Linguistics Question

Learning Goal: I’m working on a linguistics multi-part question and need an explanation and answer to help me learn.

1 Constituency (1 point)

Answer yes or no based on whether the sequence of words is a constituent in the sentence found in example (1). You don’t have to give evidence for your answer.

(1) Some guy always brings a jar of those homemade pickles.

  1. always brings
  2. brings a jar of those homemade pickles
  3. Some guy
  4. a jar
  5. brings a jar

Yes No Yes No Yes No Yes No Yes No

2 Parameters (1.5 points)

See if you can determine the parameter settings for these languages given below. Put your answer in a table like the one below (no evidence needed). English is done for you as an example.

Assume the following: Determiners are typical examples of specifiers; Adjectives and many PPs (although not all) are adjuncts. “Of” PPs and direct objects are complements. Be sure to check the complement/adjunct relation in all categories (N, Adj, Adv, V, P, etc.) if you can.

A. Hixkaryana, a Carib language from Brazil. Sample data:

(2) Kuraha yonyhoryeno biyekomo. bow made boy

‘The boy made a bow.’

  1. (3) Newehyatxhe woriskomo komo. take-bath women all ‘All the women take a bath.’
  2. (4) Toto heno komo yonoye kamara. person dead all ate jaguar ‘The jaguar ate all the dead people.’

B. Dutch, a West Germanic language spoken in the Netherlands and Belgium. Sample data:

  1. (5) De man in de regenjas is naar Amsterdam gegaan. the man in the raincoat is to Amsterdam going ‘The man in the raincoat is going to Amsterdam.’
  2. (6) De man heeft een gele auto met een aanhanger gekocht. the man has a yellow car with a trailer bought ‘The man has bought a yellow car with a trailer.’
  3. (7) De vrouw heeft een auto gekocht. the woman has a car bought ‘The woman has bought a car.’
  4. (8) Jan is vertrokken. John is gone ‘John left.’

C. Tzotzil, a Mayan language spoken in Mexico. Sample data:

(9) ’ispet lok’el ’antz ti t’ule carry away woman the rabbit

‘The rabbit carried away (the) woman.’ 2

(10) ’ibat xchi’uk smalal li Maruche go with her-husband the Maruche

‘(the) Maruche went with her husband.’ (Maruche is a proper name) (11) Pas ti ’eklixa’une

built the church
‘The church was built.’

Fill out the rest of the table, given the data above:

Language English Hixkaryana Dutch Tzotzil

Specifier Adjunct
(YP) X’ Both (Adv/Adj)

Complement X (ZP)


3 Structural Positions (1 point)

Keeping in mind the definitions of adjunct, complement, and specifier (e.g., the adjunct is daughter of a bar level, sister to a bar level) determine the relationship between the following phrases and its respective head. The first one is filled out as an example.

1. BPis aspecifier 2. DP is
3. CP is
4. EP is

5. FP is 6. IP is 7. HP is 8. GP is

to A to

to to to

to to


. . .


. .

. .


4 Mistakes in Tree Drawing (1.5 pts)

It’s easy to make mistakes in tree drawing when you’re using X-bar theory. Below are some English phrases and some trees with mistakes in them. State what the mistakes are and then draw the correct tree:

A) people with children

Mistake 1: Mistake 2:

Correct tree:


B) biked without a helmet

Mistake 1: Mistake 2:

Correct tree:

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