Ch. 10 | Exercise 1

# Chapter 10Sentence Semantics

### Exercise 10.1Propositional Analysis

1.

Give propositional analyses of the following sentences, ignoring adverbials and other optional modifiers.

 Example: After a long trial, the court sentenced him to three years. Answer: arguments: the court, him, three years predicate: sentence to (3-place)
a.

The fair will last a week.

b.

Last week, his house burned down.

c.

Carolyn threw the ball into the garden.

d.

Carolyn threw the ball in the garden.

e.

The committee is aware of the problem.

f.

There are three food outlets on campus.

g.

It's very foggy.

h.

Two police officers are in the bank.

i.

The victim is finally conscious.

j.

Shirley is the new dean.

k.

He was afraid of snakes when young.

l.

We contributed our time for the cause.

m.

She swam from one side of the pool to the other.

n.

My brother resembled me as a child.

2.

When there is a dependent nominal clause, the entire clause – itself a proposition – serves as an argument of the upper proposition. The dependent clause is further analyzed into a predicate and argument(s), as in the sentence Ian hopes that the baby is sleeping or Ian is glad that the baby is sleeping:

The following sentences would have a structure similar to that given above: Ian asked if the baby was sleeping, Ian expects the baby to wake up, The baby's waking up cut short my reading, I watched Ian diapering the baby (try drawing trees for these). When there is a dependent adverbial clause, the complementizer is the predicate, with the rest of the dependent clause one argument, and the main clause a second argument, as in the sentence After Stone arrived, the party began:

Give propositional analyses for the following complex sentences, working from the main proposition to the embedded proposition.

 Example: I hope that Ken succeeds. Answer: S1: arguments: I, S2 predicate: hope S2: arguments: Ken predicate: succeed
a.

John promised to be silent

b.

c.

Bill forced him to withdraw from the competition.

d.

Chrissy's smoking bothers me.

e.

Herbert plans to visit England.

f.

The clerk told me to fill out the forms.

g.

It is best to do it yourself.

h.

It is impossible for me to find a nanny.

3.

In a sentence such as Patsy is knitting a sweater in the living room, the adverbial preposition is itself analyzed as a predicate, its complement (or object) as one argument and the rest of the clause as another argument:

This sentence is paraphrasable as ‘It is in the living room that Patsy is knitting the sweater’. A preposition, like a verb, sets into relation elements within a sentence.

Draw propositional trees for the following sentences:

a.

I am going away on the weekend.

b.

1.
a.

arguments: the fair, a week

predicate: last (2-place)

b.

arguments: his house

predicate: burn down (1-place)

c.

arguments: Carolyn, the ball, the garden

predicate: throw into (3-place)

d.

arguments: Carolyn, the ball

predicate: throw (2-place)

e.

arguments: the committee, the problem

predicate: be aware of (2-place)

f.

arguments: three food outlets

predicate: be (1-place)

g.

arguments: Ø

predicate: be foggy (Ø-place)

h.

arguments: two police officers, bank

predicate: be in (2-place)

i.

arguments: the victim

predicate: be conscious (1-place)

j.

arguments: Shirley, the new dean

predicate: be (2-place)

k.

arguments: he, snakes

predicate: be afraid of (2-place)

l.

arguments: we, our time, the cause

predicate: contribute for (3-place)

m.

arguments: she, one side of the pool, the other

predicate: swim from to (3-place)

n.

arguments: my brother, me

predicate: resemble (2-place)

2.
 (a) S1: arguments: John, S2 S2: arguments: John predicate: promise predicate: be silent (b) S1: arguments: Frank, me S2 S2: arguments: Clara predicate: ask predicate: return (c) S1: arguments: Bill, him, S2 S2: arguments: he, competition predicate: force predicate: withdraw from (d) S1: arguments: S2, me S2: arguments: Chrissy predicate: bother predicate: smoke (e) S1: arguments: Herbert, S2 S2: arguments: Herbert, England predicate: plan predicate: visit (f) S1: arguments: the clerk, me, S2 S2: arguments: I, the form predicate: tell predicate: fill out (g) S1: arguments: S2 S2: arguments: (you), it predicate: be best predicate: do (h) S1: arguments: S2 S2: arguments: me, a nanny predicate: be impossible predicate: find
3.
a.

b.