Individual Writing Assignment Unit 1

1. The following are pairs of sentence that resemble each other superficially but differ in structure. Explain the differences in structure in grammatical terms (e.g., parts of speech identified correctly) provide an explanation of the reasoning behind your analyses, using tests to justify your conclusions (e.g., discussing coreference, movement of sentence constituents) and diagram each sentence. Note that you will NOT receive full credit unless you provide diagrams and justifications of your analyses.

1. a. Harold immediately turned down the assignment.
b. Harold immediately turned down the road to Houston.

2. a. Ernest grew a moustache but Leslie hated it.
b. Ernest grew complacent but Leslie hated it.

3. a. Hannah proved a loyal friend.
b. Hannah the proved a complex theorem.

2. Each of the following sentences should be ambiguous. Explain the grammatical reasons behind the ambiguity, providing an explanation of the reasoning behind your analyses that uses appropriate tests, and provide diagrams for both meanings of each sentence.

  1. Harold found Matilda a loyal friend.
  2. The wind blew down the chimney.
  3. Fifth Avenue turns into Federal Street at Main.

3 Consider the following two sentences that resemble each other superficially but differ in structure. A. There's a dragon in my backyard.
B. That pesky dragon is there in my backyard again.

Diagram the sentences and, using correct grammatical terms, explain the difference in structure. Give evidence to support your analysis. Here are some kinds of evidence to think about; but donšt just run through the evidence. Think about and explain what it implies about each structure.

A. Pronounce the sentences: Do they have different intonations?
B. What information does each element give you?
C. Can each of the sentences be resolved into a base sentence that clearly belongs to one of the ten basic patterns?


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Comments to: Sara Kimball
Last updated January, 2001