Linguistics Homework

Instructions: Answer all parts of all questions. Please send me a message with any questions. Thank you!

Question 1: Identify the syntactic category (i.e., the type of phrase) of each of the phrases in quotations marks below. For each syntactic category, provide a diagnostic to support your answer.

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a. The president is eager to “please his supporters”.

b. “The wicked wizard’s” spell didn’t work this time.

c. Harriet was attacked “by a group of gangsters.”

Question 2: Identify the head of each of the phrases in quotations below. If the head takes any complements, also identify them. For each complement you identified, explain how you identified it.

a. The president listened “to his supporters.”

b. Every wizard “cast a spell.”

c. “The super rich” paid less tax than the poor.

Question 3: For each pair of sentences, state whether the sentence in (b) is an entailment, implicature, or presupposition of the sentence in (a). Provide a diagnostic to support your answer.

a. (a) Mellen owns a car.
(b) Mellen can drive.

b. (a) Presley ate something.
(b) Presley ate chocolate.

c. (a) Allen quit smoking.
(b) Allen used to smoke.

Question 4: In your own words, what is truth-conditional semantics and how does it interact with the principle of compositionality (which states that the meaning of the whole is determined by the meaning of the parts and how they combine)?

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