X-Bar Theory and Constituent Tests

I. Constituent tests

Constituent tests show which elements form a syntactic unit (constituent); these may be:
(a) category-neutral (i.e. they are used to determine whether a group of words is a constituent, and may be used to test for different syntactic categories and projections)
(b) category-specific (i.e. they are used to determine whether a group of words belongs to a particular lexical category and/or represents a particular projection)

II. The tests

(a) category-neutral:

(i) distribution test: movement test
(ii) distribution test: replacement or proform test (can be used in combination with a wh-movement test)

(b) category-specific:

(i) intrusion test: position of adverbs (to test for VPs and their NP complements)
(ii) omission test 1: sentence fragment test (to test for XPs)
(iii) omission test 2: omission test for complements and adjuncts (to test for the optional or obligatory status of XPs)
(iv) omission test 3: VP-deletion (to test for VPs)

Movement test
Proform test
Coordination test
Intrusion test
Sentence fragment test
Omission test

Exercises on Constituent Tests