For Students Taking Syntax Course

The first half semester materials of Syntax mainly deals with English Syntactic Structures.

There are 4 basic types of syntactic structure (SS): (1) syntactic structure of modification, (2) syntactic structure of predication, (3) syntactic structure of complementation, and (4) syntactic structure of coordination.

(1)    syntactic structure of modification

The two components are the head and modifier/s, whose meaning serves to broaden the head. The relationship of the two components is indicated by an arrow  (–>) . The arrow is pointing to its head, so the arrow may either direct to the left or to the right, depending to which head to direct.

Exercises: Analyze the following phrases by using Chinese Box (Structural Approach to syntactic analysis). The head can be the parts of speech or the word classes (N, V, Adj, Adv, etc.) while the modifier can be certain function words. The head and modifier can be single word or group of words.

  1. The gloomy room
  2. Both remarkable tales
  3. A figure vague and shadowy
  4. A man taller than I thought
  5. A child’s play
  6. Child psychology
  7. A dog’s life
  8. The dog days
  9. That women’s doctor
  10. That woman doctor
  11. Students of English of the six semester of class E
  12. The six semester students of English
  13. A pleasing table
  14. A rotten table
  15. A dining table
  16. A leading man
  17. A very pleasing table

(1)    syntactic structure of predication

The two components are the subject and predicate. The relationship of the two components is indicated by P.

The commonest subject are nouns or noun-headed structures of modification. Single noun subject can be: adj, adv, Ving, Vo, respectively as in the examples: handsome is as handsome does, now is too soon, working  is pleasant, to sleep is my ambition.

Subject can be phrases or clauses, for examples: To South Ametica is a long trip, sailing a boat is my favorite hobby, food and drink can be got here, that he did it at all has not been proved, whatever is is right.

The predicate is usually a more or less complex structure or structure of structures, with the verb at its core. The predicate can be SS of complementation, SS of modification, or SS of coordination. Example: the snow was cold, the sun sets in the west, we walked and talked.

The classification of English verbs is baseb on: (1) person, (2) tense, (3) phase, (4) aspect, (5) mode, (6) voice, and (7) status.

1. Person: Except modal auxiliary, verbs have two persons: common and third singular. There a correlation between the subject and its verb as this reveals in the case of concord or agreement.

2. Tense: present and past. Examples, ….

3. Phase: simple and perfect. Examples, ….

4. Aspect: simple, durative, and inchoative

Examples, simple: They walk to school, I ask you to keep silent

Durative: he is talking, she was swimming, we ought to be working

Inchoative: We got talking, let’s get going, we ought to get working

5. Mode: (1) It is formed by modal auxiliaries with the base form of the verbs, and (2) it is formed by certain other auxiliaries with the infinitive form of the verb. Examples,

Modal aux.: he can go, you will come, you need not worry, etc.

Other aux.: they have to go, he was going to speak, I never got to see, etc.

6. Voice: active and passive. Examples, ….

7. Status: affirmative, interrogative, negative, and negative-interrogative. Examples, …

(2)    syntactic structure of complementation

The two components are the verbal element and complement. The relationship of the two components is indicated by C.

There are three main groups of verbal elements: linking (or copulative) verbs, intransitive verbs, and transitive verbs.

Linking (copulative) verbs (has complement but no passive): to be, become, seem, remain, look, sound, taste, feel, etc.

Intransitive verbs (has neither complent nor passive): run, stop, sink, rise, walk, sleep, etc.

Transitive verbs (has both complement and passive): sell, write, buy, blow, turn, etc.

The verbal elements can be simple verb, verb- phrase, infinitive, structure of modification, structure of coordination. Examples: he gives lessons, we are learning grammar, a day to be thankful for, I never in my life said that..,we caught and ate the fist.

The kinds of complement: subjective complement, direct object, indirect object, and objective complement. Examples: the woman is a nurse, he found a friend, he gave his friend two books, they consider the job finished.

Exercises dealing with the three kinds of syntactic structures above:

Analyze the constructions below by using Chinese Box ( Structural Approach to syntactic analysis)

  1. My old books on the shelves
  2. They appear alone there.
  3. His fairly thick hair
  4. She dressed up in the red blouse.
  5. That she wrote a letter amused us.
  6. How they go is worrying me.
  7. The pretty small girl cries in the room.
  8. He is upset in the room.

(3)    syntactic structures of coordination

The components are the equivalent grammatical units. The relationship of the components is joined by a special kind of function word, such as conjunctions, comma, which is indicated by  small open box.

The joining may be accomplished by: word order and prosody alone, or with the additional help of a set of function words and phrases which we can call coordinators. Examples; and,b ut, nor, not, or; rather than, as well as, together with, along with; not (only)…but (also, either…or, neither…nor, both…and.

For further complete understanding of syntactic analysis, read the book, especially chapter six entitled “The Structure of American English” by Nelson Fracis, published by New York The Ronald Press  Company.

This is a daily test:

Practice to analyze the following constructions instead of class lecturing (Tuesday and Wednesday this week):

  1. Barbed  wire overthere
  2. The gloomy room and nice shadow
  3. Both remarkable tales and story telling
  4. A figure vague and shadowy in the room
  5. A man taller than I thought
  6. A child’s play at the moment
  7. Child psychology or child’s psychology
  8. A dog’s life
  9. The dog days
  10. That women’s doctor and that woman doctor
  11. Students of English of the six semester of class E
  12. The six semester students of English
  13. A pleasing table
  14. A rotten table
  15. A dining table
  16. A leading man
  17. A very pleasing table
  18. People here
  19. Students in the room
  20. The central Jakarta police
  21. Five card game operations
  22. Police arrested 40 suspects in gambling crack down.
  23. During the police Brantas Jaya operation
  24. Apprehended 40 suspects in the last wek
  25. Do you know thr answer?
  26. Does he give her some flowers ?
  27. How they answer the question makes me shocked.
  28. I saw the man and gave the proposal.
  29. The others bowed respectfully yet the rest kept standing.
  30. He began to have a strong feeling of respect.
  31. The teacher shakes the student and gives him a present.
  32. The company plans both to find new deposits and to mine them.

For students of English Dept, UMS who are taking DA-2012

Firstly, you’ll have to read some references dealing with Conversational Anaysis (CA) before conducting the analysis of your data of recorded conversation.

Secondly, Analyze the recorded conversation by following the instruction in the test of DA.

Thirdly, dealing with the second, you may open it in files:  blogroll or students assignment (in the left side of this)  for knowing the final test of DA.

Finally, do your best and submit the CA analysis: (1) by printing out to submit during the date of the final test of DA, (2) by sending in your own block you have registered in my list.

Good Luck

DA Assignment 2

Hallo my students, announcement…

I’m sorry that the class session of DA on Thursday and Friday, March 29 and 30, 2012 is off due to my health; instead, you will have to analyze a text on  the student’s writing.  Your analysis will answer the questions: what kinds of cohesion are used in the text and explain the meaning each comprehensively. The text is already in the file student assignment in this left side and I have also printed it out and put on my table.

Don’t forget to number the sentence before doing the analysis and upload the answer on your own blog address. Thus, the text being analyzed is the same for all students.

Good Luck.

DA Assignment 1

The 1st to the 3rd meeting assignment of DA

1. Explain in your own words what discourse study is. To answer the question: first examine the three texts (under the activity 1a 1b and 1c) in the book “Discourse Analysis” by David Nunan (page 1-2).

2. Choose one short article in English from a newspaper and find the cohesion and deixis used within the article. Make the interpretation of the meaning of each kind of cohesion and deixis throughout the context of the text.


Please enclose your answer by mentioning the name/NIM and the class you belong to. Then send the answer to attach in your address of blog. Good Luck!