By accident, I seem to have left some references to sentence (18) in the statement of Task 6 on the extra credit problem about Trees are easy to draw. Those should refer to sentence (29)—that is, the question is about how himself in (29) satisfies Principle A, and refers at one point to for John, which is also in (29).
Sorry about the typo.
You may remember on homework 5, we figured out that to was a modal, and in your analysis of the sentence I wanted Joss not to have been making movies, we had to say that the modal to is special in that it doesn’t raise to T.
I just noticed that on handout 10b, I’d accidentally drawn to moving to T. I’ve posted an updated handout on the syllabus page with that fixed.
Just to clarify, there are a couple of inconsistencies with respect to how I drew the trees with the infinitive marker to on some of the handouts. Specifically, there are slides here and there where to is drawn into the trees as if it were T—rather than an M
that moves up to T. The official version of the theory we’re working with (and different from what is in the textbook) is that to is an M that moves up to T, just as in the homework problem from a few weeks ago. So, if you see somewhere to given as being a T, just think of it as a shorthand for a T that takes an MP complement, headed by the M to, which has moved up to T. I’ll try to catch this in future handouts, but I still might miss one here and there.
[Edit after original post: Part of the point of that homework was showing that to doesn’t in fact move up to T.]
The handout labeled “10b” has a couple of slides where the text is unreadable due to the background in the text boxes having been too dark. I’ve posted a new version of the handout on the syllabus page that fixes that problem, but if you don’t wish to print it out again, here’s what you missed:
- Charlie seems to dislike bees
- First, does Charlie get a θ-role from seem?
- Well, no. Seem only assigns the one θ-role.
- So, unlike in Charlie tried [PRO to elude the bees], we have as many DPs as we have θ-roles.
- Charlie seems to dislike bees
- So, what θ-role does Charlie get?
- Still seems to be the Experiencer of dislike
- So, suppose that Charlie starts out in the same place, SpecvP.
- But now, after building vP, we add a nonfinite T…
Sorry, yet another corrective note: The homework is not due Tuesday, but rather on Thursday, despite what it says on it. I always suspend homework for the BUCLD, and I forgot to alter the due date on the handout.
Spend the weekend at the conference if you can, not on the homework, unless you can do both.
There’s an inconsistency between what I’ve said in class (and on handouts) about where the by-phrase attaches in a passive, and where your comments on your returned homeworks might say to put it. This is not really the grader’s fault—there was an error on the key I gave him.
But, for the record: The by-phrase does seem to adjoin to the PassP, rather than to the vP. If there is a comment on your homework about this, the comment probably has it backwards. And, I guess, if there’s no comment on your homework about this, there probably should have been one.
One might ask how the Agent θ-role can be assigned to the by-phrase if it is so far away from v, and the answer has to be that v is not in fact assigning the Agent θ-role to the by-phrase. The relationship between the event and the Agent role introduced by by can be assumed to be about the same as the relationship between the event and the Instrument role introduced by with (e.g., with a hammer). There are still open questions here, but we basically want to think of the agentive by-phrases as different from the Agent that appears in SpecvP in active (that is, non-passive) sentences.
On the homework, a couple of notes. First, problem 2 seems to be riddled with typos. Of course, liebte should be how the verb is spelled in both (f) and (h), Prinzessin should always appear with both ns, etc. Sorry about that.
Second, just what is being asked for? First, do not fail to read the two statements under the heading Assume the following things. Your answers to the questions in problem 2 can’t contradict those things.
Question 1 asks you to describe and explain the process, but skip that momentarily and jump straight to the bolded question: What English phenomenon is this similar to? We talked about it in class. The answer to this question is the title of at least one of the slides. So, identify the phenomenon in English that is like what we’re seeing in German first, and then it should be relatively straightforward to say what is going on (that is, to “describe and explain the process”).
Question 2 about the different structures. People are finding this to be a little bit tricky. The two different structures are really not very different at all. I’ll give you a hint about this here: Think about building up the DP Die schlanke Frau aus Frankreich. You have a PP, aus Frankreich, a noun Frau, and an adjective schlanke, all of which you combine first, before merging the resulting NP with the D Die to get a DP. Frau doesn’t itself have any strong features to check. Moreover, aus Frankreich can’t be a complement of Frau—it simply wouldn’t mean the right thing. Pretty much the only kinds of PP that can be an N-complement are those PPs that have of (or von) as the head. So, Frau is “complete”, it is “happy”, it has no strong uninterpretable features to check—it is an NP. So you have to attach both the adjective schlanke and the PP aus Frankreich to the NP, and you can’t use Merge to do it because there are no strong uninterpretable features to check. If you think about this from the bottom up (”First, I have Frau, which is an NP. Then, I take…”), it might become fairly evident at which point you have to make a choice that could have as easily been made the other way. And it would result in structures that each interact with the phenomenon discussed in Question 1 in a slightly different way.
Ok, enough hinting for now.
I observe that there is an inconsistency between what Adger says on p. 262 and what I said in the recent blog entry about how the interpretable φ-features of an N can be used twice (once to check the uninterpretable φ-features on a D, and again to check the uninterpretable φ-features on T).
Adger suggests that the φ-features of N value and check the [uφ: ] feature of D, and then that checked feature of D values the [uφ: ] feature of T.
Adger’s claim is a little bit non-standard in the broader world of minimalist syntax, which is why I didn’t initially follow it. But here’s why he said that, and upon reflection, why I think we need to adopt Adger’s view of this. (With respect to the trees you’ve drawn so far, even on this homework, it isn’t going to make them look any different.)
We have already implicitly adopted the view that a checked uninterpretable feature can value another unchecked uninterpretable feature. The place we did that is in the mechanism for subject agreement. The way subject agreement works is that T has a [uφ: ] feature, and when T is merged, it sees the φ-features of the subject and is valued and thereby checked. But the second step is that this now-valued-and-checked [
uφ:3sg] (for example) feature of T then turns around and (along with the interpretable [tense] feature on T) values the next [uInfl: ] feature down. So, we already do have a case where an already-checked feature checks another feature.
Given that, Adger’s approach on p. 262 is the most consistent way to think about how the [uφ: ] feature of T is valued. The φ-features of the N are not in fact used twice, they are used once to value and check the [uφ: ] feature of D, and the checked [
uφ:…] feature of D then values and checks the [uφ: ] feature of T.
There was a miscommunication with the grader about how to treat the all in the problem in homework 6 where you needed to draw a structure for the sentence with they all in it. You may have gotten notes written on your homework that contradict what we’ve done in class and on the handouts (and in the book). The way we were treating it then, all is a N that takes an NP complement (so, it has the features [N, uN*] among others), not an adjunct. Now, we’d treat it as a D that takes a DP complement (see p. 263 in the book).
I’ve been assured that this by itself didn’t move anyone’s homework score up or down a level, but I’ll still look over that part of your homework if you’d like, just bring it with you to class.
I was just reminded over email about a slide in the last handout (where we covered case checking) where, in the tree for the sentence “She likes them”, the verb likes was drawn with just a [V] feature indicating that it is a verb, but without the [uN*] feature that usually accompanies it on transitive verbs.
Take no notice of the fact that the [uN*] feature is missing. In general, I may sometimes omit features that aren’t directly relevant to the point at hand, but you shouldn’t take this as an affirmative claim that in that sentence the verb lacks a [uN*] feature (to c-select the Theme), it’s just that I only wrote down the features that seemed relevant at the time. If written in full detail, it would have had the [uN*] feature as usual, since that was the reason that the Theme NP was Merged with the verb in the first place.