Author Topic: Help with tree diagram  (Read 538 times)

Offline grammargirl

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Help with tree diagram
« on: October 23, 2016, 02:53:38 PM »
Hey guys! I'm drawing a tree for the sentence, "For Maurice to quarrel with Joel frightened Maggie."
I'm wondering if "with Joel" would be considered an adjunct? I don't completely understand the tests for adjuncts vs. complements. If it is an adjunct should there be an extra V' above the V "frightened", so that the PP would be a sister to the V'? Thanks ahead!

Online Daniel

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Re: Help with tree diagram
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2016, 06:26:09 PM »
It depends on the analysis.

You could say that quarrel is an intransitive verb and that 'with Joel' is an adjunct. But you could also say that quarrel is a transitive verb that happens to take an argument introduced by the preposition with, so the PP would be a complement. There may be reasons for either position. Which one is "right" depends on the goals of your theoretical approach and the tests available to you to decide.

So that means that what really matters is how your book/instructor/class is introducing adjuncts vs. complements. It's much more important that you can explain why you're choosing one or the other (or even arguments for and against both analyses) based on the tools you have available. And different books/instructors might have different approaches.

I don't mean to give you a non-answer here, and I'd be happy to discuss some of the more abstract theoretical issues, but from the way you've phrased the question you want the 'right' answer for your class. The problem with that is that it actually depends on your class, and also that we won't do homework for you. We can still discuss related issues in general, but it's very important to know that it may not match up to exactly what your book says, so you might actually get an answer 'wrong' on the test if you follow my advice for example.
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Offline grammargirl

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Re: Help with tree diagram
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2016, 08:29:20 PM »
That answer actually completely helps me! Thanks a lot! I realize I worded my question to seem as though I was directly asking for an answer, but I wanted to actually find out if I was correct in saying that it could be either (I should have mentioned my idea in the question, sorry!). I have an argument and reasons for why I answered the way I did on the assignment. Thanks so much!

Online Daniel

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Re: Help with tree diagram
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2016, 09:00:13 AM »
Glad that helps!

Note that "it could be either" may be viewed as INCORRECT by your instructor, IF you have a specific theory and specific tests you're supposed to use to determine these things. In terms of your education, understanding both sides of the argument is great, and you can apply that to any theory you'll come across. But for an assignment or test, there may be a 'right answer' based on the specific framework you're using.
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