Posted by: gdevi | November 17, 2013

English 280 Syntax Semantics Take-Home Exam

Dr. Devi
Linguistics- Syntax and Semantics Take-home test
Available Points: 50 points

Due date: Nov. 25 class time

Format: Hard copy only; no electronic submissions please. I need to be able to mark and write on your sheet. Please write cleanly and clearly, and take the space you need to mark everything clearly.

A. For each of the phrases below, identify the Head [H], specifier [S], modifier [M], and complement [C]. Please separate the words and write them below each phrase clearly marking their constituent group function. Not all phrases have all parts. (5 phrases, 5 points)

Eg., Phrase

S –
H –

1. thought about the test
2. prepared an excellent report
3. very sharp in the corners
4. your recent submission
5. below my window

B. Identify the sentences below as “grammatical” and “ungrammatical.” For the ones you identify as “ungrammatical,” please specify the complement option error that makes them ungrammatical. (5 sentences, 5 points)

1. The customer settled the bill.
2. The customer requested for a cold beer.
3. James is satisfied of his job.
4. James is a fan of that group.
5. The article claimed that the recovery was stalled.

C. Identify the syntactic category (part of speech) to which each word in the following sentences belongs. Use the following notation: D (all determiners), N (noun and pronoun), V (verb, lexical and auxiliary), A (adjective), Adv (adverb), P (preposition), S (subordinator), C(coordinator). Write the symbol next to the word in enclosed parenthesis. ( 5 sentences, 5 points)

1. My roommate dries her socks in the microwave.
2. Defense industries waste millions of dollars each year on wars.
3. Our turtle eats bananas very quickly.
4. James and Mark want to play outside, though the sky is cloudy.
5. Brother Francis looked at the hungry child in torn clothes.

D. Give the lexical string for the following PS rules. ( 5 rules, 5 points)


VP — V NP AdvP

AP — AdvP A



E. Identify the following phrases and build trees for them showing XP and X’ levels. Label all terminal and non-terminal nodes and the lexical categories. Write down the PS rule for each phrase. (5phrases, 5 points )

1. interestingly deceptive in their presentation
2. the answer to his prayers
3. your amusing remark
4. near the fountain
5. cooked lunch for the entire class

F. Draw a tree structure for the following sentences showing the phrase structures that constitute the following sentences. Remember book titles are NPs, VPs, PPs etc like any other phrase. Write down the S-rule and PS-rule for each phrase. (5 sentences, 5 points)

1. The grateful student sent the teacher a note.
2. The teacher asked the students for the answer.
3. Is the dog limping?
4. The red vase holds blue flowers.
5. Everyone was frightened.

G. For each group of words given below, state what semantic property or properties distinguish between classes of (a) words and (b) words. If asked, also indicate a semantic property shared by both the (a) words and (b) words. Use a dictionary for unfamiliar words. [5 points; partial answers get only partial credit]

1) a. book, temple, mountain, road, tractor
b. idea, love, charity, sincerity, bravery, fear
The (a) words are ________________________________________
The (b) words are ______________________________________
2) a. walk, run, skip, jump, hop, swim
b. fly, skate, ski, ride, cycle, canoe, hang-glide
The (a) and (b) words are __________________________________
The (a) words are ________________________________________
The (b) words are _______________________________________

H. What meaning relation is illustrated in the following pairs of words? Choose from synonymy, antonymy, homophony, homonymy. (5 points)


I. Linguistics defines truth in three ways: analytic truth (A) and empirical truth (E) and contradictory (C). In analytical truth, the truth condition is part of its word meaning. In empirical truth, the truth condition is not part of its word meaning alone; it needs situational verification as well. A contradictory sentence (C) is false due to the meaning of its word alone. Study the truth statements below and label them A for analytic, E for empirical and C for contradictory. [5 points]

Rich people are poor.
My son is pregnant.
My brother is a boy.
It is raining outdoors.
Christians believe in Christ.

J. Circle the deictic expressions in the following sentences. [5 points]

Put the report there.
I need her here, there and everywhere.
I would like to speak with you now.
These boots are made for stalking.
I am asking you to climb that tree today.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: