The Clausal Categories (S, S')
The Clausal Category S
The distribution of S
A clause (S) can occur in the following environments:
- S can occur as an independent declarative clause.
- S follows a complementizer: Pat thinks __.
- S follows a subordinate conjunction: Pat arrived __.
The internal structure of S
- Obligatory elements:
- S must contain a VP, possibly an AuxP
- if the VP is finite a constituent must precede the VP. Usually this is an NP (in nominative case), but it can also be an S' ([S': That Kim is always late] bothered Pat enormously.)
- Optional elements:
- There may be adverbials at the beginning of S ( Pat didn't sleep well., , Pat locked the door before going to bed., , Germans drink more coffee than beer.)
This can be summarized in the following phrase structure rule:
- S -> (AdvP) NP/S AuxP/VP (for finite S)
The Clausal Category S'
The distribution of S'
An S' occurs
- as an independent wh-question ([S': Why did you call Pat last night?)
- following a verb such as think, know, wonder, ..., i.e. in the environment: Pat thinks __., Pat wonders __.
The internal structure of S'
- an S
- the S is usually preceded by a complementizer, an interrogative constituent or a relative constituent.
- S' introduced by a complementizer: Pat knows [S': [S:Kim passed the exam]]., Pat wants [S': Kim to pass the exam]
- S' introduced by an interrogative constituent: Pat knows [S': [S: Kim is reading at the moment]].
- S' introduced by a relative constituent: Pat knows the author [S': [S: Kim is reading at the moment]].
The structure of an S' that is used as an interrogative clause or as a relative clause will not be considered in this section.
For S' introduced by a complementizer, the following phrase structure rule can be given:
- S' -> Comp S
(a) __S__ (b) ___S____ / \ / \ NP ___VP___ NP ______AuxP______ /__\ /________\ /__\ /________________\ Kim slept late. Kim did not sleep late.Example 2: A finite S' introduced by a complementizer
__S'_ / \ / _S__ / / \ Comp NP ___VP___ | /__\ /________\ Sandy thinks that Kim slept late.