Linguistics: An Introduction

By William B. McGregor



Test: 5 — Structure of Sentences: Syntax

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1) The syntax of a language is relatively more "open" than the morphology or phonology.

2) By definition a sentence is the largest linguistic unit with grammatical structure.

3) Does ‘They followed his dripping blood until nightfall, didn't they?’ constitute a single sentence?

4) The ambiguity test shows that ‘I like the port’ has two different grammatical structures.

5) Which of the following is ungrammatical but interpretable in English?

6) Which of the following contsists of just a single clause?

7) Sentences are always clauses, but clauses are not always sentences.

8) In ‘He tripped and fell in the river’ the words fell in the river do not make a clause because they can't stand alone as an independent utterance.

9) A noun phrase can consist of no more than a single noun or pronoun (possibly along with words of other parts-of-speech).

10) A clause always consists of at least one NP and at least one VP.

11) One interpretation of ‘The police shot the man with a rifle’ involves a PP embedded in an NP. In this interpretation of the clause could you rephrase the clause as ‘It was with a rifle that the police shot the man’?

12) Which of the following groups of words involves conjunction of NPs?

13) Actor and Undergoer are purely meaningful categories, and have nothing to do with the grammar of English or any other language.

14) In ‘The cat fell off the wall’ the NP the cat is in the Undergoer role.

15) Which role(s) does the key serve in ‘The key was broken by the farmer’?

16) Which role(s) does the key serve in ‘The key broke’?

17) Adding a tag question to a clause identifies the Theme by the pronoun that occurs in the tag.

18) Is Theme a grammatical relation?

19) Which of the following is a minor clause in English:

20) Does English have both prepositional phrases and postpositional phrases?

21) In which of the following clauses can the PP with binoculars be interpreted as either belonging along with the NP the criminal in a larger word group, or not so belonging?

22) It is useful to recognise grammatical relations in syntax, but not in morphology.

23) Can a sentence consist of just a single morpheme?

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Updated: Feb. 11, 2009