Welcome to syntax lesson 5. In this lesson we will discuss auxiliaries and embedded clauses. Auxiliaries indicate the tense and aspect of the verb. Tense refers to the time of the event, and aspect refers to whether the event is ongoing or completed. In English, be, have, and do are used as auxiliaries, as shown in the following examples. The verbs contribute the lexical properties of the sentence, what event or state is being depicted in the sentence, while the auxiliaries indicate grammatical properties such as such as tense and aspect. Let’s consider, now, where auxiliaries appear in the tree. So, let’s consider the position of auxiliaries in more detail, now. So, if we take a sentence like, “Sally….is eating….a sandwich.” We have to decide, uh, figure out, that is, where the auxiliary goes. Uh, now in traditional grammar, um, it’s assumed,
the–the, uh verb and it’s aux- auxiliary are assumed to form part of a large “verb group”. So, uh, we can imagine a model like this. Sally… with our verb phrase…and here’s our verb. with…an auxiliary…and a verb…like this is…eating…a sandwich ok So, let’s think about this for a second, and see if this, uh, uh, makes good predictions. So, let’s consider…some data. Sally…is…eating a sandwich…and…drinking some tea. So, if we look at this, what we see– What we see is that we’ve conjoined this phrase with this phrase. This tells us that “eating a sandwich” and “drinking some tea” are both constituents. And if we look at our tree, here. Uh, the string of words, “eating a sandwich” is not represented as a constituent. So, this is a problem. Let’s look at another example, though. “Sally is eating a sandwich.” So, we go back to our original sentence. Sally is eating a sandwich. and so…is Bill. Where, “so” replaces the string of words “eating a sandwich”. Again, that tells us that “eating a sandwich” is a constituent, and it’s not represented as such in this tree. So, we will try again. So, if we put the auxiliary out here… We have a model that better captures the observed facts here. So, now the string of words, “eating a sandwich” is a constituent. It’s exhaustively dominated by a single node on the tree. …and the auxiliary is out here. and this, uh, um, this, uh confirms…this is confirmed by the data that we saw here previously.