Author Topic: In the generativist view, do all VPs have a split projection?  (Read 3724 times)

Offline robynbunny

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I haven't been reading syntax for a while, and some notions are fading in my brain, and thus I need some clarifications: Do all VPs have a split projection of vP and VP or is there only a portion of verbs (those particularly with causative meanings) that do this?

Also please correct me if there are mistakes in the below (partial) trees:

John opened the door.


Joan knows the answer. (I assume all VPs have a split projection here now since the question above is not answered yet)


Thank you very much for your help!

Robyn

(p.s. I did some modifications on my tree since it looks like the cross-out feature and "+" or apostrophe do not apply in the tree. Please read "plus zero morpheme" as "+ΓΈ" and "crossed-out" as word, as it moves up. Also ignore the diacritics after PRN. The number 1 & 2 were generated by the system automatically)
« Last Edit: March 07, 2014, 02:48:44 PM by robynbunny »

Offline Daniel

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Re: In the generativist view, do all VPs have a split projection?
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2014, 04:17:06 PM »
That's tricky! It would vary significantly by author and (sub)theory. "Generativism" is VERY broad, but even something like "Government and Binding" or "Minimalism" will have some variation.

Another problem is the simple use of the verb "have"-- what does it mean for a sentence to "have a vP"? At what level of representation? Must that vP have a head? Can it be omitted? And if it has a head, can that head be null?
And if does "have a vP" then must we always represent it in the tree? Often various irrelevant (null?) phrases are omitted from trees and analyses. Is that just to save space/ink, or is that theoreticall motivated?

In the end, there are two (extreme) cases to consider:

1. Structure is built as needed. Extra categories are not included except where justified.
So here, no, a vP is only used when it is really needed to represent something.
This would allow language-specific structures!

2. All language have the same basic skeleton for sentences, or at least within a given language (eg, English) all sentences have the same structure. All categories are included in every sentence, always (like TopicP and other CP-domain phrases). Of course we might skip over writing them because they're implied, but they're there.
This would suggest not only that there is some rigid system for English sentences but that the categories have real meaning (cognitively, possibly encoded genetically in humans) and probably suggest that there could be universal tree structures.
Some work by Kayne, for example, seems to assume such universal, very large, structures.

Obviously in the case of vP specifically it might fall somewhere between those extremes.


Based on why you're asking:
If this is for a course: ask your instructor! (Either answer is fine in general, but one will get you the right grade.)
If this is for your own research or general studies: both could be argued, so it's worth comparing them.
Welcome to Linguist Forum! If you have any questions, please ask.

Offline robynbunny

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Re: In the generativist view, do all VPs have a split projection?
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2014, 07:01:28 PM »
Thank you very much djr33!

So how about my trees? The textbook is based on minimalist approach. Maybe on the two trees, what I was trying to convince myself (or that I am not so sure on) is that "the answer" on the second tree and "the door" on the first originated from different nodes (one as a complement and the other a specifier). Is this claim correct?

Thanks again!
Robyn
That's tricky! It would vary significantly by author and (sub)theory. "Generativism" is VERY broad, but even something like "Government and Binding" or "Minimalism" will have some variation.

Another problem is the simple use of the verb "have"-- what does it mean for a sentence to "have a vP"? At what level of representation? Must that vP have a head? Can it be omitted? And if it has a head, can that head be null?
And if does "have a vP" then must we always represent it in the tree? Often various irrelevant (null?) phrases are omitted from trees and analyses. Is that just to save space/ink, or is that theoreticall motivated?

In the end, there are two (extreme) cases to consider:

1. Structure is built as needed. Extra categories are not included except where justified.
So here, no, a vP is only used when it is really needed to represent something.
This would allow language-specific structures!

2. All language have the same basic skeleton for sentences, or at least within a given language (eg, English) all sentences have the same structure. All categories are included in every sentence, always (like TopicP and other CP-domain phrases). Of course we might skip over writing them because they're implied, but they're there.
This would suggest not only that there is some rigid system for English sentences but that the categories have real meaning (cognitively, possibly encoded genetically in humans) and probably suggest that there could be universal tree structures.
Some work by Kayne, for example, seems to assume such universal, very large, structures.

Obviously in the case of vP specifically it might fall somewhere between those extremes.


Based on why you're asking:
If this is for a course: ask your instructor! (Either answer is fine in general, but one will get you the right grade.)
If this is for your own research or general studies: both could be argued, so it's worth comparing them.