a very good French teacher. The Vs of BECOMING

share the feature [+inchoative] and pattern as follows:
BECOME [ _ Pred. NP] On leaving school he became a bank clerk.
[_AP] Our work is becoming more challenging.
[_PP] I wonder what became of the gold watch you
used to wear.
COME [_ AP] Her dreams have come true.
[_to Inf] In some towns the streets came to be used as
parking places.
[_ AP] Its getting dark.
[_to Inf.] They got to be friends.
Marian is growing prettier and prettier.
[_to Inf.] She's growing to like him better.
Positional Verbs can also undergo a weakening of meaning,
thus becoming copula-like Vs. It is the case of loom, lie, sit, stand
and rank. The student is required to look up the dictionary entries for
each and take down contexts to illustrate their behaviour as copulalike Vs.
Perception Verbs are placed at the other end of the semantic
scale. They are meaningful state Vs, which take APs as Predicatives
and to-NPs as Indirect Objects expressing the role Experiencer:
Those oranges tasted sour (to the child).
The news sounds incredible (to my ears).
The class also includes the verbs sound, feel, look. All sense
perception Vs are basically [+state], but they may recategorize as
[-state] and shift from intransitives to transitives, e.g.:
The lilac smelled sweet. (smell: [+state], copula-like V:
[__Pred AP])
I smelled the lilac. (smell: [-state], transitive V: [___NP])

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Typology of Predicatives
1) According to the the logico-semantic criterion predicatives
can be either attributive or equative:
a) Attributive predicatives are property assigners, the predicative
assigns a property to the subject, hence the subject is called the
attributed term and the predicative - the attribuant, e.g.: The fresher
was impudent. The predicative adjective impudent assigns the
property of being impudent to the subject. The two terms cannot be
reverted: *Impudent was the fresher. (the S is ungrammatical)
The subject may be expressed by a [+/-definite NP]: The task
was too hard for him.; A policeman was rude.
The predicative may be: [AP] Jenny is cute.; [-definite NP]
Jenny is a student of German.; [PP] His country is in a state-ofchange.; [CP] Seeing is believing.
This attributive relation may be of two kinds:
i. Class membership: A B This novel is interesting.
(The referent of the subject is a member of the class of
interesting entities)
ii. Class inclusion: A c B The/A tiger is a feline.
(The referents of the Subject form a small set included in the
bigger set denoted by the Predicative)
b) Equative (identifying) predicatives establish the identity of
the subject and both the subject and the predicative must be marked by
[+definiteness]. The subject and the predicative can be reverted: Tony
Blair is Prime Minister. The Prime Minister is Tony Blair.
The predicative may be: [+ definite NP] Jane was her teacher.;
[AP, +superlative] This student is the smartest of all.; [CP] Her
change of mood was what puzzled everybody.
2) According to the syntactic criterion, APs may be: a. both
modifying and predicative (a kind man; He was kind.) b. exclusively
modifying, occurring in prenominal contexts as Noun Modifiers (an
utter fool), c. exclusively predicative, occurring in verbal contexts as
Predicatives (The child wasnt asleep.)
Exclusively modifying As include: a) classifying As (financial
help, economic problems); these As serve to specify a set of reference,
most of them are [-gradable] and [+denominal]; b) emphasizing As
(utter, sheer, absolute); c) As indicating position (lower, upper);
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d) certain ing As (freezing cold, scalding hot)

Exclusively predicative As include a-prefixed As: awake, asleep,
alive, alone, ablaze, adrift.
VI. 2. Non-copulative Intransitives
Intransitives can be divided into syntactically
intransitives and syntactically complex intransitives.


Simple intransitive verbs

They are "verbs of complete predication", as they can carry out
the tasks of predication by themselves. Their subcategorization frame
is [___#]. Semantically, they express events of all types - activities,
processes or states with reference to a wide range of possible
Subjects. Syntactically, these predicates can take as optional
Adjuncts Prepositional Objects, as well as Adverbial Modifiers of
various kinds, e.g.: The lilies have (splendidly) bloomed (in my
garden). ( optional Adjuncts: Manner Av splendidly, Place Av
in my garden)
Simple intransitives can be subdivided into the class of
unergatives, with Agentive Subjects (bloom, work, sleep, blink, fly,
run) and the class of unaccusatives with Theme Subjects (die, grow,
appear, vanish, burst, collapse).
Syntactically simple intransitives can also be expressed by
lexically complex verbs, made up of Verb and Adverbial Particle
(traditionally labelled as Complex / Phrasal Verbs). They evince a
high degree of idiomaticity, e.g.: The lights have gone out. Other
examples: pass away, take off, show up etc.
Complex Intransitives
1. Prepositional Intransitives
This subcategory includes Vs with obligatory preposition, such
as: to look at, to wait for, to do with. The subcategorization frame is
[__PP], the obligatory PP having the syntactic function of PO
(Prepositional Object). Prepositional intransitives can undergo
passivization, e.g.: Jack insisted on that proposal. That proposal
was insisted on.
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2. Intransitives with Particle and Preposition: [_Prt, PP]

The class includes phrasal Vs, which take an obligatory
Preposition governing an Object:
They had done away with this piece of legislation.
The family came [up] Prt [against fresh problems] PO.
3. Intransitives with a Prepositional Indirect Object: [_to NP]
Several subclasses of intransitives, among which eventive Vs,
experiencer Vs, relational Vs take an Indirect Object marked by the
Dative preposition to.
a. The eventive type: verbs like happen and befall take Dative
NPs expressing the Experiencer of an event, e.g.: What's happened to
the old man?
b. The experiencer type: the class consists of verbs of seeming
(seem, appear), verbs of perception (sound, taste, smell), verbs of
cognition (occur to smb that..).
E.g.: It seemed to me that I was dreaming.
That possibility had never occurred to anyone.
c. The relational type: these Vs can be grouped into 1. hose
indicating relations between all kinds of entities (Vs indicating
possession: belong to smb, pertain to smb, e.g. The dash and fire
pertaining to youth are transient.) and 2. those specialized for
inferiority relations between man and other entities, including bow to
smb., accrue to smb., cringe to / before smb, yield to smth.
E.g.: The girl bowed to the audience.
Our people will never surrender to foreign invaders.
4. Intransitives with Two Prepositional Objects: [__PP, PP]
A number of intransitive Vs may be followed by two PPs.
Prepositional Object Deletion often applies, having as an effect in
surface structure the removal of one or the other of the two Objects.
These Vs can be further subdivided into:
a) Vs with an Indirect Object marked by to, followed by a PO in
which the Prep indicates a topic about, on, upon, or the cause or
purpose of an action for.
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E.g.: He lectures [to undergraduates]



[on the Elizabethan

b) Vs such as argue, discuss or quarrel which take as first

Object a with NP indicating the human participating as a partner in the
respective activity, e.g.: He was arguing with his wife about money.
5.Intransitives with Adverbial Modifiers: [__AvP]
There are several subcategories of Vs that take obligatory
Adverbials of various kinds:
a) Intransitives with Adverbial Modifiers of Place and Direction:
verbs denoting existence in space such as be, lie, remain, sit, stand
commonly take a Place Adverbial either a locative Adverb or a
locative PP; Motion Vs take, according to the semantic subclass they
belong to, AvPs expressing: (a) the departure point; (b) the destination
point; (c) the path or itinerary. One and the same V sometimes enters
all four, e.g.: Have you flown up to this place? (destination point),
Have you flown from Athens to Rome? (path)
b) Intransitives with Quantifying Adverbials: the verbs cost,
weigh and owe, often treated erroneously as transitives (on account of
their co-occurrence with a non-prepositional NP) actually take
Quantifying Adverbials, e.g.: The dictionary costs 200$. Quantifying
Adverbials of Place occur obligatorily with the verb stretch and
optionally with most of the motion Vs, e.g.: The corn field stretched
miles away. The verb last takes an obligatory Quantifying Adverbial
of Time, e.g. The concert lasted (for) three hours.
6. Reciprocal Intransitives
Inherently reciprocal Vs occur in two alternative configurations:
(a) with a phrasally conjoined and NP or other types of [+set] NPs as
Subject; and (b) in a prepositional construction, if the Subject is a
[+sg] NP. In the latter case the Preposition is indicated for each
reciprocal V in its lexical entry.
E.g.: (a) 1. The train and the bus / they / the trains collided (with
each other).
2. The married couple has recently separated.
(b) The train collided with the bus. The bus collided with the
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Some transitive verbs may be recategorized as intransitives in
the following cases:
1. A number of transitives allow the deletion of their Direct
Object NP if the DO is more or less specialized semantically (i.e. if it
satisfies the V's selectional features), but is not definite referentially.

I don't particularly like the way she sings (songs )

Whenever I see her, she is smoking (cigarettes ).

2. The Reflexive Direct Object can also be deleted with some

transitive Vs, among which dress, shave or wash, e.g.: He is the habit
of shaving (himself ) daily.
3. The Direct Object may be promoted in Subject position. This
occurs in activo-passives or passivals.
E.g.: This material washes well. (DO Subj; V remains active)
VII. Transitive Predications
All transitives share the feature [ _NP]. This NP occupies the
Complement position, being governed by the transitive V. The V
governor assigns Accusative case to its governee. The lexical entry of
a transitive V also includes information about the selectional
restrictions imposed by the respective item, e.g. Vs like cut and slice
select [-animate], [-abstract] NPs as DOs, while know and believe
select [-animate], [+ abstract] NPs as DOs. The inherent semantic
features of each transitive are also specified in the lexical entry (e.g.
[+causative], [+/-state] etc.). Features like [+Object Deletion] or
[+Passivization] indicate the transformational behaviour of each item.
The lexical entry also includes the theta-grid associated with the
respective V. Most transitives take an Agent as external argument and
a Patient/Theme as internal argument.

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Syntactically Simple Transitives: [ _NP]

1. Monotransitives with Affected Objects indicate activities
which affect concrete entities, including Vs like: accumulate (goods,
wealth), adapt (a script, a piece of furniture), decorate, ornament (a
room, a house), air (the room, the bedding), back (a car). A
subcategory apart includes verbs which take as Direct Objects parts of
the human body. The respective NPs are determined by Possessives
which are co-referent with the NP-Subject. Passivization is blocked:
bare (one's head), bite (one's tongue), bump (one's head), clap (one's
hands), close (one's eyes), drag (one's feet), nod (one's head), shrug
(one's shoulders).
2. Verbs with Effected / Resultative Object indicate activities
that effect/create concrete entities. The prototype of this class of Vs is
to make. They often take a second object, expressing the beneficiary
of the respective activity by means of a for NP. The class includes:
build (a shelter), carve (a statue), compose (music), cook (cakes),
create (a model), crochet (gloves), dig (ditches), draw (a cartoon),
erect (a monument). A special type of effected object is the Cognate
Object taken by inherently intransitive verbs, which recategorize, in
this way, as transitives: to smile an amiable smile, to dream a
melancholy dream, to sleep the sleep of the just.
3. Verbs with Affected and/or Effected Object
One and the same verb may take, contextually, either an affected
or an effected direct object. Compare: Who'd like to carve the chicken?
(affected DO) and Whoever carved this statue was a genius. (effected
DO). Other verbs that may take both types of objects are: paint, raise,
dig, burn etc.
4. Relational Verbs express symmetric or asymmetric relations
between entities. Symmetric relations are rendered by reciprocal verbs
which express mutual relations between humans (marry, divorce) or
relations of similarity between entities (resemble).
Vs of possession express asymmetric relations. Their prototype
is HAVE, which has a multiple semantic and syntactic regime (as
auxiliary for the Perfect, causative V, modal, prop -V). Its synonyms
own and possess also predicate configurations with a possessive
meaning. The Subject NP grammaticalizes the role Benefactive, the
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Direct Object NP bears the role Theme.

The two classes of relational Vs described above resist
Inclusion relationships are rendered by transitive verbs such as
contain, hold, comprise, include, cover a.s.o. These verbs are
semantically related to verbs of possession.
5. Verbs with Instrumental Object like use, handle, employ,
manipulate take Direct Objects that grammaticalize the role
Instrument, e.g. Tom used a knife to cut the salami.
6. Verbs with Locative Object such as enter (a place), inhabit
(a flat), reach (a destination), leave (a town) co-occur with Direct
Objects that have a locative or directional tinge, otherwise rendered by
Prepositional markers. Compare: enter the hall to go into the hall;
leave the town to depart from the town.
7. Verbs with Abstract Direct Object include Vs like denote,
imply, elucidate etc., whose Direct Object expresses an abstraction.
Quite often such Vs take a Complement Clause in Object position. Vs
of linguistic communication, or Vs of cognition often take such a
clausal Direct Object, e.g. The jury declared that the proofs were not
valid. They considered that the man was not guilty.
8. Causative Verbs (periphrastic, lexical, morphological)
They are transitive verbs inherently marked by [+causative] or
intransitive ones recategorized as transitives and occurring
contextually as causatives. These Vs express either mere causation of
an event (cause, make, get), or an event in which causation is implied,
e.g. teach (cause smb to learn), cool (cause smth. to become cool),
persuade (cause smb. to believe). All causative constructions are
transitive, owing to the fact that causation always implies two roles: a
causer and an affected or effected entity. Causatives can be
classified into:
a) Periphrastic causatives including the Vs: cause, determine,
make, have and get. Semantically speaking, they render the idea of
causation quite neutrally, with the exception of have and get, which
may have an additional tinge of compulsion or order, e.g.: I shall have
him rewrite the story. (=I shall oblige him to)
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b) Lexical causatives form pairs with intransitive verbs,

denoting the resultative aspect of the respective activity, process or
state by means of a lexically distinct item. Consider the pair: Caesar
died. / Brutus killed Caesar. The verb die occurs as a one-term verb,
taking the Patient as Subject. The same Patient occurs as Object of its
causative counterpart kill, which is a two-term verb, with an Agent as
Subject. The relation between the transitive and the intransitive verb
configurations is lexicalized, in that the possibility of using the same
V lexeme in these cases is ruled out: *Brutus died Caesar. Here are
some more members of this class: give=cause smb to have;
remind=cause smb. to remember; put=cause smth. to be in a place;
entertain=cause smb. to rejoice; send=cause smb to receive;
raise=cause smth. to rise; fell=cause smth. to fall.
c) Morphological Causatives are derived from other lexical
items by means of word formation processes, namely by conversion or
1) Causatives derived by conversion: to cool (from the A cool,
AV, She cooled the soup.), to blind (AV), to better, to empty;
2) Causatives derived by affixation include:
a) causatives formed by prefixation: with prefix be (becalm,
benumb), prefix dis (disable, disanimate), en(enlarge, enrich,
b) causatives formed by suffixation: with suffix ate
(activate, differentiate), with suffix ize (commercialize, criticize),
with en (madden, lessen)
d) Attitudinal Causatives/Experiencer Causatives express a
psychological reaction aroused in a human being by an exterior
stimulus and include verbs like puzzle, terrify, surprise, please etc.,
e.g.: The news pleased everybody.
e) Dative Causatives include causatives that take two objects,
an IO and a DO: give smth. to smb., sell smth. to smb., show smth. to
f) Ergative Verbs are verbs which couple the basic regimes of
both transitives and intransitives. The same verb may predicate,
without any difference in its phonological form, a one-term
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intransitive configuration or a two-term transitive one: Sarah moved

the branch. (move=transitive V) and The branch moved.
(move=intransitive V). Other Vs: drop, break, melt, roll, improve and
9. Lexically Complex Verbs are made up of a verbal item and
an Adverbial Particle, e.g. Turn off the lights! Some of these verbs can
undergo particle movement, e.g.: Turn the lights off!
10. Intransitives Recategorized as Causatives
Intransitive verbs may be recategorized as transitive, when they
contextually incorporate the [+ causative] feature: He walked the
horse up and down.
Syntactically Complex Transitives
1. Dative Verbs have the following subcategorization frame:
[__NP, to/for NP], they include verbs like: make smth. for smb., lend
smth. to smb., communicate smth. to smb. For details see erban, D.,
English Syntax, vol.1, pp. 335-364.
2. Prepositional Transitives enter configurations in which the
DO is followed by a PO ([__NP, PP]): accuse smb. of smth., blame
smb. for smth., deprive smb. of smth., reproach smb. with smth.
3. Transitives with Particle and Preposition include verbs
with Adverbial Particle followed by an obligatory preposition: to look
down on smb., to let smb. in on smth., to get smb. off to a good start
VIII. Dative Configurations
Dative structures represent a particular case of predication by
any ditransitive verb which indicates the transfer of a concrete or
abstract entity from a Source to a Goal. The Source role is
grammaticalized as Subject, the transferred entity, bearing the role of
Patient, occurs as Direct Object, while the Goal role marks the
Indirect Object:

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E.g.: Little Jim gave three daisies to Lilian.

The ditransitive verb takes two objects, an AccusativeDirect
Object, followed by a DativeIndirect Object, the latter being marked
by the dative preposition to. As already known, English has a
synonymous alternative to this structure, resulting from the reordering
of the Direct and the Indirect Objects:
E.g.: Little Jim gave Lilian three daisies..
In the second configuration the IO occurs without preposition,
occupying the position of immediate neighbour to the verb.
English dative configurations can also convey the idea of an
advantage taken by a person whose role in the event is that of
E.g.: Daddy bought a teddy bear for little Jim.
Pat- DO
The Indirect Object is marked by the preposition for, which is
dropped if we reorder the two objects:
E.g.: Daddy bought little Jim a teddy bear.
The theta grids of the verbs in to-Dative constructions differ
from those in for-Dative ones in that the role marking the Indirect
Object is Goal in the former and Benefactive in the latter:
GIVE: Ag/Source < Pat, Goal>
BUY: Ag/Source < Pat, Ben>
We can see from the formulae above that the role marking the
Subject consists, actually, of a possible co-relation between an Agent
that initiates and carries out the transfer and a Source of the transfer.
Sometime, in particular in the case of for-Datives we only have an
Agent, in case the dative predicate renders an activity performed to the
benefit of another person, e.g.:
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Henry opened the door for the guest.

As regards the semantic interpretation of transfer datives, we
notice that the construction denotes a shift of possession from the
Source, indicating the initial Possessor to the Recipient or Goal, who
becomes the new Possessor of the transferred entity. This
differentiates genuine dative structures from the ones expressing mere
motion from a Source to a Goal in space. Compare:
1. Richard sent the parcel to York but never *Richard sent
York the parcel. ( the directional phrase does not allow
Prep deletion or change of position; no shift of possession
takes place: *York has got the parcel)
2. Richard sent the parcel to Peter = Richard sent Peter a
parcel. (shift of possession: Peter has got the parcel)
The Transformational Interpretation of Dative Structures
It is quite obvious that the two synonymous dative sentences can
be related transformationally. It is commonly assumed that the basic S
is the one with a prepositional dative marker, be it to or for, given the
fact that the respective prepositions are meaningful, hence they are
Deep Structure constituents. Besides, in transitive configurations the
NP (DO) is governed by the Verb, it is its sister, being assigned
Accusative case by its verbal governor. In its turn, the Preposition to
or for governs the second NP, assigning it the Dative case.
The Standard approach to the Dative Transformation, also
labelled as Dative Movement, takes, therefore, as basic strings,
sentences with the constituent structure:
[ V

NP [ to/for NP]] e.g. offer the grant to Henry/

cook a pizza for my son

The two operations that apply to derive the second dative

alternative are:
a) deletion of the Preposition
b) movement of the second NP in between V and the other NP
(reordering of the two objects)
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In the Relational Grammar model this movement is interpreted

as an instance of promotion of an Indirect Object in the position of
Direct Object. The movement affects the rank of the two objects.
Hence, the Indirect Object, occupying a lower rank in the Relational
Hierarchy ( Su (I) > DO (II) > IO (III)), is promoted to a higher
rank ( III--- II). This allows further promotion in Subject position by
passivization. Indeed the two dative alternatives can have two targets
for their passive counterparts: the DO or the reordered/ promoted IO:
The Passivization of Dative Configurations
Basic Dative String:
Pass: DO --- Su

X offered the grant to Henry.

The grant was offered to Henry (by X).

Dative Mov: IO---DO X offered Henry the grant.

Pass: IO --- -Su

Henry was offered the grant (by X).

The four alternatives are quasi-synonymous, if out of Discourse

context. Once we consider the information structure of these
alternatives, we are likely to find that the arrangement of Theme /Topic
and Rheme/ Comment elements (Focus included) is totally different.
The Domain of Dative Movement
The domain of this transformation includes all regular dative
verbs, i.e. verbs that can enter the two alternatives. Outside this
domain we find two areas of dative irregularity, as follows:
1. in English there is a group of dative verbs that never lose their
prepositional marker, thus blocking reordering of the objects. The
class includes transfer Vs like donate smth. to smb., return smth.
to smb., deliver smb., distribute smth. to smb., contribute
smth. to smb.,as well as verbs of linguistic communication like
announce smth. to smb., communicate smth. to smb., say smth. to
smb., mention smth. to smb., mumble/mutter smth. to smb., explain
smth to smb., dictate smth to smb., describe smth. to smb. etc.

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The tutor explained the rule to his pupils.
*The tutor explained his pupils/ them the rule.
I dictated the telegram to the operator.
Sheila will return the book to the librarian.
The only word order change that may apply on such dative
configurations is the heavy NP Shift. Consider the sentence:
The tutor explained to his pupils the rule of Agreement which
applies if the Subject is expressed by a collective NP.
The Direct Object is a lengthy NP, loaded with Modifiers
(including a Relative Clause), so it has to move to the end of the
sentence, as required by the rule of End Rhythm.
2. English syntax also includes a group of dative verbs that take
two non-prepositional objects. In traditional grammar they are
labelled as Double Object verbs. Among them there are: cost
smb. smth., deal smb. a blow, forgive smb. smth., grudge smb.
smth., envy smb. smth., spare smb. smth., save smb. smth., tell
smb. smth. , teach smb. smth., ask smb. smth., answer smb. smth.
The new car cost him 2000$.
The last attempt cost him his life.
I envied Sarah her spontaneity.
We shall never forgive Tom his rudeness.
You should spare Mary the trouble.
The first object is usually animate, most frequently [+ human], a
feature characterizing the NP selected as Indirect Object. The dative
verb GIVE, actually the prototype of the whole class has a twofold
behaviour. Besides being a meaningful verb of transfer, GIVE may
also be used as a prop V, i.e. a quasi-dummy item which co-occurs
with non-contrastive objects in fixed phrasal expressions like: give
smb. the measles, give smb. a broken arm/ a black eye/ a pain in the
neck/ a kiss/ a hug/ a punch in the nose/ a strong kick/ a handshake/ a
call/ a nod/ a dirty look/ the finger etc. Such phrasal combinations
have got frozen as patterns with two non-prepositional objects.
Resuming the description of the domain of dative constructions
we shall refer to the subcategorization of dative verbs into:
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A. Dative verbs with to-Indirect Objects

B. Dative verbs with for-Indirect Objects
The A subcategory includes the following subclasses:



the give class with items like: award, concede, entrust,

lease, lend, loan, pay, rent, sell etc. These verbs denote an
unaccompanied transfer of a physical entity.
the bring class with items like take, carry, drag. hand, haul,
pass etc. These denote an accompanied transfer, involving
motion of the Source.
the send class with items like float, fling, forward, mail,
ship, throw, toss etc. The Subject is an Agent that causes a
transfer to take place at a distance which is covered by a
vehicle or by a motion performed by the respective Agent.
the communicative verbs class includes items like wire,
cable, radio, telegraph, telephone and other items meaning to
send a verbal message by some specialized means of
communication. Other verbs expressing the channel of
communication of various communicative modalities are: tell,
cite, preach, read, write, quote, articulate, confess, declare,
mention, mutter, recite, recommend, report, narrate, utter,
state, voice etc. They share the dative regime, but some of
them evince idiosyncrasies as to the use of either a
prepositional Indirect Object or, on the contrary, the use of a
non-prepositional one.
The promise class with items like allot, assign, bequeath,
guarantee, offer, permit, promise, specialized semantically for
denoting a projected acquisition of an entity from a Source.

The B subcategory consists of verbs with a wide range of

meanings, rendering activities undertaken by an Agent for the benefit
of the referent of the Indirect Object. The latter bears the role
Benefactive or Beneficiary and is marked by the preposition for. Here
are the main (sub)classes:

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the make class includes verbs of manufacturing/creation

that take an effected or resultative Direct Object, followed
by a for- Indirect Object: boil, cook, bake, draw, knit, weave,
roast, paint etc.
the buy class consists of verbs denoting acquisition
(sometimes involving selection): choose, gather, get,
pick(out), procure, purchase, collect, obtain etc.
verbs denoting artistic performance like dance, sing, hum,
play, recite, waltz
the earn class, including the items gain, earn and win. :
e.g.: This translation will earn Henry a lot of money.
(concrete advantage)
This translation will earn Henry a wide
(abstract advantage)
Other Uses of the for-Indirect Object

This type of IO can also be used to denote a person substituted

by the referent of the Subject, as in:
Tom will buy the flowers for me (i.e. instead of me)
Will you teach Sarahs pupils for her ? (i.e. instead of her)
This IO is considered to be external, as it never participates in
Dative Movement. Sometimes we can encounter both the internal and
the external IOs in one and the same sentence:
Will you buy my wife a present for me?
IO (external)
The second IO indicates substitution of the person by the
addressee, i.e. an indirect Benefactive, as against the direct one
expressed by the internal Indirect Object.
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IX. Passive and Passivization

1. Levels of occurrence of Passive constructions
a) morphological V markers: auxiliary BE or GET (rarer)
and the en Past Participle marker attached to the main V. In
traditional grammar the Passive was considered to be a morphological
(i.e. verbal category).
b) syntactic a shift in the positions (and functions) of
Subject and Object, which may be explained as a result of a
movement rule that postposes the Deep (logical) Subject and
fronts/preposes the Deep Object. Besides the Agentive Deep
Subject turns into a Prepositional Object of Agent marked by the
preposition BY
c) logico-semantic the argument structure including an
Agent as a Patient is the same for both the active and the passive
strings, but the grammatical / surface Subject in the passive come
to be corelated with the Patient role.
d) pragmatic - in Discourse contexts the active and the
passive of the same sentence are not always interchangeable,
because of the change in the Information Structure: there is a
change of TOPIC (the Object of the Verb moves to topic position)
and of FOCUS (the active Subject is heavily stressed in its final
position as Prepositional Object of Agent.
Example: Active: Noam Chomsky has altered the definition
of grammar.
Deep Su NP
Deep Direct Object
The definition of grammar has been altered by Noam
SurfaceSu NP
Surface Object of Agent


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2. The Generative Transformational Approach to

In the GT theoretical frame passive constructions are interpreted
as the result of a complex Transformation, called Passivization. It
consists of:
a) movement applied on the active Subject = Subject
b) movement applied on the active Object to fill the empty
Subject position (which has be to obligatorily occupied in
English) = Object Postposing
c) insertion of aux. BE and attachment of en to V
d) insertion of the agentive preposition by in front of the
newly formed Object
e) optional deletion of the Object of Agent for reasons
specified further on
The passive string is considered to be underlain by the active
one, together with which it forms a synonymous pair of sentences.
3. The Scope of the English Passive
Unlike most Indo-European languages, which limit passivization
to transitive strings, English allows the passivization of a wider range
of predications, including intransitive ones. Besides, there are frequent
cases in which one sentence has got two passive counterparts.
i) intransitive predications which allow passivization
a) intransitives with obligatory preposition the Object of the
preposition becomes Subject, while the preposition is stranded,
remaining attached to the verb (this operations labelled as Preposition
Jim was looking for the lost luggage ----- The lost luggage was
being looked for (by Jim)
The board insists on the new proposal ----- The new proposal is
insisted on (by the board)
The villagers will talk about the rumour very much ---- The
rumour will be very much talked about (by the board).
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b) intransitives with an Adverbial Modifier of Place

expressed by a Prepositional Phrase:
Napoleon has slept in the bed. ----- This bed has been slept in by
Has anyone sat on this sofa? ----- Has this sofa been sat on (by
Nobody seems to have lived in this cottage. ---- This cottage
hasnt been lived in (by anyone).

ii) Active constructions with two passive counterparts

a) dative constructions which allow either the Direct Object
or the Indirect Object to become Subject of a passive sentence:
Sarah served the guests several fish dishes ----Several fish
dishes were served to the guests (Passive 1: DO --- Subject); The
guests were served several fish dishes (by Sarah) (Passive 2: IO --Subject)
b) complex transitive verbs that take a fixed preposition in
front of the second Object, e.g. to take great advantage of smb.
/smth., to keep close tabs on smb., to pay great homage to smb.. etc.
Either the Direct Object or the Prepositional Object may become
passive Subject:
The students took great advantage of the summer courses --Great advantage was taken of the summer courses (by the students)
(Passive 1: DO ---Subject); The summer courses were taken great
advantage of (Passive 2: PO --- Subject)
4. The Domain of the Passive
All the V subcategories that predicate passivizable constructions
like the ones above fall within the domain of the Passive. Outside this
domain there are: a) intransitive Vs with fixed preposition like: belong
to, abound in, consist in/of, swarm with and a few others; b) transitive
Vs like: to have/have got, to possess, to resemble; c) reflexive verbs or

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5. Types of Passive Structures in English

a) Passivals/half-passives/activo-passives are structures with an
active V and a passive meaning due to the movement of the Direct
Object in Subject position:
e.g.: These figures add easily. That cloth washes and irons
perfectly. Fowles novels read pleasantly. Notice that the Agent
cannot be expressed by the by-Object.
b) Agentless/short Passives, occurring without the Object of
Agent because the latter is not known, or irrelevant to the context, or
too well known. Such short Passives emphasize the result of the
activity, e.g. The ship has been loaded. The letter has been sent. All
the windows have been opened.
c) Agentive /long Passives, always expressing the Agent in final
(focus) position, for emphasis, e.g. Hamlets part was played by
Gibson. The contest has been won by my cousin. The news was broken
by a complete stranger.
d) The get Passive using the auxiliary get instead of be, in
order to obtain a detrimental tinge, or to lend more dynamism to the
activity, e.g. Johns leg got broken. My aunts jewels got stolen. How
did this window get opened?
In Discourse contexts each type of Passive has its own
stylistic effects.
Obligatory Bibliography:
1. erban, D., English Syntax, vol. 1, TUB, 1984.
2. Cornilescu, A., Concepts of Modern Grammar, UB, 1995.
3. Quirk, R., Greenbaum, S., Svartvik, J., A Grammar of
Contemporary English, Longman Group Ltd., 1972.
Optional Bibliography:
1. Aarts, B., English Syntax and Argument Structure, Macmillan
Press Ltd, 1997.
2. Downing, A & Locke, Ph., A University Course of English
Grammar, Prentice Hall, 1992.
3. Haegeman, L., Gueron, J., English Grammar, A Generativist
Perspective, T.J. International, Padstow, Cornwall, 1999.

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1. Grammar concepts can be defined by resorting to:
A. Notional definitions;
B. Formal definitions;
Characterize the two procedures by choosing one or several
of the assertions under A and B.
A. Notional definitions
a) Notional definitions use meaning in defining
grammatical concepts.
b) Notional definitions are completely satisfactory.
c) Notional definitions explain linguistic concepts in
substantial, extralinguistic terms.
d) Notional definitions are employed by structural
B. Formal definitions
a) Formal definitions attempt to establish the place of the
object defined in relation to other objects.
b) Formal definitions present the objects from the point of
view of their intension (i.e. sense).
c) Formal definitions exhaustively use extension (i.e.
reference) in defining grammatical concepts.
d) Modern traditional grammar is characterized by a
mixture of formal and semantic notions.
2. Specify the criteria adopted by grammarians to identify
parts of speech relying on the definitions given below:
a) nouns are words used as the name of a living being or
lifeless things: Mary, John, horse, tree, virtue;
b) the part of speech noun in English is inflected for case
and number; the primary and most characteristic use is to express
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substances, the secondary use of nouns as regards their meaning is

to express attributes and phenomena, attribute nouns and
phenomenon- nouns being included under the designation abstract
nouns. The primary grammatical function of nouns is to serve as
head words: melting snow, a generous action, a long ride. The
secondary function is to modify other nouns or verbs: gold chain, I
saw a man. Of the relations in which a verb-modifying noun
stands to its verb, the most important are those of direct and
indirect object. (Sweet)
c) the pattern of use indicated by the word noun involves
most or all of the following: inflection for plural (boy-boys)
though this is not inevitable (music); used as head in nests of
attributive constructions often with an initial a, an, the, this, some,
etc. (a girl, some girls, these girls, etc). The resulting endocentric
construction occurs typically as subject, or object of verb,
preposition or as a nominal predicate attribute. ( Hockett, 1958)
3. Correct and/or complete the following statements:
a) The model of categorial deductive-science (Aristotelian)
is a model of rational science.
b) The model of hypothetical-rational science (Galilean) is
a model of empirical science.
c) The Aristotelian model is a model of rational science
because it needs no other proof than rational certitude.
d) A Galilean science is a system of statements which
represent hypotheses on the structure of the real.
e) The theory of classical analytical structuralism may be
interpreted as an example of Galilean science, while generative
grammar is an example of Aristotelian science.
4. Considering the two types of interrelations on the two
axes, go through the points below, choose the right assertions and
supply further comments on the issue:
a) Linguistic units entertain mutual relations on the vertical
syntagmatic axis, or on the horizontal paradigmatic axis.

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b) Units in a paradigmatic either.. or relation may replace

each other in the same position (being also called relations in
c) Units in a syntagmatic relation both and (or relations in
praesentia) require a context where the oppositive elements are
successively tested.
d) Declension and conjugation are instances of paradigms,
while syntax deals with syntagmatic relations.
5. A particular sequence is said to be independent only if it
occurs in a variety of different environments and if it patterns like
other units.
Starting from this definition identify the independent units
in the following examples:


is here.

I would like to ham

I would like to govern
I would like to write


6. Complete the following statements:

a) Competence is the speakers........
b) Performance represents the speaker's..........
c) Grammatical competence means.....
d) The ability to use and understand the vocabulary of a
language is called....
e) The ability to communicate, to write texts is called......
7. Correct and/or complete the following statements:
a) A model is some object or phenomenon A, which is
subject to investigation as a substitute for some other object or
phenomenon B, with which A is in a relation of correspondence.
b) A grammar G of a language L is a finite set of rules.

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c) Analytic grammars start from the (infinite) text to the

(finite) invariant units and structures, and to the classifications of
those units.
d) Synthetic grammars start from an inventory of units (the
lexicon) and a set of combinatory rules and aim at producing the
language, the finite text.
e) Linguistic Theory (LT) is an abstract theory which
presents the basic principles and concepts of grammar.
f) A linguistic level is a system in which one constructs a
unidimensional representation of an utterance. Representations
may be phonological, morphological, syntactic or semantic.
8. Starting from these two definitions, analyse the following
sentences in terms of external descriptive adequacy (sentences in
a.) and internal explanatory adequacy (the sentence in b.):
A grammar is externally or descriptively adequate if it
produces all and only the correct sentences of the language.
A grammar is internally adequate if it meets the conditions of
simplicity, offers intuitively satisfactory explanations.
a) The girl is here. / *The Jane is here.
b) Women students are tempting new subjects.
9. Given the representations below:
a) recognize the grammars whose organizations they
b) name similarities and dissimilarities with the two.




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1. Define the following terms; comment on their importance:
a) grammar of a particular language vs. universal grammar
b) descriptive vs. prescriptive grammar
2. What aspects of language do the following branches of
grammar deal with?
For each of these name the basic unit and exemplify.
3. Which are the main differences between traditional
grammar and structuralism?
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4. Correct, if necessary, the following statements and explain

the underlined terms:
a) Both traditional and generative grammars are
prescriptive grammars.
b) Structuralism uses notional definitions for the
grammatical concepts.
c) Diachronic linguistics deals with the study of the
historical evolution of a language.
d) The relation between langue and parole is very complex:
the concept of parole is represented by the speakers utterances,
used as data by the linguists to construct the langue.
e) Prescriptive grammars focus on the study of spoken
5. Order the following linguistic trends in the chronological
order of their appearance:
Early Structuralism,
Traditional Grammars,
Phrase Structure Grammar,
Transformational Grammar.
6. Compare the following definitions of Grammar in point of
frame, goals and methods and try to evaluate them in terms of
success and failure aspects:
a) Grammar lays down the norms that govern standard
b) G is the study of parts of speech and parts of the
c) G studies L units in terms of their formal properties and
of the structures they possibly make up (without any correlation
with meaning).
d) G is a description of the S-producing mechanism.
e) G is a hypothetical construct that describes and explains
the speakers Competence.
f) G is an account of the way representations of form
associate with representations of meaning.
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g) G is part of a linguistic theory made up of a set of subtheories (systems of universal principles) and of a set of
parameters that account for particular L phenomena.
1. a) Show that GG is an outgrowth of Structuralism.
b) Prove the necessity of a PS (phrase structure) level in
explanatorily adequate grammar.
c) define string and constituent.
2. The underlined words are constituents:
The young girl behaved like a little lady.
Nobody in that house could imagine what disaster was in store
for them.
The question came too quickly.
The underlined words are strings:
The young girl behaved like a little lady.
Nobody in that house could imagine what disaster was in store
for them.
The question came too quickly.
What is the difference between the two?
Now read the following two definitions so as to make it
A. A string is defined as any sequence of two or more than
two adjacent elements.
B. A constituent is a string which has formal properties,
i.e., which has internal cohesion.

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3. Show that the underlined strings are constituents:

a) I believe that God is good, and everybody believes it,
b) Give me this red coat and keep that one.
c) When he saw her, the man greeted the lady who had
been waiting.
d) The man walked down the street.
e) The man disappeared in the distance.
f) The news really was a bolt from the blue.
g) He turned up out of the blue.
h) The cat is out of the bag.
4. Analyse and specify the type of constituent:
a tree
stone wall
afraid of the dark
old car dealer
if he comes home
last long
5. Analyse the following sentences in terms of their
constituency. Specify the type of constituent and put each within
square brackets:
a) They were looking at the old man who was just entering
the room.
b) After the breakfast the children left the living-room
in a great hurry.
c) Whenever he felt lonely he returned to his books.
d) The scar on his face was from a battle.
e) The news that he was finally getting married surprised

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6. Identify the categorial constituent structures in the

following sentence:
That nice young boy in the corner probably will fall off his
bed onto the cold hard floor early one morning.

1. Correct and/or complete:
a) The Deep Structure (DS) of a sentence is a phrase
structure representation, which properly shows the constituency
and also the functions in the sentence. It is produced by
b) The Surface Structure (SS) is the linear concatenation of
lexical and grammatical formatives which, after processing by
morpho-phonological rules, is ready to be performed. It is
produced by PSRs.
c) Transformations express relations between certain
classes of sentences in a language.
2. What elementary operations have applied to derive the
strings below:
a) He is reading.
b) It happens that I like this music.
c) A proposal was made, which bothered me.
d) We showed the rooms to the guests. \ We showed the
guests the rooms.
3. Specify transformations which should account for the
following relations between sentences:
a) Many books are on the desk.
There are many books on the desk.
b) A girl was waiting.
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There was a girl waiting.

c) John shaved himself.
d) John talked to Bill about himself.
John talked about himself to Bill.
e) I believe that I/*myself am honest.
I believe myself to be honest.
f) John showed the photos to the agent.
John showed the agent the photos.
g) Mary bought a dress for Susan.
Mary bought Susan a dress.
h) John saw Mary.
Mary was seen by John.
i) John frightened the horse.
The horse was frightened by John.
j) This material washes easily.
k) Have you been waiting?
Were you waiting?
l) Shakespeare we love.
1. Define derivation and phrase marker(PM).
Give derivations and phrase markers for the following

I have given an apple to each girl.

Tom has been waiting for you for an hour.
Naturally, blackberries grow in this area.
Our guests were ringing the bell in the hall.
He should have come yesterday.
London lies on the Thames.
Presumably, Vera slept in the afternoon.
Tom must take back his dictionary.
He fell into the river.
His friends might have helped him at the time.

2. Prove that early structuralist Gs fail to analyse the strings

below. Name the phenomena illustrated by each string and
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motivate the respective failure in terms of Deep Structure and

Surface Structure discrepancies; represent 2, 5, 6 (A), b 1, 2 (B)
A.1. Eating apples can be enjoyable.
2. He rolled over the carpet.
3. She told me to leave at five.
4. The lamb is too hot to eat.
5. The woman fed her dog biscuits.
6. They are growing flowers.
7. The seniors were told to stop demonstrating on the campus.
8. The shooting of the hunters was illegal.
9. Missing targets can be dangerous.
B. a.1. It is unlikely for David to miss the opportunity.
2. David is unlikely to miss the opportunity.
3. For David to miss the opportunity is unlikely.
b.1. Brian has offered the three carnations to Sarah.
2. Brian has offered Sarah the three carnations.
3. The three carnations have been offered to Sarah (by
4. Sarah has been offered the three carnations.
c.1. The sudden noise frightened the audience.
2. The audience was frightened by the sudden noise.
3. Analyse the strings below by means of syntactic
a) Our friends should discuss the main issue with the
manager in all sincerity before noon.
b) The chairman put up with the interruptions during the
c) Max will commit himself to this cause in the near future.
4. In the bracketed structures below, the lefthand member of
each pair of brackets has been labelled. First, label the righthand
member of each pair of brackets, and then convert the bracketed
structure into a phrase marker.
1. S {NP {His mother} Aux {might} VP {get AP {very
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2. S {NP {The President} Aux {may} VP {reject} NP {their

3.S {NP {The weather} Aux {will} Vp {change} AvP
{extremely suddenly.}}
4. S {NP {The boys} Aux {should} VP {buy} NP {a present}
PP {for their teacher.}}
5. Starting from the hierarchy of units of linguistic
descriptions (morphemes function as constituents of words, words
as constituents of phrases, phrases as constituents of sentences)
exemplified below, and taking into consideration that quite
frequently a unit of a given rank functions as a constituent of a
unit of the same rank (i.e., a sentence may function as a
constituent of other sentences) or even of a unit which is one step
lower down the rank scale (i.e., a sentence may function as a
constituent of a phrase), identify the rankshifts in the following

We have made some minor corrections.
some minor corrections
a) I know Fred is in the army.
b) I am very pleased you could come
c) at the corner of the street.
d) treetop; goldsmith; blackbird.

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6. Give the structure of the Aux in English:


He asks/asked/*ask a question every day.

He could ask more questions.
He has asked a question.
He is just asking a question.
He could have asked a question.
He could be asking questions.
He has been asking many questions.
He might have been asking many questions.

7. List ten well-formed sentences which can be generated by

the set of phrase structure rules below:
NP - D (AP)N
AP - (AvP)A
AvP - Av
8. Discuss the question of whether any or all of the following
sentences are ill-formed, and if so, name the nature of the illformedness (pragmatic, syntactic, semantic etc.):

John is a living dead man.

My wife is not my wife.
This is a five-sided hexagon.
This oats is of rather poor quality.
I order you to know the answer.
My toothbrush is pregnant again.
I eat much cereal for breakfast.
John killed Mary, but she didnt die.
Theres a man sells vegetables in the village.
It were me that told her.

9. Are the following sentences instantiations of bad

grammar? If so, how they would be corrected?
a) The mission of the USS Enterprise is to boldly go where
no man has ever been before.
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Hopefully, the weather will clear up by tomorrow.

Its me who gets the blame for everything.
We had to come home early, due to bad weather.
Nobody said nothing.
I ought to go there, shouldnt I?
Those kind of people get on my nerves.
If I was you, I would resign.

10. Below are typical utterances produced by two to threeyear-old children. Try and work out what rule the children
appear to have devised in each case and how it differs from the
corresponding adult rule. (treat each numbered set of examples
1. (a) No the sun shining.
(b) No Fred drink all tea.
(c) No mum sharpen it.
2. (a) He no bite you.
(b) I no want milk.
(c) I no taste them.
3. (a) Where me sleep?
(b) What me think?
(c) What the dolly have?
4. (a) What he can ride in?
(b) Why Kitty cant stand up?
(c) Where I should put it?
5. (a) Where does the wheel goes?
(b) What did you bought?
11. Assuming that the following sentences are ill-formed, say
why they are ill-formed:
a) Could turn off the fire and on the light?
b) I know the truth, and that you are innocent.
c) A nuclear explosion would wipe out plant life and out
animal life.
d) He ran down the road and down the President.

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12. The sentences below might be argued to be structurally

ambiguous. Discuss the nature of the ambiguity in each case.

Mary might seem very keen on the boat.

The police will shoot terrorists with rifles.
John will run down the new road.
They may meet with scepticism.

13. Discuss the ambiguity of the following:

a) an old French student
b) the nuclear test ban treaty
How might it be represented in terms of structural terms?


1. Keeping in mind that a constituent is a string which has

internal cohesion, find the connection between constituency and
grammatical categories.
2. Analyse the following sentences at the morphological level
and at the syntactic level.
a) An overturned car was standing in their way.
b) By working hard you will obtain everything you want.
3. What and which are the parts of speech? In what way are
the parts of speech relevant for syntax? Analyse sentence one of
exercise 2 in terms of its parts of speech.
What and which are the syntactic functions? Analyse
sentence two of exercise 2 in terms of the syntactic functions
existing in the sentence.
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4. The following are lexical categories:

N, V, A, Av, P, Det.
Is there a difference in meaning between the term lexical
category and the term part of speech?
5. Identify the lexical categories in the following text:
She sat at the window watching the evening invading the
avenue. Her head was leaned against the window curtains, and in her
nostrils was the odour of the dusty cretonne.. She was tired. Few
people passed. The man out of the last house passed on his way home
(James Joyce- Eveline)
6. Explain the difference between lexical categories and
grammatical categories, i.e., N/ V/ A on the one hand, and NP/ VP/
AP on the other hand.
7. Account for the contrasts in the following pairs of
1. (a) You can rely on my help completely, naturally.
(b)* You can rely on my help naturally, completely.
2. (a) He obviously will appeal passionately for support.
(b)* He passionately will appeal obviously for support.
3. (a) He pledged to her all his worldly goods.
(b)* He pledged all to her his worldly goods.
8. Discuss the syntax and semantics of the underlined
proforms in the sentences below:
a) I dont know whether the President will retire next year,
but I certainly hope so.
b) They say he is extremely intelligent, and so he may be.
c) You should see Paris, if you have never been there.
d) If the Chairman is in London (which he is), how do we
contact him there?
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9. Discuss the syntax of the following pairs of examples,

pointing out the similarities and differences:
1. (a) Salvador Dalis latest portrait
(b) the latest Salvador Dali portrait
2. (a) my familys income
(b) my family income
3. (a) the film about apartheid last week
(b) last weeks apartheid film
4. (a) the presentation of the medals to the athletes
(b) the medal presentation to the athletes
5. (a) my Linguistics lecture to the Faculty
(b) my Faculty Linguistics lecture
10. Supply a syntactic analysis in terms of syntactic functions
at sentence and clause levels:
There was a longer silence, made up of moments of
modulation in human relations. What had been until then an objective
situation became subjective and, by empathy, it was shared by
interlocutors. Such a metamorphosis took place in Charless mind, as
he stared at the bowed head of the sinner before him.
Im sorry for you, but I deem it proper to ask you why you
should seek to make me your confident.
(J. Fowles, The French Lieutenants Woman)


1. Correct and/or complete:
a) The Government and Binding model is defined as a
modular system of principles and parameters; each module of the
grammar (the X-bar module is an example) has its own parameters
which define specific dimensions of, and constraints on, linguistic
variation; these dimensions of variation are the principles.
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b) The basic formal relations that bound the terms of a

construction were government and agreement. Both referred to
relations between a head and an independent term.
c) c-commands if, every branching node dominating
m-commands if, every maximal projection dominating
d) governs if c-commands and there is no barrier
between them.
2. Which is the governor in the following configurations:





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do it

3. a) What is the domain of X-Bar Theory? Why were phrase

structure rules abandoned?
b) Define the principles of X-Bar Theory.
c) What are heads? What are their properties within the

4. Represent in X-bar Theory:

a) adore music; brother of Mary; interested in art; in the
long run; persuade him of it; out of love;
b) He is clever, a clever politician, but a poor scientist.
c) He is aware of the crisis.
d) I hope that Bill will succeed.
e) I wish for him to become famous.
f) I wonder whether he has come. /*I wonder whether has
he come.
Illustrate c-command, m-command, government in the
above representations.
1. Look up the following concepts in the appendix and
illustrate them with examples of your own:

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2. Name the thematic roles of the underlined words:


Brian hit Susan.

John loves Anna.
I cooked him the dinner.
He was lying on the grass.
The ball is on the water.
The bullet hit the target.
Sara saw the ghost.
She was impressed by his speech.
We walked along the boulevard.

3. Identify the set of roles of the underlined verbs in the

following sentences:
a) George broke the window with a stone.
The stone broke the window.
The window broke.
b) The glass shattered.
George shuttered the glass.
The wind shuttered the glass.
George shuttered the glass with a hammer.
c) The cat fell into the water.
It fell down through the chimney.
The jockey fell off his horse.
d) He sold the painting to his brother.
Tom bought the painting from his cousin.
e) Helen has a nice car.
The car belongs to Helen.
4. Recognize the source-goal pattern in the following

The bird flew from above the house to above the tree.
John ran below the deck.
He fell and rolled down the hill.
Alan released the bird from the cage.
The bird flew out of the cage.
His money seemed to melt away in London.

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5. Grimshaw proposes that the -grid is a structured

representation which indicates prominence relations among
arguments and that essential aspects in the syntax of a predicate
derive from its a-structure.
According to her, prominence relations are established along
two conceptual dimensions represented in a predicates LCS (Lexical
Conceptual Structure): the thematic hierarchy and the aspectual
properties of the predicate.
i) The thematic hierarchy:
least prominent

most prominent
(the most dependent on the verb)

ii) The aspectual dimension:

STATES: know, believe, please, fear, be tall/green, consider;
ACTIVITIES (PROCESSES): work, run, rumble, roll, smoke,
eat, play, swim, drive, seek;
ACHIEVEMENTS: melt, darken, find, collapse, explode, forget,
notice, realize, begin, become, touch, reach, arrive at;
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: make, build a house, draw a picture,
dig a hole, kill, paint a landscape.
Analyse the following sentences in terms of thematic
hierarchy and aspectual dimension:
a) The glass shattered. / Jack shattered the glass. / The wind
shattered the glass. / Jack shattered the glass with a hammer.
b) Your show impressed us with its humour. / The
sparkling humour of your show impressed me.
c) He slapped his hand across my knee. / He slapped her on
the back.
d) I like daffodils. / Daffodils please me.
e) He loaded hay on the truck. / He loaded the truck with
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f) She wrapped the blanket round the baby. / She wrapped

the baby in the blanket.
g) 300 people can sit in the auditorium. / The auditorium
can sit 300 people.
h) The car drove along the river.
i) Its going from bad to worse.

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Traditional Grammar
-diachronic ( the study of language from a historical perspective)
-normative ( a grammar that imposes norms of usage with focus
on written language)
-atomistic conception of language (a grammar that considers
languages as atomistic collections of items which can be studied
-notional (freely use meaning in the definition of grammatical
concepts; therefore they define linguistic concepts in substantial
extralinguistic terms).
-synchronic (analysing data objectively given at one point of
-descriptive ( supplying an objective description of language
-holistic conception of language (structural linguistic systems
are considered as ensembles of elements, subject to composition laws
which characterize the whole ensemble)
-formal (formal definitions do not present the objects from the
point of view of their intension = sense or of their extension =
reference. They attempt to establish the place of the object defined in
relation to other objects)
-Classical Analytical Structuralism (CAS)
-analytical (focusing on a static analysis in terms of immediate
-paradigmatic (eitheror relations)
-synthetic (the direction of analysis is from an inventory of units
(the lexicon) and a set of combinatory rules aimed at producing the
language, the infinite text)
-syntagmatic (they offer rules for sentence construction and
sentence interpretation; both and relations).
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Independent Units
A particular sequence is said to be independent only if it occurs
in a variety of environments and if it patterns like other units.
Linguistic Theory (LT)
It is an abstract theory which presents the basic principles and
concepts of grammar, by means of which particular grammars can be
written and evaluated.
Linguistic Level
A linguistic level L is a system in which one constructs a
unidimensional representation of an utterance. Representations may be
phonological, morphological, syntactic, semantic.
Chomskys dichotomy:
Competence = internalized grammar, the speakers tacit
knowledge of his language.
Performance = the actual use of language.
Universal Grammar (UG)
The concept of UG can be understood in two ways:
a) an epistemological interpretation - UG - is a structural core
for the generation of linguistic theories and grammar;
b) an ontological interpretation - UG is the language faculty the
child is born with.
Grammatical Categories
Grammatical categories correspond to phrases or units larger
than phrases.
Examples of grammatical categories:
-S (sentence grammar)
-NP (noun phrase - a phrase whose only obligatory element is a
noun: a boy, birds
-VP (verb phrase - a phrase whose main obligatory constituent is
a verb: running away, to give it to Mary
-AP (adjectival phrase - a phrase whose only obligatory element
is an adjective: very smart)
-PP (prepositional phrase - on the desk, for me)
-AvP (adverb phrase - a phrase whose only obligatory element is
an adverb: fairly well, rapidly)
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Lexical Categories
Lexical categories correspond to parts of speech, or
distributional classes. Their members are listed in the lexicon: Ns
(nouns), Vs (verbs), As (adjectives), Avs (adverbs), Ps (prepositions),
Dets (determiners).
A. Phrase Structure Rules
The phrase structure level operates with categories, a lexicon
and phrase structure rules. Using PSRs, a PS grammar may generate
sentences to which it assigns a certain constituent structure.
S - (S Av) S
VP - Aux MV (AvP/PP)
Aux - T (Mod) (Aspect)
T - 0/-s/-ed
Aspect - (haveen) (being)
MOD - will, shall...
MV - Cop AP/NP
V Refl/Prt/Nom
DP - (pre-det) D (Post-det)
AvP - AvP/(P) NP)
B. X- Theory
Phrases are built round lexical heads, they are projections of
structure round lexical categories:
1) The Principle of Endocentricity
a. Every phrase XP has a X lexical head (lexical category).
b. Every lexical head X projects to a maximal projection XP.
2) The First Projection Principle
The first projection of some X, X contains all and only
subcategorized constituents, called complements of that head, i.e.:
X - X Complements
V - V NP
We are nearing the meadow.
P - P NP
Near the meadow they built a house.
A - A PP
The house was nearer to the meadow now.
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N - N PP

Nearness to the meadow was the great virtue

of our house.

Chomsky proposes the following general scheme to represent

the structure of any XP:
X Spec X
X - X Complements
A derivation is a sequence of strings of symbols, each of which
is formed from the preceding by applying some rule of the grammar.
Phrase marker
The L-marker of the phrase structure level is called a phrase
marker (PM) or derivational tree; it is assumed to contain every
syntactically relevant information on some given utterance.
Deep Structure (DS)
The DS of a sentence is a phrase structure representation, which
properly shows the constituency and also the functions in the sentence
(DS is produced by PSRs).
Surface Structure (SS)
The SS is the linear concatenation of lexical and grammatical
formatives which, after processing by morpho-phonological rules, is
ready to be performed (SS is produced by transformations).
Transformations are meaning-preserving structural operations
(deletion, movement), expressing relations between structures neither
of which need to be actual sentences; they are relations holding
between phrase markers, therefore, relations between intermediate
descriptions of sentences.
The Theory of Government
The Government and Binding model is defined as a modular
system of principles and parameters; each module of the grammar the X-bar module is an example - has its own principles which define
specific dimensions of, and constraints on, linguistic variation; these
dimensions of variation are the parameters.

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c-commands if every branching node dominating
dominates .
m-commands if every maximal projection dominating
dominates .
governs if
a. is X, for some X (i.e. X is a (lexical) head).
b. c-commands .
c. For all maximal projections , if dominates , then
dominates .
Thematic roles are concepts which express relations between
the participants in an event:
Agent (A) - the typically animate participant who is the initiator
or doer of the action. An agent requires the capacity for volition,
intention, responsibility.
Experiencer (E) - the individual who feels or perceives the
Benefactive - the one for whose advantage the event took place.
Goal - the entity toward which motion takes place.
Source - the entity from which motion takes place.
Location - the place where something is or takes place.
Theme - occurs only with a verb of motion (what moves) or
location (the entity whose location is being described).
Patient - an entity which suffers an action, undergoes a change.
Precept - the entity which is experienced or perceived.
Instrument - the object with which an action is performed.
Path - the trajectory that an object covers.
The Argument Position
Any syntactic position capable to receive a thematic-role is an
argument position (=A-position), and any NP filling the argument
position is an argument (therefore, subjects and objects are arguments
of the verb).
The subject is referred to as external argument, while the
objects, which are inside the subcategorization frame and dominated
by the first projection of the head are called internal arguments (direct
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argument= direct object, directly -marked by the verb, and indirect

argument=PPs in English, jointly assigned their -roles by the
preposition and the verb).

- Criterion
Each thematic-role of an a-structure must be assigned to one and
only one syntactic position, and conversely, each position should bear
one and only one thematic-role. (Chomsky, 1981)

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1. Define the following concepts:
sentence; phrase marker; syntactic function; case; trace;
argument; - role; empty category.
2. Consider the Sentence definitions below: a) state criterion
mainly used; b) identify type of Grammar approach; c) explain
key words:
a) The Sentence is the expression of a complete
b) The Sentence is a structured string of words.
c) The Sentence is an exocentric binary concatenation
of a Noun Phrase and Verb Phrase which are mutually interdependent.
d) The Sentence is an independent syntactic unit.
e) The Sentence is the unit based on one predication
(one predicative nucleus).
f) The Sentence is the unit made up of a Subject Group
and a Predicate Group.
g) The Sentence is a minimal communication that
conveys new information.
h) The Sentence is an endocentric phrase whose head
is INFL.
i) The Sentence is a communication act which has an
illocutionary force and a perlocutionary effect.
j) The Sentence is an information structure round a
topic/ theme.
k) The Sentence is a linear string with a specific
intonational contour.
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Try and sum up the main Sentence properties, setting the

linguistic level at which they are relevant.
3. Identify Sentence type and point out communicative
I shall see you next spring.

I shall see you next spring then?

Please come here!

I'd like you to come here.

Could you come here?

How often has he played under those trees as a boy?

How often has he played under those trees as a boy!
Has she grown!

Hasn't she grown!

We learn such extraordinary things today.

What extraordinary things we learn today!
The things we learn today!
I'm sorry that she should say this to me!
Oh, that she should say this to me!
4. Construct sentences to illustrate S types:
declaratives (affirmative, negative) - interrogatives- imperatives:
Start from the following logical predicates and
associated arguments:
OPEN (the janitor, the door, the new key);
BREAK (the kid, the window, a stone);
LIE (London, the Thames).
5. Analyse the fragment below in terms of S form and
communicative functionality (think of it in terms of the regular
question- answer transaction):
'Well, you know where Papplewick Street is, don't you?' the
copper asked taking no notice of mom.
'Ain't it off Alfreton Road?' I asked him back, helpful and bright.
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'You know there is a baker's half-way down on the left -hand

side, don't you?'
'Ain't it next door to a pub, then?' I wanted to know. He
answered me sharp: 'No, it bloody well ain't.' Coppers always lose
their temper as quick as this... (cf. How quick...)
(A. Sillitoe, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner)
6. Analyse the sentences below and isolate their underlying
logical predication. Supply other syntactic configurations
available in the language (if any):

Julia has decorated the hall.

Accidents will happen.
Sarah stabbed her husband with a carving knife.
Music pleases everybody.
The streets were swarming with people.
We enjoyed the show.
The storm destroyed all the buds.
There was no mistake in the test.
Kevin walks his dog every morning.
This rice cooks easily.

7. Comment upon the sentential form and sentential

meaning; describe the structural and semantic (dis) similarities:
a) Why don't we have dinner together?
b) Someone give me a glass of water!
c) How do you do!
d) Isn't she a lady!
e) I want you to tell me what your job is.
f) I wonder whether you would mind lending me your
g) dictionary.
h) You leave the room at once!
i) What a marvellous day we spent together!
j) Sandra is such a clever girl!
k) Shall we go to the circus or to the opera?

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8. Point out the structural and semantic inter-relations

between the Sentences grouped below:
a) Physical exercise is beneficial to your health.
b) Mountaineering is a form of physical exercise.
c) Mountaineering is beneficial to your heath.
a) Two awful accidents happened at the crossroads yesterday
b) There happened two awful accidents happened at the
crossroads yesterday afternoon.
c) I happened to witness the accidents.
d) It so happened that I witnessed two awful accidents at the
crossroads yesterday afternoon.
a) They are entertaining ladies.
b) They are nagging husbands.
a) Brian married Susan.
b) Susan married Brian.
c) Rev. Jones married Brian and Susan.
a) Agassi defeated Sampras.
b) Sampras defeated Agassi.
c) Sampras was defeated by Agassi.
d) It was Agassi who/ that defeated Sampras.
9. Comment on the one-member Sentences below:
a) Darkness.

b) Quiet.

c) You leaving?

d) Nice trip!

10. Point out the constituent types that share the same
distributional properties in the Sentence configuration; specify the
CP type:
a) Error/ Erring/ To err is human.
b) It is no wonder that he erred so frequently.
c) What he did to his kin aggravated the neighbour. /
d) What to do next was the next question.
e) The building of garages was his main task. / His main task
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was the building of garages. / For him to build garages was his
main task.
f) The idea that he might fail in his attempt suddenly crossed
his mind. / The idea that he emphasized mostly was extremely
g) Seeing is believing.
h) We consider Chomsky a genius.
i) I am afraid of being bitten by dogs.
j) They caught the burglar red-handed.
k) 'To be or not to be'; that is the question.
11. Spot the errors (if any) and try to account for the illformedness of the sentence in terms of the rule(s) that should have
been applied:
a) I asked him who was the car owner and he told to me it
was possessed by his brother-in-law.
b) Yesterday it took place at the Elizabeta Palace a panel on
higher education.
c) He suggested me that there was the thief in the back yard.
d) Green peas he never eats, but he likes very much soya
e) Michael sent Frankfurt a large box.
12. Supply a syntactic analysis (in terms of Sentence type) as
well as syntactic functions and comment on the underlined
passages from a grammatical point of view:
a) Haggarty marched the man to the door and literally threw
him out.
b) I wonder who is the oldest among the long-distance runners
and whether teenagers should run such races.
c) When he found his cat poisoned, Mr. Sutton gave a shout of
d) I insisted on Roger introducing himself and his fiance to
my friends, but it turned out to lord it under the

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13. Explain the following newspaper headings by turning

them into regular sentences. There are several possible answers:
a) New Legs For A Bug (New Beetle Volkswagen)
b) Green Machines
c) Microsoft: Breaking Windows
d) A Make-Or-Break Year
e) Trouble In Spice Paradise
f) Giving Peace A Fresh Start
g) Look, Ma, No Hands
h) A Bad Day In Space
i) Too Little, Too Late? Japan's Fiscal Plan Doesn't
j) Young, Tough And In Trouble
k) Nixon Off Record
l) Looking Back, Going Home
m) Bosnia: In Search For Compassion
n) Downhill To A Summit
o) Making Good Health Pay Off- In Cash
p) Russia: Get Me Rewrite
q) At Home: Build We Must- But How?
r) The Poet Turned Writer
14. Rewrite the following sets of sentences, first into a
compound, then into a complex sentence.
a) Jane likes everybody. They like her.
b) She was poor. She was honest.
c) You are not getting well. I'm prescribing a different
d) Go away. Think again.
e) We were half-way to London. The weather closed in.
f) Chaikovsky is my favourite composer. He's my friend's
g) Sun set. Night fell. The day was over.
h) This writer is so compelling. His style is so direct and
i) I can help you. I will help you.
j) Do not borrow. You may run out of money.
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1. Correct and/ or complete the statements below:

BE is the only linking verb in English.

Copulative BE is similar to other auxiliary verbs in English.
Copulative BE is similar to Main Verbs.
There are (dis) similarities between verbal and adjectival
Predicative adjectives are perfectly similar to verbs.
Predicative Adjectival Phrases (AP) and Noun Phrases (NP)
enjoy the same rank in the Predicators Hierarchy.
Equative predication is always symmetric being
grammaticalized as copula [+ definite] NP-s.
Attributive predication can sometimes include definite NP-s
in S-structure.

2. Give a full description of the BE-predications in the

Sentences below:
a) George is editor of the school magazine. Now he is at
University. He is quite interested in journalism. George is a
bright boy, but he isn't the owner of the paper. It is certain
that he will make a good newspaperman, maybe the best in
his town.
b) She was envious of my blouse.
c) Violet shoes are now the thing.
d) He was master of the situation.
e) This is first-rate.
f) The train is in now.
g) If Anne were dead, the blinds would be down.
h) His girlfriend is about my age.
i) This CD is mine.
j) She is Church of England.
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k) The dress is (of) the right size.

l) I am not of your opinion.
m) It's the postman.
n) There's were you are wrong.
o) Seeing is believing.
p) This bar is for physical exercise.
q) This British poet is of a noble descent.
r) Tony Blair is Prime Minister.
s) All my relatives are left-wing.
t) His attitude is tantamount to a suicide.
u) This painting is early Turner.
v) This is what puzzles me.
w) What is she?
x) Who is she?
y) I told him who (m) he was supposed to be.
z) She is deserving of a good mark.
aa) It is hot.
bb) The trouble is that he hasn't turned up yet.
3. Distinguish between existential and copulative BE (the
equative and attributive types). What other BE-s can we speak of
in English?
a) There's the accident!
b) He is at table.
c) He is at the table.
d) He is Secretary of State.
e) Vegetative reproduction is by fragmentation.
f) It's no use crying over spilt milk.
g) She is artist enough to find an original solution.
h) The wedding is tomorrow afternoon.
i) Nobody is on the same side.
j) Apes are mammals.
k) There are three cakes on the tray.
l) There are three cakes left on the tray.
m) Beauty is superficial.
n) He is a gentleman.
o) His neighbour was Mr. Sasaki.
p) To be in love is to surpass one's self.
q) Jane is the most beautiful creature I have ever beheld.
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r) To exist is to fight.
s) The woman was young.
t) Her gestures are wooden.
4. Supply the representation (PM) of the strings below;
subcategorise the adjectives in terms of the distinction exclusively modifying/ predicative or both:
a) All work is noble.
b) The village was abuzz with excitement.
c) All those students were enthusiastic about the results.
d) Half these bills are chargeable to Judith.
e) The task is within your capability.
f) The steak-pie is off today.
g) Mike might have been up to the task.
h) She is a frequent visitor.
i) The film is about a criminal lawyer.
5. Subcategorise the adjectives below in terms of the
distinction - exclusively modifying/ predicative or both:
6. Analyse the following fragments in terms of syntactic
functions (at S, Clause and S constituent levels); identify BEpredications and specify the regime of the verb and the
Complements taken in each case:
She took advantage of the means of study the place offered to
her, and as she was already a musician and a good pianist, she
speedily went through the course which was considered necessary for
ladies in those days. One day, when the girls were out and she had
remained at home, she was overheard to play a piece so well, that
Minerva thought it wise that she could spare herself the expense of a
master for the children and suggested to Miss Sharp that she was to
teach them music in the future. Rebecca refused. I am here to talk
French with the children, not to teach music and save money for you.
give me money and I'll teach them.
W.M.Thackeray- Vanity Fair
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7. Try the reversibility test on the copulative strings below in

order to differentiate between attributive and equative

Morality must be action.

That fur-coat is mine.
Fur-coats are the thing today.
There is the/a possibility of Tom's winning the contest.
Prof. James is chairman of the scientific society.

1. Correct and/ or complete the statements below:

a) Copular verbs are also called link(ing) verbs; they link their
subject to their complement.
b) Subject and complement may refer to the same person or
c) Verbs of perception are often used as copula-like verbs.
d) Copula-like verbs copy only one Agreement marker from
the Subject NP [person].
e) From a syntactic point of view, copula-like verbs do not
evince the same combinatorial possibilities as the verb BE.
f) All copula-like verbs are charged with meaning.
2. Assign the Copula-like verbs below their appropriate
subcategorization frames (see the features in the list); illustrate
each feature by a sentence of your own:
Features: [_ AP]
[_ AP, PP] [_ Pred. NP]
[_ Pred. PP]
[_ Prt]
[_ Prt, PP] [_ to Inf.]


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3. Considering the predicative structures below, specify the

set of frame features pertaining to each of the copula- like verbs
belonging to the semantic class of inchoatives (V-s of becoming/

How did they become acquainted?

It's getting dark.
Time is growing short.
Her dreams have come true.
She went pale at the news.
The weather has turned much colder.
The well has run dry.
He fell sick/ ill.
The stone steps have worn smooth.
Everything will come right in the end.

4. Describe the constituent structure of the sentences below;

use labelled bracketing:

Our work is becoming more interesting.

The air has suddenly grown cold.
Her cheeks went a pretty pink.
Supplies are running short.
This cloth has worn into holes.
We got clear of the dangerous zone.
My shoe lace has come undone.
I hope you'll never turn Communist.
This clerk fell out of favour.
Green soon became the richest man in town.

5. Comment upon the predicates below in terms of: a) tense

and aspect of the copula- like verbs; b) subcategorization frame:
a) He became king at the age of seventeen.
b) Eggs are getting scarcer and scarcer in winter.
c) When the news came to be known everybody was greatly

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Fruit quickly goes rotten in hot weather.

We have run short of petrol.
The ink turns black when it dries.
He grew to believe that his colleague was hypocritical.
He fell to speculating on the probable reasons for her refusal
to marry him.
This material is wearing thin.
What became of your friend?

6. Use the verbs below to complete the sentences. Specify the

copula-like verb, as well as its semantic class:



a) The prospect of a strike ... large in everyone's mind.

b) He withdrew from the competition when it ... clear that he
stood no chance.
c) There's a lot of money ... idle at the bank.
d) At the President's entry everyone ... silent.
e) The tennis-player ... to pieces in the second set.
f) The cows are ... dry.
g) She's ... to be more and more like her mother.
h) John ... convicted for treason.
i) The snow ... (in) to slush.
j) The seam ... unstitched/ unsewn.
k) The telephone has ... dead.
l) Mike's journal ... open on the table.
m) Susan ... a good wife for Bill.
n) I ... godmother to the child.
o) When her servant left to have a baby, Mrs. Green had to
... cook.

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7. In the following quotations, identify the linking verb.

Identify the complement as nominal, adjectival or adverbial, and
specify the semantic class of the linking verb:
Painting is a blind man's profession.
Pablo Picasso, quoted in J. Cocteau, Journals
So are they all, all honourable man.
William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar
I've grown accustomed to her face.
Alan J. Lerner, My Fair Lady
It is a terrible thing for a man to find out that all his life he has
been speaking nothing but the truth.
Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest
A critic is a man who knows the way but can't drive the car.
Kenneth Tynan, New York Times magazine
1. Correct and/ or complete the statements below:
a) All adjectives in English are both predicative and
b) NPs can only occur in equative predications.
c) Prepositional NPs can only occur in equative predications.
d) Equative predication is always symmetric and
grammaticalized as copula [+ definite] NP-s.
e) Attributive predication can sometimes include definite NP-s in
f) S-structure.
g) Clauses in predicative position are only [+ finite].
h) Adjectives occur only in prenominal position.
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2. Comment on the syntax of Predicative Adjectives derived

from psychological verbs and supply contexts of your own to
illustrate their behaviour, as well as the thematic relations

The latest news puzzled everybody.

The latest news was puzzling to everybody.
Everybody was puzzled at the latest news.

3. Identify the subcategorization features associated with the

underlined adjectives:
[+Predicative/ +Attributive] [+Attributive]


This businessman is frank.

This problem is baffling to Kim.
The area was alive with whirlpools.
He is a frequent visitor of our hospital.
The newly wed couple was adrift on the sea.
Men are fond of blondes.
Helen is a mere child.
Jerry was an utter fool.
They were heading through the crowds afoot.
What does a nuclear scientist fear?

4. Rewrite the following sentences, changing the form of the

complement from nominal to adjectival, or adjectival to nominal,
as the case may be. State the semantic class of the verb:
a) She seems lonely.
b) He became athletic.
c) He wound up immensely rich.
d) His hair turned grey.
e) The party turned out a success.
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f) She makes him feel an idiot.

g) When I become middle-aged, I'll grow a beard.
h) The day seems fine.
i) The arrangement proved a money-spinner.
j) They remained enemies all their lives.
5. State whether the following predications are attributive or
a) Mr. Jones is editor-in-chief.
b) Who is that cheeky guy?
c) The dog's name is Rocky.
d) An enzyme is a protein.
e) Jenny is a student of French.
f) Great Expectations is Professor's Andrews favourite
g) You should be proud of having studied Japanese
in Japan.
h) Michael is the same age as his girlfriend.
i) They asked us who the President was.
j) What nobody can deny is that he was so open-minded.
1. Comment upon the statements below:
a) Intransitives are verbs of complete predication (according
to traditional grammar).
b) Intransitives are all lexically simple.
c) Some intransitive subcategories do take objects.
d) The Object of an intransitive verb is always a Prepositional
e) The NP functioning as Object of an intransitive verb is
governed by Preposition (and not the verb).
f) Some intransitives take two obligatory Objects.
g) The Subject of most intransitives is an Agent.
h) The Subject of most intransitives is a Theme/ Patient.
i) Intransitive predications never passivize.
j) Relational verbs can be transitive or intransitive.
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2. What is the subcategory of intransitive verbs of the type

BELONG? Supply other verbs in the class of relational
intransitives. The verbs DEFER, TRUCKLE, ACCRUE, CRINGE
also belong here. State their meaning and use them in short
3. Subcategorize the intransitive verbs below as to the
Complement and Adjuncts they can take:



4. What are the strict and selectional subcategorization

features of the following intransitive verbs? Comment upon the
Subjects and Objects they take:

Dont talk to strangers about family matters.

Stop complaining!
The two boys were arguing.
Mother will talk to my tutor.

5. Derive sentences with Reciprocal Object out of:

a) Tom and Mary agreed upon the matter.
b) Tom and Mary parted.
In what way do Ss thus predicated resemble Equative BE
6. Subcategorize the intransitive verbs below as to Subject
Selection. State which of them may be recategorized as to this


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7. Here is a list of transitive verbs (monotransitives). Specify

for each an equivalent (synonymous) phrasal intransitive verb.
Comment upon the second term in the former vs. the latter
TO PRESS (a point)
8. Analyse the syntactic frame of the eventive intransitive
verbs in the following sentences:
a) The accident happened on the way home.
b) Their fight took place in front of all people present at the
c) It happened that I was there.
d) We shall never leave you, whatever befalls.
e) A great misfortune befell him.
f) She chanced to be in.
g) It chanced that she spoke fluent Swahili.
h) It never occurred to her to ask anyone.
9. Analyse the syntactic frame of the intransitive verbs of
seeming in the following sentences:

Alice seems nice.

Alice seems to be a nice girl.
It seems that Alice is a nice girl.
He appeared on the doorstep while we were leaving.
He appears to be a good guy.
It appears that he is a good guy.

10. Analyse the following sentences; notice the optional

a) My dog is sleeping.
My dog is sleeping in his kennel.
b) The child was crying.
The child was crying for his mother.
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The child was crying with pain.

c) Tom and Mary quarreled.
Tom and Mary quarreled on their way home.
11. Discuss the temporal dimensions (ingressive, durative,
egressive) of the events rendered by the complex verbs in the
examples below taking into account the aspectual particles in the
respective lexically complex items:

That style of music died out a long time ago.

Winter had set in.
The king set forth with all his servants to visit the neighbouring ruler.
I thought those ancient machines went out years ago.
Drink up then Ill refill your glass.
The crowd were still laughing away as they left the theatre.
I set off to make the dress by myself.
Rain settled in shortly before midday and lasted all afternoon.
The fire blazed away and destroyed the whole hotel.
Is Tom still working away on that new book?

12. Analyse the following sentences; explain their


The roof collapsed under the weight of snow.

Water-pipes often blow in cold weather.
The aircraft remained on the ground.
My eyes swelled with tears.
He felled on his knees and begged for mercy.

13. Supply the CS of the verb APPLY with the required


She has applied ... a transfer.

She has applied the ointment ... the wound.
She applied ... the task most diligently.
For details you may apply ... the secretary or ... the booking office.

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14. Analyse the following predications; state whether they may

undergo Prepositional Object Deletion or Manner Adverbial
a) This country has done away with the death penalty.
b) With the Queen coming, we dont want to slip up with any
c) Gary is going to break away from the firm.
d) On Friday morning we set off for the airport with plenty of time to
e) And now, lets get down to business straight away!
f) United fell behind after just eight minutes.
g) Roger was ready to set out on his trip.
h) Unfortunately, he has just fallen out with the management of the
i) Have you settled up with her for the goods?
j) She looks down on people whove never had a sports car.
15. Identify the Deep Structure Prepositional Object in the
following sentences:
a) Her former boyfriend was never spoken about in her presence.
b) American civilization is being lectured to the 4th year
c) Be more discreet or youll get yourself talked about.
d) A reprint permission was applied to the publishers.
e) Your headmaster will have to be spoken to.
16. Identify the Intransitives that take Adverbials; state
whether they can undergo Deletion or not.

You acted wisely in ignoring such bad advice.

The book cost ten dollars.
She wont last long in that job.
The meeting lasted three hours.
The doctors dont think he will live through night.
He has behaved shamefully towards his wife.
My sister living abroad this year.
The seafront extends three miles.
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17. Decide whether the following intransitives are inherently

reciprocal or contextually reciprocal verbs:

Gary and Michael ran together this morning.

No blame attaches to you in this affair.
Hydrogen combines with oxygen to form water.
The bus collided with the van.
The teacher and the students went out together on Christmas.
Romanic languages differ from Germanic languages.
The newly weds disagreed on future plans.

1. Correct and/ or complete the statements below:
a) Monotransitives with affected direct objects never take effected
direct objects.
b) Monotransitives with effected direct objects always take a second
object expressing a beneficiary.
c) Verbs of manufacturing always take an affected direct object.
d) Monotransitives with affected Direct Object never undergo Object
e) All monotransitives take a direct object expressing a patient.
f) All monotransitives may undergo Passivization.
g) Causative verbs are always basic.
h) The subject of causative verbs is only [+ animate].
i) Only basic transitive verbs may be causatives.
j) Ergative verbs are expressed by activity verbs.
k) A monotransitive can never be ditransitive.
l) Sentences with passivals are synonymous with their genuine
passive counterparts.

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2. What subcategory of transitives is illustrated by the

following examples? State whether they can undergo

Unfortunately she married Mike in his youth.

This gallery contains prints.
You surprised me.
You resemble your fathers sister.
Harvey Lee Oswald killed President Kennedy.
The students havent stopped the campaign against pollution.
She had already dressed the child.
After bad reviews, the play quickly died the death.
These shoes dont fit me.
These curtains wont match your carpet.
This book sold like smoke.
Pancakes fry easily.
Henry took a walk in the park in the morning.
They agreed to let him into their secret.
All the families will have turned their TV sets off by 11 p.m.
The teacher has explained all the rules.
The shawls sold like smoke.

3. Assign the transitive verbs below their appropriate

subcategorization frames (see the features in the list); illustrate
each feature by a sentence of your own:

[_ NP] [_ P, PP]
[_ NP, AP]



[_ NP, Prt.]

[_ NP, Adv.]

[_ NP, S]


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1. Correct and/ or complete the statements below:
a) Lexically complex transitives are preceded or followed by a
b) Particles of lexically complex transitives are aspectual
particles only.
c) All lexically complex transitives allow Prt. Movement.
d) Passivization cannot apply on lexically complex transitives.
e) Dative Movement and Prt. Movement cannot apply on the
same verb.
2. Try Particle Movement on:
a) He handed over the flowers to Judy.
b) The authorities have turned down a request by the Russian
Embassy to reexamine the old documents.
c) Why dont you have this nice photo blown up?
d) The jury has brought in the verdict.
e) Peter takes after his father, but John is more like his mother.
f) She drew the story out too much.
g) The settlers roped in small plots of land.
h) He may hear the woman out.
i) The sun poured down its heat.
j) We must rope George in. He is a good actor.
k) The satellite was giving out strange signals.
l) Ill play back this song.
3. Insert the appropriate particle and state its behaviour as to
Particle Movement:
a) He rarely managed to get ... (his jokes).
b) The newspapers whipped ... (sympathy) for them.
c) They attempted to drum ... support from the students.
Use put up with [_concrete], as well as an [_abstract]
referent of the Direct Object.
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4. Try Particle Adjoining on the following sentences. Specify

whether it applies optionally or not:

They put their glasses down with a bang.

He threw this view aside.
The child took his coat off.
The politician has messed this affair up.
Every New Years Eve they let fireworks off in the main

5. Underline the correct particles in the sentences below. State

whether the verbs undergo Prt. Movement, Dative Movement or

The church puts on/ out a concert every Christmas.

The Prime Minister will show the Queen around/ off.
The fashion designer will sew her a new button up/ on.
All necessary information has been already taken down/ in.
The trees have put down/ forth new leaves.


1. Use the verbs below with a reflexive pronoun to complete
the sentences. Specify whether the verb is transitive or



a) The children realized that they were all alone in the house.
The children ...all alone in the house.
b) Have another cake.
... to another cake.
c) Spoiled kids dont know how to behave properly.
Spoiled kids dont know how to....
d) The teacher kept on saying the same thing again and again.
The teacher kept....
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e) Im afraid I didnt have a very good time.

Im afraid I didnt ... very much.
f) Id like to tell you about myself.
Id like to....
g) Shes learning Chinese at home without a teacher.
Shes ... Chinese.
h) I wouldnt really say that Im lazy.
I wouldnt ... as lazy.
i) Mike shouldnt think its his fault
Mike shouldnt....
j) She is difficult to understand.
She doesnt ... very clearly.
k) The students have done better than anyone expected.
The students have....
l) She was so unhappy she tried to commit suicide.
She was so unhappy, she tried to....
2. Complete these sentences using themselves or each
other. Analyse the predications they belong to.

They always send ... a card at New Years Eve.

They really enjoyed ... on the cruise.
Frank and Bruce hadnt met ... before.
Joan and Angelina went shopping together and looked ... out
of the house.
Neither Patrick nor Robert would take responsibility for the
accident. They both blamed ... .
Patrick and Robert were dreadfully sorry about the accident.
They blamed ... for it.
The two twin brothers smiled happily at ... .
A lot of people injure ... doing jobs about the house.

3. Give the labelled bracketing representation of the DS of the

Ss below:

Professor Adams expressed himself very forcibly.

Mary has talked to John about herself.
Wash yourself every morning!
Billy and I parted with one another on good terms.
They kissed each other in greeting.

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4. Compare the CS of the verbs:






1. Correct and/ or complete the statements below:
a) MAKE may have only [+ concrete] direct objects.
b) DO always takes clausal Direct Objects.
c) Manufacturing MAKE may take part in complex ditransitive
constructions having an Indirect Object that indicates the
d) DO may select a [+ animate] Subject.
e) MAKE never occurs as a prop-verb.
f) DO subcategorizes for a [+affected] Direct Object.
g) Causative MAKE never subcategorizes for a [+abstract]
Direct Object expressed by an Infinitival Clause.
2. Supply DO or MAKE in the following sentences; MAKE the
necessary changes:

I havent ... the beds yet.

What languages are you ... at school? Im ... Russian.
Youll have to ... a start somewhere.
The final judgment will be ... in court.
The firm ... a wide range of electrical goods.
The film Outsider was ... with Dutch money.
He really ought to ... a move.
I ... a five month tour of India and The Far East.
The houses were made of brick.
We are expected to ... a lot of reading.
Ill ... the cooking and she will ... the cleaning.
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What do you want to ... when you leave school?

Ann can ... 120 miles per hour in that car.
The company accounts have not been ... public yet.
She is a real pleasure to ... business with.
The builders ... an excellent job of the house.
We ... an offer of 150,000 for the house.
Just ... your best and try your hardest.
She has ... a request for a new car.
Weve got to ... a really serious effort.

3. Complete the idioms with appropriate forms of the verbs

DO and MAKE and explain the meaning of the respective
a) I had a very bad headache but I feel better now- that aspirin
... the trick.
b) He ... me several good turns.
c) The past is obliterated to ... way for the present.
d) Anyone can apply to join the six-month course - and those
who ... the grade will be allowed to apply for professional
licenses next year.
e) We are not ... much headway with this new scheme.
f) The team arrived at the match determined to ... or die.
g) He feels he has been ... out of a days holiday.
h) We had hoped to reach home before night, and we were ...
good time until the bad weather delayed us.
i) When we saw the police car coming towards us we ... tracks.
j) Come on, fair ... s - its your turn to cover up for me.

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1. Discuss the ergative pairs below, specifying their
[+/- causation], [+/- inchoative], [+/- motion], [+/- change of
state], [+/- activity] features:
a) An explosion shook the rooms. / The rooms shook suddenly.
b) We have shrunk the texture. / The texture has shrunk.
c) I shattered the glass. / The glass shattered (all over the
d) She boiled the porridge. / The porridge has boiled.
e) She rested her head on his shoulder. / Her head rested on the
edge of the table.
f) Im cooking spaghetti. / Spaghetti cook rapidly. / The
spaghetti are just cooking.
g) She had crashed the car twice. / Her car crashed into a
clump of trees.
h) He handles a new Rover. / It handles beautifully.
i) They sell fashion periodicals. / Fashion periodicals sell well.
2. What selectional restrictions operate in the ergative
structures below?
a) He fired a gun/ a bullet. / The gun fired. / *The bullet fired.
b) He has cut his sleeve on a splinter/ his hat on a bolt. / His
sleeve/ hat caught on a bolt. / They caught a thief. / *A thief
c) Her gestures showed a great emotion/fear/anger. / A great
emotion/fear showed (in her face). / I showed her the
postcards. / *The postcards showed.
3. State whether the sentences below take an AvP. optionally
or not:
a) Some fruits dont freeze well at all.
b) The ship sailed on Saturday.
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A big truck stopped outside.

This bike handles very nicely.
Our white carpet stains easily.
The potatoes have been simmering for ten minutes.
This tabletop polishes nicely.

4. When are the following verbs ergative and when not?

Supply contexts for each situation:
CATCH: belt, cloth, clothing, dress, shirt, trousers
PLAY: guitar, music, piano, violin
RING: alarm, bell
SHOW: anger, disappointment, emotions, fear, joy
SOUND: alarm, bell, horn
1. Comment upon the causative constructions below the point
of their Subject (external argument) and, on the other hand, VP

The earthquake caused great damage to the town.

The hostile army caused great human losses.
The bomb caused the demolishing of building.
The earthquake caused many people to die.
The hostile army made the whole population suffer.
I shall have Max rewrite the application/ get Max to rewrite
the application.
g) The poison caused my kitten to die.
2. Specify the - grid for:

The frost turned the water into ice.

The storm broke the window into pieces.
Janet laid the ashtray on the table.
The team felled ten trees in our forest.
Sarah had/ got her blouse washed.

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3. Supply the paraphrase including the corresponding

non-causative verbs (be it transitive or intransitive); state
the type of causative.

We finally persuaded him to leave the town.

I convinced her that I didnt mean to harm her.
We reminded mother of her promise.
She has taught me French and Latin.
They have sent us a big parcel.
I shall give you my old dictionary.
Ghosts frighten Janet.
They have raised the flag.
We have put/ set the books on the shelves.

4. Identify the type of causative verb and describe its

to benumb; to bedew; to disable; to discontent; to deform; to
dethrone; to disarm; to discourage; to enlarge; to enrich; to embitter;
to encircle; to encode; to encourage; to entitle; to unbutton; to unlace;
to unplug; to activate; to amplify; to solidify; to christianize; to
urbanize; to fertilize; to popularize; to blacken; to broaden; cheapen;
soften; harden... to pulsate; hasten; frighten; beatify; codify; personify;
standardize; carbonize; to bedarken; to bedeafen; to demoralize; to
disorientate; to invalidate
5. State the similarities and dissimilarities between the regime
of the predicating verbs below:

The enemy sank our ships.

The heat has melted the ice.
We grazed our sheep on the meadow.
He worked his men mercilessly.
He was running his horse down the hill.
I sat the old man into an armchair.
He stood the box against the wall.

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h) We shall dine the Browns in our living room.

i) The river floated the papers away.
j) She leant her elbows on the table / rested her head on her
k) She dabbed a powder-puff across her forehead/ her forehead
6. Compare:
a) I walked John to the corner.
b) I walk my dog every afternoon.
c) I walked the patient to the door.

1. Consider the following phrasal verbs in point of their
syntactic and semantic features:
1.a. If the door is locked, I will try to break in.
b. Max likes to break in his assistants slowly.
c. Our plane took off at 7 a.m.
d. She has taken off her coat.
e. The engine cut out.
f. She cut out some photographs from a magazine.
2.a. It wont take me a minute to clear away. (the dirty plates).
b. Will you kindly take over (my tasks)?
c. I ve asked him to drink up (the beer).
3.a. The guerillas blew up the restaurant.
b. The restaurant blew up/ was blown up.
c. I wont wake him up yet.
d. He woke up in the middle of the night.
e. They will close down their shop tomorrow.
f. The shop will close down.
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2. Discriminate between the basic and derived uses of the

underlined verbs:
a) The cargo weighs 10 tons. / They are weighing the cargo.
b) The car turned the corner. / The car turned round the corner.
c) These figures add easily. / The boy added these figures
d) Mother is tasting the pudding. / The pudding tastes
e) He died a cowardly death. / He died like a coward.
f) Sheila has been knitting for two hours. / Ill knit you a
g) The river floated the raft. / The raft floated down the river.
h) John shaves daily. John should shave himself daily.
i) Bob nodded approval. / She nodded her head. / She nodded.
j) The teacher began the lesson. / The lesson began.
3. In the following sets of sentences, comment on the changes
of transitive and intransitive use and corresponding changes in
a) Theyre growing. They are growing bigger. They are
growing bigger cauliflowers.
b) Im writing. Im writing a letter. Im writing him a letter.
c) Save me. Save me some. Save me, somebody!
d) They called. They called the doctor. They called the doctor
e) She teaches. She teaches me. She teaches me the violin.
4. Comment upon the twofold behaviour of the following
a) Her arm brushed my cheek. / Something brushed against the
closed window.
b) Rabbits often gnaw the woodwork of their cages. / Insects
had gnawed... the wood.
c) They hissed the Mayor at the ceremony. / Frederica hissed...
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5. Rewrite these sentences putting in a verb with a reflexive

pronoun wherever you can.

Hes still very ill but he can wash and shave.

You ought to behave better than that.
You must learn to adapt to new ideas.
The children tried to hide in the cupboard.
You can dry on that towel.
Billy undressed before going to bed.


1. Correct and/ or complete:
a) Dative verbs have the same - grid and subcategorization
frame (which is always transitive).
b) Dative verbs do not behave uniformly (they evince lots of
syntactic irregularities).
c) Dative Movement takes the double object structure as basic
and applies to all subcategories, deriving well-formed
surface structure alternatives.
d) Dative alternatives are perfectly synonymous.
e) Dative predications reflect argumental and thematic role
f) Noun-verb nominal compounds confirm the relation
between the dative predication and the internal - marked
g) Dative and passive structures are closely inter-related.
h) The indirect object corresponds to an internal argument
(direct or indirect).
i) Causative and inchoative meanings are inter-related.
j) Unergatives and unaccusatives only take one argument
(+role) which is internal.
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2. Comment on the dative verbs below and supply more items

in the respective category:
a) George W. Bush was clinging to a slender advantage in the
race for the White House last night.
b) All those votes in a state go to the candidate who wins the
peoples vote tomorrow.
3. Apply Dative Movement wherever possible:

I asked my friend to call a taxi for me right away.

Those steps havent done much to our economy.
Susan has booked a single room for Max.
Have you paid any attention to this detail?
Im going to explain my position to my parents.
She muttered some inarticulate words to her neighbour.
Professor Adams was dictating the rule to the students.
Most of the students have returned the borrowed materials to
the head librarian.
I owe a big sum to my cousin.
Who will cash the three cheques to my boss?

4. Identify the predications of the following sentences and,

starting from their Surface Structure supply their Deep

He made his wife a cup of coffee.

John sold Marry his old car.
Could you show your grandfather those old photographs ?
Save the rest of us something to eat.
Im going to book your guests a really good table.
Weve prepared you a light snack.
Well leave you some food in the fridge.
Ill try to find you those books.
He had lent my cousin the money.
Dad gave me a car.
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5. Find out the irregularity of the dative constructions


This dress costs Ramona 2,000000 lei.

The Vietnamese war cost Brian his life.
The foreigner asked his hostess a great favour.
May I ask a favour of you?
She teaches English to advanced students.
I taught him a lesson!
We all wish you a speedy recovery.

6. Analyse the predications

transformations applied (if any):





They cabled Bruce a tax notice.

He wrote me a letter.
He wrote me my essay.
I read the old man to sleep.
Mary explained these facts to him.
I can buy a book for your friend.
The gymnasts won us many victories.
His uncle had given the car a service.
The critic has been shown the first draft.
She has made herself another blouse.
We asked them the way.
We asked them a favour.

7. Comment upon the difference between the alternative

structures in terms of the VP constituents (mainly of the
Complements and Adjuncts in and outside dative predications):
a) She carried her brother to Rome (in/at/around/from Rome). /
She carried Rome her brother.
b) She wrote letters for 3 hours. / She wrote 3 hours letters.
c) She wrote letters to her friend for 3 hours (in / within 3
hours). / She wrote 3 hours letters to her friend.
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8. Try to obtain a synonymous dative structure (including

variants with pronominalised objects); comment on the
information structure differences between the two:
a) John has handed his room key to the receptionist.
b) Robert has taught English to all the youth of Ceylon and
c) The Express magazine offered $ 1000 to any reader who
could supply some details on the murder.
d) Rose bought a splendid TV set for her living room.
e) The latest earthquake brought disaster to Japan.
f) This girl gave my son a punch in the nose.
9. Account for the constituent structure of the strings
a) People told the press agents that nobody had paid the taxes.
b) We explained to Sarah that Daddy couldnt join us at the
c) Rev. Jones preached to his parishioners that they should
abide by the old rule.
d) They apologised to us that they were inadequately dressed.
e) She cabled us that nobody could meet her at the airport.
f) He agreed with us that there was no other way out.
10. Comment upon the predications below, specifying the type
of Object taken by the verb (Direct, Indirect, non-contrastive,
affected or effected). Try passivization and comment on the
relation between degrees of affectedness and then change from
active into passive:
a) The workers/ the storm/ the axes have felled ten oak-trees in
the forest.
b) Mother made a toy for her little son.
c) I have eaten my elevenses in a hurry.
d) His family took great care of the newly born baby.
e) The gangster will have it in the nick of time.
f) George Washington slept in this bed.
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I have the impression that someone has set on this sofa.

The Browns have (got) three flats at the present.
The children touched the Statue of Liberty.
You should never touch oil paintings.
The monsters slimy finger touched the little girl.
The lamp touched the ceiling.
I never eat my words!
People are swarming in the London streets.

11. The following Vs may occur with either a Goal or a

Beneficiary role grammaticalized as Indirect Object:



Illustrate this twofold behaviour by minimal contexts of your


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1. Complete the grid:

Present simple
Past simple

John makes coffee

Coffee is made by

John is making coffee

John has made coffee
John made coffee
John was making

Past perfect

Coffee had been

made by John
John will have made

Future simple
Going to
Have to

Coffee must be made

2. Complete the second sentence so that it has a similar

meaning to the first sentence. Use the word given and other words
to complete each sentence. Do not change the word given.
a) They are designing a new engine.
A new engine.......................designed.
b) They have to turn on the photocopier five minutes before
using it.
The photocopier................five minutes before use.
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c) A mechanical failure caused the delay.

The delay......................a mechanical failure.
d) Mary will meet you at the airport.
be the airport.
e) Computers are changing our lives.
Our lives.......................computers.
f) We must keep the ovens at a constant temperature.
The ovens.....................a constant temperature.
g) They freeze bread loaves in batches of five.
The bread loaves.................batches of five.
h) Children are going to eat most of our cakes.
Most of our children.
i) You can buy either frozen or chilled pizzas in most shops.
Either frozen or chilled most shops.
3. Turn into the passive and decide whether to include the
agent or not.

The postman has delivered a lot of letters this morning.

Someone has stolen some money from my bag.
People are drinking more coffee than tea these days.
Pizzaro first brought potatoes to Europe in 1554.
You have to return all video tapes to the shop before 5 p.m.
You are not permitted to smoke in the school.
An electric element in the boiler heats the water.
The firm employs five solicitors.
Someone invented the espresso machine in Italy.
Some people have not returned books to the library.

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4. Give the corresponding active construction using the

words in bold as the subject of the sentence. State in each case to
what object of the active construction the subject of the passive
construction corresponds.
a) Many interesting experiments are carried out in our
b) The other day I was entrusted with a new task (the
c) The other day a new task was entrusted to me (the
d) Problems of vital importance are touched upon in this book.
e) My patience was exhausted by the child's behaviour.
f) Monday was agreed upon as the most suitable day for the
first rehearsal (the actors).
g) She hopes she will not be refused a visa (the Embassy).
h) She hopes a visa will not be refused her by the Embassy.
i) Many goods are exported from England.
j) Mothers and children in our country are taken much care of
(the government).
5. Change the voice of the verb in bold. Give two passive
constructions where possible.
a) Tchaikovsky used many folk songs in his compositions.
b) The coach gave the boxer some instructions.
c) They will grant me a leave in July if there is no urgent work
to be done.
d) His friends never forgave him his disloyalty.
e) The management offer me several jobs and I cannot decide
which to take.
f) The commander charged him with a very responsible
g) They will promise you much, but do not imagine they will
give you everything they promise.
h) When the Portuguese rulers refused Columbus assistance,
the Spanish Government offered him three ships.
i) His parents regularly sent him parcels with fruit from their
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The lecturer showed the students some recently devised

k) They usually sent the children to camp for summer.
6. Give the corresponding passive construction:
a) We looked through the advertisements very carefully.
b) The gardener gathered all the dry leaves and set fire to them.
c) People will talk much about the successful debut of the
d) She can rely upon her husband's experience.
e) Why didn't the speaker dwell longer upon this subject?
f) You must send the sick man to hospital. They will look after
him much better there.
g) I was very glad because nobody took notice of my late
h) She was a brilliant orator, and, whenever she spoke, the
audience listened to her with great attention.
i) Why did you laugh at me?
j) Nobody ever referred to that incident again.
7. Change the voice of the verb in bold making all other
necessary changes:
a) The Russian troops under the command of Suvorov
captured Ismail. They partly annihilated, partly took
prisoner the Turkish garrison. It was one of the glorious
victories that Suvorov won.
b) Meteorologists collect weather reports from all parts of the
c) American scientists have made many wonderful
d) The company had shipped the cargo to the town before the
agent arrived.
e) A new foreign film is being dubbed at the Moscow studio.
f) The house was built in place of the one that had been
destroyed by the fire.
g) He has been showing much better results since he has been
trained by this coach.
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h) All the business letters will have been answered by noon.

8. Fill in the gaps:
a) Why.... the curtains drawn across the window?
b) It was impossible to lift the barrel into which so much water
... pumped already.
c) The letter is ... decoded. Who is.... it?
d) The custom officers are.... the baggage. It will........
examined by the time the train leaves.
e) ... the event ... much commented on in the press? ... it still....
commented on?
9. Use the verb in brackets in the appropriate form:
a) The second draft resolution (not to discuss) yesterday; it (to
withdraw) long before the beginning of the meeting.
b) The inspector is not in town; he (to send) on a special
c) At the publishing house I (to tell) that the book (to publish)
by the end of the year.
d) You cant' use the refrigerator at the moment, it (to fix) by
the mechanic.
e) Many Soviet cities (to change) beyond recognition by Soviet
f) A second talk on how to handle the new machine (to give)
tomorrow at the same time by one of the inventors.
g) No objections to the plan (to offer) so far, but it (not to
introduce) until it (to put) to vote.
h) Some final touches (to put) to the picture; it (to complete) in
half an hour.
i) Evidently the tea (to sweeten) before I put sugar into it.
10. What is the difference?
Look at the four pairs of sentences. There is an important
difference in meaning. What is it?
a) Jim beat Gunther yesterday.
Jim was beaten by Gunther yesterday.
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b) She hasn't paid the money yet.

She hasn't been paid the money yet.
c) They will send the money tomorrow.
They will be sent the money tomorrow.
d) I don't want to see him.
I don't want to be seen with him.
11. Fill in each of the gaps with a suitable word or phrase:

My motions were rejected and I was ...... retreat.

I believe he needs ....... told to keep a low profile.
The problem was .........been told where the rescue team was.
Her daughter is believed .......... kidnapped by terrorists.
Under the old suggestions, contestants were been given an
extra 20 minutes to round off their essays.

12. Fill the blanks with a suitable word or phrase:

a) The computer is behaving strangely but we are ......fixed
b) The lights keep twinkling, we must ........ to look at them for
c) Tom is not the easiest person to get along with, that is
something she will have ......... to.
d) I ....... car stolen and my flat....... the other day.
e) The old can get ......... in by quacks.
13. Correct the following sentences:
a) Man and wife they were pronounced.
b) He was explained the procedures.
c) His faults were forgiven to him.
d) She was earned a lot of money from her gambling.
e) I was suggested an excellent bookshop.
14. Fill in the blanks:
a) We.... advised ... review our position.
b) He is known..... ..... hidden large sums of money in his safe.
c) I ...... always made ...... apologise to my brother after a fight.
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d) It's too late now, there is nothing more..... be.....

e) I remained with the feeling of ....... been ....... for granted.
f) I used to steal water melons from my neighbours' nursery
and never worried about ....... ...... out.
g) There are ...... ....... ....... ....... any survivors from yesterday'
15. Finish each of the following sentences in such a way that
it is as similar as possible to the sentence before it:
a) They made me tell them everything they wanted.
b) Nobody ever let me study the violin at school.
c) It is said that Shakespeare never revised anything he wrote.
d) There are thought to be forms of life on Mars.
e) From what I know, there was an attack last night in the
upper apartment.
There is ............................................................
f) It's a pervasive supposition that Tom was wrongly accused.
Tom ...............................................................
g) You have to clean the silverware until it shines.
The silverware is.................................
16. Finish the sentences so that the meaning stays the same:
a) Can it be true that you are really delivering my bookcase
this evening?
Can it be true that I am?
b) My brother agreed to post the letters for me.
I got..........................................
c) My dentist is supposed to be filling in my tooth today.
d) My Volvo really needs servicing.
I really......................................
e) Why did you let them leave without paying?
Why didn't you.......................?
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17. Which of these sentences are causatives?

a) He tried to run away but got caught.
b) They wanted to walk the entire itinerary but got tired in the
c) I need to get my hair cut.
d) I am going to have my flat redecorated.
e) I had my safe broken into last night.
18. Which of the following sentences are incorrect?

The light has destroyed the picture.

The picture destroyed because of the light.
The picture was destroyed in the fire.
Raise your hand if you want to come.
The wreckage was raised to the surface.
The balloon raised quickly into the sky.

19. Complete the sentences with a passive construction, using

the verbs given in the form suggested, and adding a suitable
a) These charges (look) ...... by the prosecutor. (Present
b) The following conclusions (arrive).... by Dr. Smith. (Present
c) This behaviour (put).... by the headmaster. (Future simple)
d) Such people (look).... by Tom. (Past tense simple)
e) Great writers always (look)..... (Present perfect)
f) The four bunk-beds (sleep) ... by eight students. (Present
g) The forest (walk).... by a surveyor by the end of the day.
(Future perfect)

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20. Add an agent to the following sentences, where

possible, and make further comments upon the use of passives and
state adjectives in the respective sentences.
a) The door was opened.
b) The door was open.
c) The window was shut.
d) The factory was closed.
e) The lock was smashed yesterday.
f) The window was broken yesterday.
21. Give the passive construction to the following sentences,
where possible. Make further comments upon the subcategorization
frame of the verbs.
a) Tom resembled his mother.
b) That blouse fits her perfectly.
c) The seller weighed ten pounds of rice.
d) Her assistants measured the younger children.
22. Underline the passive constructions in the following
fragment; recognize the discourse type and account for the
absence of the by-phrase.
Data on the bacteriological efficacy of amoxycillin acid,
although not the prime focus of this review were also described in
some of the papers. This information is limited and has been included
for completeness only. Similarly, the total safety data on amoxycillin
acid, as described in this published literature, is also provided.
23. Passivize the sentences below and comment on the V
subcategory which realizes predication, allowing one or two
passive variants:
a) Nobody can argue about this issue with our mayor.
b) The board had admitted him a solicitor on the first day after the
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c) The teacher should have chosen the exam topics beforehand.

d) One can call this place a typical provincial town.
e) Any passer-by might have perceived the shrouded figure walking
down the main street.
f) A high, dense hedge surrounded the garden of the lonely country
g) They paid each worker an average sum of money.
24. State whether the Passives below are agentless or
agentive. Comment on the resultative and/or causative tinge of the
passive predicate and on the thematic role corresponding to the
Prepositional Object:
a) Her embarrassment has been justified by the old mans hint
at her mini-skirt.
b) My aunt was struck by the guests odd behaviour;
-the old oak-tree was struck by lightening.
c) The furniture was covered in chintz;
-The furniture has just been covered in chintz by the maid.
d) The children were forced to eat mutton by their mother.
e) She seemed to be overwhelmed by the shock.
f) The young mans appearance was spoiled by his bushy
eyebrows; - The kids were spoiled by their granny.
g) Marian was attracted by fine arts;
-Marian was attracted by her young tutor.
h) His eyes had been caught by the face of a girl dressed in
The gangster has been caught by the police, while breaking
in this morning.
i) No party has been thrown by my next-door neighbour for
ten years;
-The ball has been thrown near the half-line.
j) The long-distance runner was given the silver medal;
-The project was given a high priority by our government.

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25. Analyse the long and short passives in the headlines

Rider is killed in road chase after the runaway horse
Paralysed by a knock-out blow
A rumble of despair in the town hit by Tornado Two
26. Comment on the Topic-Comment structure (including
final Focus) in the contexts below:
a) Despite the resilience of Bushs popularity, Gore was clearly
buoyed by his opponents misfortune.
b) Here he had always lived and here it was assumed he would
c) The cottage had been built by the occupiers own hand.
d) Flight 4 was still aloft when the batteries ran down, and
contact was lost.
e) UFO authors claim that alien bodies were secretly flown to
Wright Field in Dayton, for analysis.
27. Turn into the passive all active sentences that allow it
and supply the active variants of all passive sentences in the text
a) International support for a core group of human rights has
been enshrined for more than half a century in the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights, which was ratified by the United
Nations in the aftermath of the second world war and the
Holocaust. During the 1960s, two more covenants were thrashed
out in an effort to give the declaration some substance.
b) When Western lobbyists accused the Soviet Union of
violating its citizens civil rights, the Soviet government replied
that the economic and social rights of its people were more
important. Today the Chinese make much the same argument.

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c) Few people then believed that mere letter-writing and

lobbying could be considered as such powerful weapons. But a
great deal more manoeuvring will be needed to give meaning to
social and economic rights. Not surprisingly, the big battalions
among human-right campaigners approach the issue with some
1. Correct and/or complete:
a) The Subject is one of the major constituents of a Sentence
b) The position of the Subject is, universally, pre-verbal.
c) The Subject can be realised by a single word, a phrase or a
clause, placed at the beginning or the end of the Sentence.
d) The thematic role grammaticalised as Subject is the Agent.
e) The role Theme may also realised by a NP in Subject
position with certain V subcategories.
f) The Subject NP may be en empty category in certain Clause
g) The Subject has to be present in both D-Structure and SStructure in all natural languages.
h) Agreement is triggered by the Subject NP and is realised in
all finite Ss by the VP constituent.
i) The morphological case of the Subject is The Nominative
assigned by various governors.
j) Subject NPs are in the Nominative case in finite and nonfinite sentential structures.
2. Analyse the thematic relations with focus upon the Subject
in the sentences below:

Harry killed the rats.

The rats died.
Harry hates rats.
The cellar teems with rats.
Harry laid the poison for the rats.
The poison killed the rats.

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3. Identify the constituents functioning as Subjects in the

following strings:

Chris and Theodore quarrelled with each other.

Across the river stretched was the pleasantest meadow.
The prettiest in our class is Tabitha Brown.
Yours is the newest car in the neighbourhood.
The name of the new institute attracts more and more
That irresponsible guy over there is likely to blow up the
whole building.
The lady who is wearing a white fur coat has just entered the
theatre hall.
Max is sure to reach the chalet by 6.
It was drizzling when we set out for the nearest village.
Last Sunday there was a grey drizzle which made everything
look wet and sullen.
I heard a sudden knock. It must have been the old postman.
It was declared that it would be forbidden to smoke in public
It is vital for the undergraduates to attend courses and
seminars daily.
Whoever told you that tall lie is a scoundrel.
What he did for a living is of no importance.
Across the valley, white against the setting sun, rose the
range of mountains covered with snow.

4. Comment on the position of the Subject in the Ss

below and explain the inversion cases:
a) Not since I got married have I experienced such a feeling of
mutual harmony.
b) No sooner had we graduated from the faculty then we got
very profitable jobs.
c) Not only did Max turn up late, but he started reproaching the
others with their passive attitude.
d) Opposite us sat the parents of the young couple.
e) There came a messenger from the opposite camp.
f) It was the librarian that checked my license at the entrance.
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Who let you know about the accident?

Then off came the actors white wig and moustache.
Down went the country road.
Where was the treaty signed, do you happen to know?

5. The Subject is referred back to, in the Sentences

below, by a Predicative Adjunct to the Subject/ Subject
Complement. Identify the constituent playing this role:
a) The chairman is considered a very good specialist in the
b) Byron was born a poet.
c) Marian passes for a good doctor.
d) The sun rose pink.
e) She is known as an absent-minded housewife.
f) The old man was found dead in the yard.
g) The eggs were boiled hard.
6. Analyse the there constructions below, with focus
a) the S-Structure Subject and b) the D-Structure Subject;
c) word order peculiarities; d) subcategories realising
a) There have been several attempts to improve the situation.
b) There is also the idea that fiction is based on real models.
c) There gushed forth a fresh water spring on the skirt of the
d) In front of the building there were many students shouting
for freedom.
e) There will be printed a new edition of Chaucers works.
f) There may be the possibility of Toms missing the chance.
g) There no cakes left on the tray yesterday evening.
h) There came a messenger from the opposite camp.
i) There seemed to be no way out.
j) There happened two accidents on the motorway last
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7. Complete the sentence by inserting an appropriate

Subject; indicate the constituent(s) you have used:

appeared to be mistaken.
was declared
issued a new copy of the book.
must be the postman.
was in the distance.
is snowing with big flakes.
are arguing about their fortune.
washed herself in a hurry.
resemble each other.

8. Differentiate between the t Subjects in the

sentences below:
a) It was very noisy in the compartment.
b) It was awkward asking him to wait so long.
c) Its advisable you should go in for a faculty.
d) It was in this building that he spent most of his life.
e) It must be our neighbour.
f) It was reported that three soldiers were missing.
g) It was raining cats and dogs.
h) It is too hot in here. Its almost unbearable.
i) It is a rare pleasure to find such amiable persons among
j) Its all right to have some butter with boiled potatoes.
9. Apply agreements between Subject and Predicate in
the sentences below:
a) People in the street (be) not too careful when crossing.
b) The Romanian people (be trying) hard to establish
democracy in all activity domains.
c) The British crew (have thrown) a party in honour of the
visiting prince.
d) This news item (sound) incredible.
e) Series of childrens books (sell) very well before
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f) Money (be) not always the key to difficult problems.

g) Poultry (be) difficult to feed in winter.
h) These pieces of furniture (belong) to the museum.
i) Physics (appear) as an accessible science if you resort to
lab demonstrations.
j) The government (have taken) steps to fight corruption.
10. Try to spot the Subjects of the non-finite clauses in
the sentences below or to recover them if missing from the Sstructure:
a) Considering shes only ten years old, my niece is
amazingly well-read.
b) That having been said, there is no doubt that everybody
agreed to the proposal.
c) Kates being one hour late irritated all her mates.
d) Once inside, we felt quite at home despite the cold.
e) Weather permitting, we shall go on a trip to Maramures.
f) Asked an hour later what her programme was, she
wouldnt give any details.
g) While in Spain, he spent most of his time on the beach.
h) When young, Bob used to play tennis daily.
i) One of the most successful stars in England, her
reputation as a good mother surprised everybody.
j) Given the circumstances, there was no way out.
1. Correct and/ or complete the statements below:
a) The Direct and Indirect Objects are either a simple NP or a
clause in a nominal position.
b) The Direct Object names a person or a thing affected by the
action of the verb.
c) A verb cannot have more than one Direct Object.
d) When a Direct and Indirect Object are both present, the
Direct Object comes first.
e) Location and direction are only expressed by adverbials.
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f) The Direct Object is never separated from its governing

g) Instrumental verbs take instrumental Direct Objects.
2. Identify the prop-verb and characterise the noncontrastive DO in:

John has had a swim across the river.

These boys took advantage of Johns ignorance.
Sidney gave a loud shout and fell down.
Have you made any arrangements for your holiday?
Ill have a think and Ill let you know what I choose.
If the school bus wont start well give it a push.
Judy had a chat with her best friend yesterday.
Tim had a phone call from his former wife.
The old man takes a long walk in the park every morning.

Try the two tests: Questioning and Passivization.

3. Specify the objects, their type, whether they may undergo
Object Deletion:
a) Hes scratched his hand on a nail.
b) Maggy gave the audience a sweet smile.
c) He cooked Chinese dishes for his friends.
d) The child pressed her nose against the window.
e) If you press all these grapes, youll make a lot of wine.
f) They clapped their hands in time to the music.
g) Every day the old sailor spins yarns about his life at sea.
h) Mary has just joined her family in Australia.
i) We can help each other.
j) Denise has cut herself.
4. Identify the Direct Objects in the sentences below; state
whether they are Affected or Effected Direct Objects:
a) The gardener trimmed the top of the hedge.
b) Birds build their nests out of twigs.
c) Before Easter the government increased VAT.
d) The company manager increased my salary.
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e) He smashed his old furniture to pieces.

f) This fashion designer makes wonderful scarves.
g) Sorry, Ive burnt the toast.
h) The cigarette burnt a hole in the carpet.
i) Fred cooked me my dinner.
5. Rephrase the following sentences promoting the Adverbial
of Place in Object Position. Make all necessary changes:

Some vandal smeared paint over my car.

You ought to empty the water out of those boots.
He crammed food into his mouth.
He robbed one million pounds from the bank.
He jumped over the fence.

6. Compare the Deep and Surface structures of:


Alice found it difficult to speak.

I thought it right to resign.
The jury declared him innocent.
They named the place Xanadu.
He entitled his pamphlets A Modest Proposal.
I nicknamed him Basho.
Will you call him a doctor?

1. Correct and/ or complete the statements below:

a) The Indirect Object expressed by a [- animate] noun phrase.
b) The Indirect Object may take the form of a prepositional
c) The Indirect Object hasnt got a non-prepositional version.
d) The Indirect Object names only the Recipient of an action.
e) The Indirect Object cannot be passivized.
f) Transitive verbs never take Indirect Objects.

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2. Specify the syntactic level of occurrence of the Indirect

Objects in the sentences below:
a) To me, the whole affair is sheer nonsense.
b) For some of the participants this conference is a historic
c) This news-item sounds fresh to me.
d) That building belongs to Mr. Brown.
e) He has dug a grave for his enemy.
f) It seems to me that nothing has changed.
g) This is a nice guy for you.
h) Theyve built a cottage for their children.
i) Will you open the door for my wife for me?
j) We shall send a cable to Cluj.
k) The board awarded the prize to the French poet.
3. Form reflexive Indirect Objects referentially bound to the
Subjects (wherever possible). Try to obtain the Double
Object alternative (all identical pairs of names have to be
understood as bound by coreference):
a) Marian bought a blouse for Marian/ for Susan (her).
b) Tom told Tom// Susan that he// she should buy Tom// Susan
a new bicycle.
c) Bob had got a red Cadillac for Bob.
d) Henry cooked an omelette for Henry.
4. Trace the DS Indirect Object in the sentences below:

He teaches advanced students English.

Bring me a glass of water!
Shes buying her boyfriend a very expensive present.
Grandma told the children a fairy tale.
Kevin sent his cousin a message on the computer.
The employees purchased themselves shares in the
g) She read me the letter.
h) They found themselves a nice place.

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5. Identify the Indirect Object in the following sentences:

a) The actress bought her daughter a wonderful necklace for
only $ 5,000.
b) We are grateful to you for helping us out.
c) I wrote Professor Willis for a new job.
d) This teacher hasnt taught Maths to high school pupils for
ten years.


1. Correct and/ or complete the statements below:
a) The Prepositional Object may undergo Prepositional
b) The Prepositional Object hasnt got a non-prepositional
c) The Prepositional Object names only the theme.
d) The Prepositional Object cannot be passivized.
e) The Prepositional Object cannot be expressed by a clause.
f) Complex verbs allow movement of the preposition.
g) Complex transitive verbs do not take a Particle and a
Prepositional Object.
2. Analyse the predications below (identify the objects and
specify the subcategorization frame and the -grid of the
underlined verbs):

Jack discussed the game with his friends.

This shop specialises in chocolates.
What made you suspect her of having taken the money?
The burglar was charged with murder.
He pleaded with his parents for a more understanding
f) We argued with the waiter about the price of the meal.
g) Shes suffering from loss of memory.
h) The office was cluttered with boxes.
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i) This song reminds me of France.

j) Julia glanced shyly at him and then lowered her eyes.
k) They are protesting against the governments defence
l) He was involved in a heated argument.

3. Complete each sentence with one suitable preposition;

specify the objects, their type, whether they may undergo Object
a) Henrys always arguing ... brothers.
b) They agreed.... a plan of action.
c) The clerk borrowed some money ... the bank.
d) The police blamed the accident ... Paul.
e) I have insured my BMW ... theft.
f) Some teenagers have been banned ... the disco for rowdy
g) I think you would benefit ... a rest.
h) Please send the letter ... delay.
i) The lawyer was acquainted ... the facts of the case.
j) All soldiers have been provided ... winter equipment.
k) Let me apologise ... Jack.
l) The tourists marvelled ... the beauty of the landscape.
m) His bad eyesight exempted him ... military service.
n) I dont want to quarrel ... you.
4. In the following quotations, identify the objects and decide
upon their type:

Confession may be good for my soul, but it sure plays hell with
my reputation.
(Mark Twain)

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Better sleep with a sober cannibal than a drunken Christian.

(Herman Melville, Moby Dick)
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the
unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself.
Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
(G.B. Shaw, Man and Superman)
1. The function adverbial modifier can be realised by:
an adverb phrase
a prepositional phrase
a noun phrase
a finite clause
an infinitive clause
an -ing participle clause
an -ed participle clause
a verbless clause
Make up sentences of your own so that each one contains an
adverbial, and each adverbial is realized by one of the above phrases.
2. Complete the following sentences with finite or non-finite
adverbial clauses of the type indicated. State whether your clauses
are finite or non-finite.

He speaks Russian better.........(comparison)

They decided to visit the Art Gallery......(time)
We left our friends............(place)
The European Union was formed.........(purpose)
The movie was so tedious........ (result)
We went running....... (concession)
He should be pleased.........(condition)
............, she didnt have time to call. (reason)
John arranged to arrive early......(purpose)
As..........., that wont be necessary. (reason)
As........., I ran into my friend. (time)

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3. Give examples of conjunctions used to introduce the

following types of adverbial clauses:
reason or cause
4. Finish each of the sentences so that it means exactly the
same as the sentence printed before it:
a) There are bound to be problems whether you take one
advice or the other. Whichever....
b) After the beginning of the play, latecomers had to wait
before taking their seats. Once.....
c) She didnt complain to the waiter about the food because
she didnt want to embarrass her friend. She.... so as....
d) We must hurry or we wont catch the plane. Unless...
e) I expected the exam to be more difficult than that The
exam wasnt.....
f) She will discover what has happened and shell
immediately insist on a full clarification. The moment....
5. Complete the sentences with adverbial clauses, using in
turn each of the conjunctions given. State the function of the
clause you have added, and say whether your clauses are finite or
a) We decided to take our umbrellas with us
so that........
in case.....
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b) They planned to visit Egypt

even if....
c) Whatever......,
Much as........., please dont tell anybody.
6. Identify the types and the means of realizations of the
adverbials in the following sentences:

The explosion occurred suddenly.

why did you arrive so late?
The children are playing inside.
She is ill. Consequently she cannot join us.
Andrew is fixing his car in the garage.
In all sincerity, I dont believe a word of what you say.
Did you see your uncle last week?
Why dont you solve it the way we do?
His train may arrive any minute.
You may go wherever you want.
As he listened his face became dim.
Since I dont share her views, I shall not obey.
To speak frankly, Helen is not the person we expected.
Weather permitting, we shall go to picnic tomorrow.
Having lived in Bucharest for some time, he should know
his way about.
p) Our task completed, we went for a walk.
q) Her clothes in disorder, Jane dashed out of the apartment.
r) If possible, I will meet you at the airport.

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7. Insert the time adjuncts into the sentences, first placing

the time when adjunct at the end of the sentence, then moving it
in initial S position:

I pay my instalments (this year, once a month).

We have seminars (this week, all the morning, every day).
He will be away (this winter, for three days, several times).
Visits to the cathedral will be (during spring, between ten
and twelve).
e) Meetings will take place (every week-day, next month,
between four and six).

8. Join the sentences, using noun clauses, and giving

alternative constructions where indicated:
a) The sun sometimes shines in Paris. she seemed surprised to
find out this.
b) He hadnt got in touch with his girlfriend. She later
understood why.
c) She was destined for a brilliant career. This was clear to
d) He didnt even say sorry. This really bothered me.
e) Teenagers nowadays get too much pocket money. This is
my opinion.
9. Rewrite the sentences, substituting a finite noun clause for
the non-finite clause in italics:
a) The teacher insisted on the students coming on time to their
b) I am surprised at your considering Munich a boring place to
live in.
c) Your having accepted this project means your having to
move into another town.
d) Before buying this piece of furniture, you should make sure
of its being authentic.
e) She refused to believe his having told her the whole truth.

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10. Complete the sentences with a finite or non-finite noun

clause, and state the function of the clause you have added:

Martin said that.....

The fact..... is now broadly known.
What..... is of important concern to the firm.
I rarely succeed in attaining what....
I wanted to find out how....
The woman told the police officer where.....
What.... is less relevant than what you do.
I asked the waiter if....
The writer regretted the fact....
It is certain that....
It was broadly accepted that...
If that is what......, why dont you confront him?

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Analyse syntactically:
1. I advised him to think things over very carefully and to try
not to make any more confessions for the time being. Meanwhile I
would go and have a chat with the investigating officers and try to find
out what course of action they had in mind. I wouldnt leave the
station until he had been formally charged, and he was to be in no
doubt that everything possible that could be done for him would be
done for him.
(Andrew Davies, Getting Hurt)
2. Orlando was shocked by these doctrines; yet could not help
observing that the critic himself seemed by no means downcast. On
the contrary, the more he denounced his own time, the more
complacent he became.
(Virginia Woolf, Orlando)
3. By this time Orlando had abandoned all hope of discussing
his own work with the poet; but this mattered the less as the talk now
got upon the lives and characters of Shakespeare, Ben Johnson, and
the rest, all of whom Greene had known intimately and about whom
he had a thousand anecdotes of the most amusing kind to tell. Orlando
has never laughed so much in his life.
(Virginia Wolf, Orlando)
4. In his lowering magazine of dust, the universal article into
which his papers and himself, and all his clients, and all things of
earth, animate and inanimate, are resolving, Mr. Tulkinghorn sits at
one of the open windows, enjoying a bottle of old port. Though a
hard-grained man, close, dry, and silent, he can enjoy old wine with
the best.
(Charles Dickens, Bleak House)
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5. Mr. Jarndyce patted him on the head with a smile, as if he

had been really a child; and passing a step or two on, and stopping a
moment, glanced at the young cousins. His look was thoughtful, but
had a benignant expression in it which I often (how often) saw again:
which has long been engraved on my heart.
(Charles Dickens, Bleak House)
6. The wonder was, it was there at all. It had been ruined so
often, that it was amazing how it had borne so many shocks. Surely
there never was such fragile china-ware as that of which the millers of
Coketown were made. Handle them never so lightly, and they fell to
pieces with such ease that you might suspect them of having been
flawed before.
(Charles Dickens, Hard Times)
7. Elinor could not help smiling at this display of indifference
towards the manners of a person to whom she had often had difficulty
in persuading Marianne to behave with tolerable politeness, and
resolved within herself, that if her sister persisted in going, she would
go likewise, as she did not think it proper that Marianne should be left
to the sole guidance of her own judgement, or that Mrs.Jennings
should be abandoned to the mercy of Marianne for all the comfort of
her domestic hours. To this determination she was the more easily
reconciled, by recollecting that Edward Ferrars, by Lucys account,
was not to be in town before February, and that their visit, without any
reasonable abridgement, might be previously finished.
(Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility)
8. It was in the cab with Jim that impressions really crowded on
Strether, giving him the strangest sense of length of absence from
people among whom he had lived for years. Having them thus come
out to him was as if ha had returned to find them; (...) Whoever might
or mightnt be suited by what was going on among them, Jim, for one,
would certainly be: his instant recognition of what the affair was for
him gave Strether a glow of pleasure.
(Henry James, The Ambassadors)
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9. Most Earthmen were Medievalists in one way or another. It

was an easy thing to be when it meant looking back to a time when the
Earth was the World and not just one of fifty.
The Cities were good. Everyone but the Medievalists knew that there
was no substitute, no reasonable substitute. The only trouble was that
they wouldnt stay good. Earths population was still rising. Some
day, with all that cities could do, the available calories per person
would simply fall below basic subsistence level.
(Isaac Asimov, The Caves of Steel)
10. It appeared to me that would take time, to become
uncommon under these circumstances: nevertheless I resolved to try
it, and that very evening Biddy entered on our special agreement, by
imparting some information from her little catalogue of Prices, under
the head of moist sugar, and lending me, to copy at home, a large old
English D which she had imitated from the heading of some
newspaper, and which I supposed, until she told me what it was, to be
a design for a buckle.
(Charles Dickens, Great Expectations)
11. It was easy to make sure that as yet he knew me no more
than if he had never seen me in his life. He looked across at me, and
his eye appraised my watch-chain, and then he incidentally spat and
said something to the other convict, and they laughed and slued
themselves round, and looked at something else. The great numbers
on their backs, as if they were street doors; their ironed legs,
apologetically garlanded with pocket-handkerchiefs (...) made them a
most disagreeable and degraded spectacle.
(Charles Dickens, Great Expectations)
12. The Russians did not make that effort because they were
not attacking the French. At the beginning of the battle they stood
blocking the way to Moscow and they still did so at the end of the
battle as at the beginning. But even had the aim of the Russians to
drive the French from their positions, they could not have made this
last effort, for all the Russian troops had been broken up, there was not
part of the Russian army that had not suffered in the battle, and though
still holding their positions they had lost one-half of their army.
(Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace)
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13. What error or evil can there be in my wishing to do good,

and even doing a little- though I did very little and did it very badly? What evil can there be in it if unfortunate people, our serfs, people like
ourselves, were growing up and dying with no idea of God and truth
beyond ceremonies and meaningless prayers, and are now instructed
in a comforting belief in future life, retribution, recompense, and
(Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace)
Test 1
1. Define and/ or illustrate:
a) Deep structure;b) Lexical category
2. Correct and/ or complete:
a) Traditional grammars focus on grammatical Form;
b) The Sentence is a string of words;
c) Generative transformation grammars consist of a definite set
of rules.
3. Enlarge upon:
a) The multiple regime of the verb BE;
b) Copulative predication- the attributive type
4. Analyse the BE- predications, supplying complete
comments on the type of BE and type of Predicative:
a) Brian is chairman of our debating society.
b) There are three matches in the red box.
c) I wonder who he might be.
d) The trouble is that they have missed that opportunity.
e) High heels are the thing today.
f) I am surprised that she is at table right now.
5. Analyse syntactically in terms of: a) clauses and their
functions; b) constituents and their functions:
a) Max happened to witness their argument.
b) It amazed us that they married so young.
c) We boiled the eggs hard.
d) Nothing could prevent him from climbing that dangerous peak.
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Test 2
1. Define and/ or illustrate:
a) Surface structure;b) Syntactic category
2. Correct and/ or complete:
a) Generative transformation grammar includes a syntactic and a
semantic component;
b) The Sentence is a construction without a head (exocentric);
c) Sentences are classified according to their communicative
3. Enlarge upon:
a) The meaning and structural peculiarities of copula-like verbs;
b) Copulative predication- the equative type.
4. Analyse the BE- predications, supplying complete
comments on the type of BE and type of Predicative:
a) She is Helens age.
b) My children are at university.
c) There are two mistakes in your translation.
d) These paintings are early Grigorescu.
e) Sarah is the most eccentric in her class.
f) I asked him who he was.
5. Analyse syntactically in terms of: a) clauses and their
functions; b) constituents and their functions:
a) We insisted on his participating in our game.
b) Susan proved not to be afraid of policemen.
c) It surprised everybody that he was appointed chairman.
d) They considered her a great poetess.

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Test 3
1. Correct and/ or complete:
a) GT grammars are models of Competence and Performance:
b) The Phrase, which is the basic syntactic unit, always has a
head/ nucleus;
c) Adjectives can be used as Predicators, being similar to verbs.
2. Assign the Copula-like verbs below their appropriate
subcategorization frames; illustrate each feature by a sentence of
your own:
[_ AP] [_ Pred. NP][_ Pred. PP][_ Prt, PP][_ to Inf.]
3. Enlarge upon exclusively modifying adjectives;
Specify the type of BE- predication (constituents, logicosemantic value):
a) The question is whether he is artist enough to paint the
b) My aunt is of a noble descent.
c) Marian is the same age as my daughter.
d) I wonder who the guy was.
e) You should be proud of having been to London three times so far.
4. Analyse syntactically in terms of: a) clauses and their
functions; b) constituents and their functions:
a) It is believed that the board will grant the prize to the
youngest poet.
b) What puzzled everybody was that they married so young.
c) They thought necessary to take steps against corruption.
d) Max proved to be the best manager they had ever had.

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Test 4
1. Correct and/ or complete:
a) The Deep structure of the Sentence is correlated to its
corresponding Surface Structure:
b) Questions are exclusively specialized to convey a request for
missing information;
c) The verb BE behaves uniformly.
2. Assign the Copula-like verbs below their appropriate
subcategorization frames; illustrate each feature by a sentence of
your own:
[_ AP] [_ Pred. NP][_ Pred. PP][_ Prt, PP][_ to Inf.]
3. Enlarge upon exclusively modifying adjectives;
Specify the type of BE- predication (constituents, logicosemantic value):
a) This pair of shoes is the right size.
b) He is scoundrel enough to take you in.
c) He asked us who the Head of the Department was.
d) The trouble is that he has never been to England.
e) My family is in great need of financial support.
4. Analyse syntactically in terms of: a) clauses and their
functions; b) constituents and their functions:
a) I wondered whether Mary had introduced herself to the new
b) It was announced that the police caught the thief red-handed.
c) Brian happened to witness the accident.
d) What nobody can deny is that he was born a genius.
e) I consider it proper that there should be no corruption in the
medical domain.

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Test 5
1. Define the concept Deep Structure and specify the DS of
the sentences below:
a) We were offered a bunch of flowers by Tom.
b) It was announced by the press that the French delegation
would arrive on Friday.
2. Correct and/ or complete:
a) Traditional, early structural and GT grammars equally deal
with grammatical Form and its corresponding Meaning;
b) All Adjectives in English are both predicative and modifying.
3. Describe the constituent structure of the S- use
bracketing/ PM:
a) All the pupils were writing the rules in their copybooks.
b) The new dictionary consists of 18.000 entries.
4. Comment on the BE- predications below:
a) To be or not to be: that is the question.
b) She was afraid that the butter might be stale.
c) This idea is of a great help.
d) She is my age.
e) Lions are felines.
5. Analyse syntactically in terms of: a) clauses and their
functions; b) constituents and their functions:
a) In the field that stretched four miles there were patches of
snow here and there.
b) He happened to find the victim flat on the floor.
c) I was surprised that nobody could prevent him from lying to
his mother.
6. Enlarge upon copula-like verbs in English.

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Test 6
1. Define the concept Surface Structure and starting from
the DS below supply one or several alternatives in SS:
a) I handed my license to the policeman.
b) That nobody turned up until 5 surprised everybody.
2. Correct and/ or complete:
a) The only unit of Syntax is the Sentence; it is an exocentric
structure with no meaning correlated;
b) Noun Phrases can only occur in equative predications.
3. Describe the constituent structure of the S- use
bracketing/ PM:
a) These old people were asking for help.
b) The jurors will put down their names on the slates.
4. Comment on the BE- predications below:
a) The question is who will be President from now on.
b) Mice are small animals.
c) These shoes are the right size.
d) I am sorry that I cant be of any help.
e) Marian is the prettiest in her group.
5. Analyse syntactically in terms of: a) clauses and their
functions; b) constituents and their functions:
a) I was amazed that Henry insisted on our joining their party.
b) After we boiled the eggs hard, we started having breakfast.
c) It is not likely that Mary might be relied upon.
6. Enlarge upon Predicatives expressed by Prepositional

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Test 7
1. Correct and/ or complete:
a) intransitives never take Indirect Objects;
b) all transitives allow passivization;
c) dative verbs always lose their preposition;
d) intransitives may occur as transitive in certain contexts;
e) complex (phrasal) transitives allow movement of the Particle
and Preposition.
2. Comment on the predications below:
a) The worker hardened the metal. / The metal hardened.
b) Spaghetti cook easily.
c) His leg got broken.
d) Will you pack these books for my friend for me?
3. Give sentencial contexts with the verbs BREAK,
HAPPEN, MAKE so as to illustrate all the configurations they can
4. Analyse syntactically:
a) They insisted on Toms introducing himself to the stranger so
that they might make friends in the future.
b) Although they were living a quiet life, they found it proper to
go out daily and buy newspapers for their next-door neighbours.
c) It was announced that there was no doubt about Johns having
been appointed chairman by the members of the committee.

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Test 8
1. Correct and/ or complete:
a) transitives with affected Object never take effected Objects;
b) causatives are always basic;
c) reciprocal predications are intransitive and can be passivized;
d) transitives may occur as intransitive in certain contexts;
e) all complex (phrasal) intransitives allow passivization.
2. Comment on the predications below:
a) Tom was reading, while Maggie was sewing.
b) My uncle lives a miserable life.
c) Henry took a bath in the evening.
d) I dropped the pencil. / The pencil dropped.
3. Give sentencial contexts with the verbs RUN, HAVE, LAY
so as to illustrate all the configurations they can predicate.
4. Analyse syntactically:
a) On hearing about the event next week, she mentioned to her
sister that people who marry each other often find out that
their sentimental life falls short of their expectations.
b) It is quite likely that her relatives have put about some
rumours about her of late so that her prestige might be
completely ruined eventually.
c) Fred happened to find the chairs uncomfortable, which
surprised the fanciful designer.

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Test 9
1. Correct and/ or complete:
a) monotransitives obligatorily affected Object which cannot be
b) all transitives allow passivization;
c) dative verbs are all transitive;
d) causatives are always derived.
2. Comment on the predications below:
a) He got shot in the battle.
b) She lived a miserable life.
c) The child broke the bowl. / The bowl broke.
d) He has packed some books for his daughter.
3. Give sentencial contexts with the verbs MAKE, REMIND,
HAPPEN so as to illustrate all the configurations they can
4. Analyse syntactically:
a) It surprised me that there were no mistakes in the article
printed by the students.
b) He suggested to us that we should take a walk.
c) Quite surprisingly, he turned out to be a hero.
d) Playing games was what he was mainly interested in.

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Test 10
1. Correct and/ or complete:
a) intransitives never take Objects or Adverbials;
b) dative verbs have one passive counterpart
c) some intransitives may be used transitively;
d) both transitives and intransitives allow movement of the
Particle or Preposition.
2. Comment on the predications below:
a) These shirts iron smoothly.
b) I shall sew a dress for my sister.
c) She smiled an ironical smile.
d) The wind moved the branch. / The branch moved.
3. Give sentencial contexts with the verbs COMPLAIN,
TURN, SEEM so as to illustrate all the configurations they can
4. Analyse syntactically:
a) George happened to pass by when the kid was knocked down
by the motor-bike.
b) Collecting stamps was what he was mostly concerned with.
c) It was suggested by the doctor that the patients should have a
walk through the park.
d) We were amazed that no one had done away with that unjust

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Test 11
1. Point out the main similarities and dissimilarities between:
a) adjectival and nominal copulative predicates;
b) ergatives and passives.
2. Give sentencial contexts with the verbs RUN and BUY so
as to illustrate all the configurations they can predicate.
3. Analyse syntactically:
a) We were amazed to find out that Mike had been appointed
President of our society.
b) Galloping horses in the afternoon was their greatest pleasure
during holidays.
Test 12
1. Point out the main similarities and dissimilarities between:
a) attributive and identifying copulative predicates;
b) transitives with affected objects and transitives with effected
2. Give sentencial contexts with the verbs LIE and LAY so as
to illustrate all the configurations they can predicate.
3. Analyse syntactically:
a) I wondered where he was coming from and what his hidden
purpose might be.
b) It turned out that the teacher worked his pupils cruelly.

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Redactor: Andreea DINU

Tehnoredactor: Marcela OLARU
Coperta: Marilena B LAN
Bun de tipar: 7.05.2007; Coli tipar: 10,25
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