Morphological rules to insert ga and o.

Problem set 7:

A. First formulate a mini-grammar to account for the sentences below.




Morphological rules to insert ga and o.

ga – a particle that indicates the subject in a sentence.

o – a particle that indicates the object.

What is your best guess about the subcategorization of yatta→ ‘gave’?

This is a transitive verb because it requires an object to complete its meaning.

Draw trees for (2c), (3a), and (4b).

2c. John ga hon o yonda. John read the book


(3) a. John ga Tokyo ni itta. John went to Tokyo


4b. John ga kawa de oyoida. John swam in a river


A. Next revise and expand your grammar to account for the following.

S→NP (AP) (NP) (PP) VP

NP→(PossP) (NP) (AP)



Give trees for (7) and (10).

(7) Mary kara tegami ga kita. A letter from Mary arrived


(10) John no atama ga Mary no atama to butukatta. John’s head collided with Mary’s head.


C. Now revise the lexicon and phrase structure rules to account for the following.




What is your best guess about the subcategorization of suki ‘fond’?

‘Suki’ can be subcategorized as an adjective because it gives us more information about a noun.

Give trees for:

(14). Saru ga ningen no senzo desu. ˆe monkey is man’s ancestor (ningen =‘man’)


16). John ga nihongo ga nigate da. John is bad at Japanese


D. Finally, extend your system one more time, so that it will account for the data seen

in (18)–(21). Do NOT try to account for the difference between -ga in the earlier

examples and -wa in these examples. Assume for present purposes that these are

the same thing.




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