Site Search:
 
TEFL International Supports Dave's ESL Cafe
TEFL Courses, TESOL Course, English Teaching Jobs - TEFL International
Job Discussion Forums Forum Index Job Discussion Forums
"The Internet's Meeting Place for ESL/EFL Students and Teachers from Around the World!"
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

A sneaky, trick grammar question...
Goto page Previous  1, 2
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> General Discussion
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 8640
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

spiral78 wrote:
Quote:
'Complementizer'. Great word, eh?



Sounds to me like the overly-practiced guy at the bar with the huge collection of pick-up lines Cool .


You mean along the lines of "Is that a ladder in your tights...? Hic!"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9132
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ick. Not so sure what that's supposed to mean...probably would be an ineffective complementizer who came out with that one Confused .
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 8640
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

".... or is it a stairway to heaven?" Very Happy

Seriously, you've never heard that old chestnut before. Oh dear, I'm aging before my own eyes...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkKScW1Rx0s
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
fluffyhamster



Joined: 13 Mar 2005
Posts: 2560
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Until Sasha and John started going back and forth, I wasn't sure quite what the problem of analysis was. I was imagining that there was a student who was somehow positing "The common belief (that; That) this is false (is...)" rather than "is false (full stop: .)". That being said, does the complementizer in NCCs really need to be retained like the LSGSWE insists it must?

Just playing around with a few more examples:

Maybe a more verb-all than nouny phrasing would be a good idea: Many people believe (that) the tomato is a vegetable, but this (belief) is false. (*Many people believe (that) the tomato is a vegetable is false. (There'd need to be speech marks around "the tomato is a vegetable" for this one to work!)).

Hmm, The common belief that/which holds (that) the tomato is a vegetable is false (is...) LOL. (Too much recursion allows yet more?!).


Last edited by fluffyhamster on Sat Feb 09, 2013 2:17 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Qaaolchoura



Joined: 10 Oct 2008
Posts: 539
Location: 21 miles from the Syrian border

PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 1:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

While you guys seem to be doing a pretty good job sorting this out yourself, I just want to note that I don't like the definition of the dependent clause as part of a sentence that cannot stand on its own. Often the only thing keeping the clause from standing on its own is the complementizer, which can sometimes be left out. (In analysis we say that it's implicit, and draw it into the tree anyways.)

For example I can take an example from the Wikipedia article and remove the complementizer:
- I know that he likes me. -> I know (that) he likes me.
- Independent clause = "I know."
- Dependent clause = "He likes me."

I like the "incomplete thought" definition even less, because not only is it vague, but because in many cases, including the one in the OP, the "independent clause" feels more incomplete than the dependent clause.

Because of that, if I had to teach syntax to students, I would want to teach that while the independent clause can always focus as a full sentence, the dependent clause can take many forms, including that of a full sentence subordinated by a complementizer, and that the complementizer can sometimes be left out in cases where it's also a subordinating conjunction. (And no, I wouldn't use those words; I'd show as I did in my first response to Sasha.)

Regards,
~Q
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Qaaolchoura



Joined: 10 Oct 2008
Posts: 539
Location: 21 miles from the Syrian border

PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 1:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sashadroogie wrote:
".... or is it a stairway to heaven?" Very Happy

Seriously, you've never heard that old chestnut before. Oh dear, I'm aging before my own eyes...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkKScW1Rx0s

"Cennet," meaning "Paradise" is a fairly common female name in Turkish, though unfortunately it seems to be less so in my part of Turkey.

Which means I haven't had the chance to try out my "tonight, I shall enter paradise" line.

(To be sure, I'm uncertain I'd have the cojones to use that line even if I were in a part of Turkey with more Cennets.)

~Q
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 8640
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Qaaolchoura wrote:
While you guys seem to be doing a pretty good job sorting this out yourself, I just want to note that I don't like the definition of the dependent clause as part of a sentence that cannot stand on its own. Often the only thing keeping the clause from standing on its own is the complementizer, which can sometimes be left out. (In analysis we say that it's implicit, and draw it into the tree anyways.)

For example I can take an example from the Wikipedia article and remove the complementizer:
- I know that he likes me. -> I know (that) he likes me.
- Independent clause = "I know."
- Dependent clause = "He likes me."

I like the "incomplete thought" definition even less, because not only is it vague, but because in many cases, including the one in the OP, the "independent clause" feels more incomplete than the dependent clause.

Because of that, if I had to teach syntax to students, I would want to teach that while the independent clause can always focus as a full sentence, the dependent clause can take many forms, including that of a full sentence subordinated by a complementizer, and that the complementizer can sometimes be left out in cases where it's also a subordinating conjunction. (And no, I wouldn't use those words; I'd show as I did in my first response to Sasha.)

Regards,
~Q


Yes, the terminology is always fraught. However, 'dependent' and 'independent' do have something to recommend themselves. There are embedded clauses that really do not seem to exist comfortably on their own, due to transitivity, as in the following:

'Not all posters accepted the opinion that Sasha voiced.'

While 'Not all posters accepted the opinion' is fine on its own, the relative clause sounds just as unfinished with or without that - 'Sasha voiced'?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12055
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Qaaolchoura,

I take your point; however, your alternative might, I'd say, tend to make understanding, at least in some cases, more difficult.

Am I wrong in thinking that it's only with relative clauses that the using the complementizer is always optional (when it's the object in the clause)?

I can't think of a case offhand where it could be omitted with adverb clauses, and in the case of noun clauses while it's optional with reported speech (again, when the complementizer is an object) there are many times when it can't be omitted (e.g. I know what the teacher did last night.)

Regards,
John
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
fluffyhamster



Joined: 13 Mar 2005
Posts: 2560
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Q: if you have a problem with the terminology, perhaps try changing it. For example, embedded rather than dependent clause. That might beat implying (that) those who've used a term you don't care for (even though you're the one who introduced the term into the thread in the first place! Which others then simply ran with) haven't had similar thoughts or used similar approaches to yours (e.g. bracketing or even deleting 'that'). And I'm sure students meet enough genuinely independent clauses that they can recognize the textually-embedded easily enough. Anyway, the most important thing obviously is (that) they learn to form complex noun phrases and appreciate when 'that' or similar needs to be retained.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Qaaolchoura



Joined: 10 Oct 2008
Posts: 539
Location: 21 miles from the Syrian border

PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

fluffyhamster wrote:
@Q: if you have a problem with the terminology, perhaps try changing it. For example, embedded rather than dependent clause. That might beat implying (that) those who've used a term you don't care for (even though you're the one who introduced the term into the thread in the first place! Which others then simply ran with) haven't had similar thoughts or used similar approaches to yours (e.g. bracketing or even deleting 'that'). And I'm sure students meet enough genuinely independent clauses that they can recognize the textually-embedded easily enough. Anyway, the most important thing obviously is (that) they learn to form complex noun phrases and appreciate when 'that' or similar needs to be retained.

Fluffy, I'm fine with the term "dependent clause" but I object to the common definition, used by Wikipedia and in at least a few other places, that a dependent clause doesn't contain a full sentence, and I feel like johnslat's alternative suggestion, that it doesn't contain a complete thought, doesn't seem to quite cover all the cases either.

However johnslat's suggestion gets to the point better than a strictly syntactical treatment. Perhaps a better definition for EFL students might be that a dependent clause contains further information about a word or phrase in the independent clause, and thus depends on the independent clause as its reason for existing.

~Q
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
fluffyhamster



Joined: 13 Mar 2005
Posts: 2560
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If some teachers make Wikipedia their first or only port of call for grammar, there isn't a whole lot we can do about that (...or is there? Surprised Laughing Wink). Thanks for clarifying, Q. Smile
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Cool Teacher



Joined: 18 May 2009
Posts: 856
Location: Here, There and Everywhere! :D

PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:37 am    Post subject: Re: A sneaky, trick grammar question... Reply with quote

Sashadroogie wrote:
How would you analyse the clauses in this sentence?

The common belief that the tomato is a vegetable is false.


The common belief "the tomato is a vegetable" is false.

The common belief is false.

"the tomato is a vegetable".

"that" is optional Cool
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> General Discussion All times are GMT
Goto page Previous  1, 2
Page 2 of 2

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page is maintained by the one and only Dave Sperling.
Contact Dave's ESL Cafe
Copyright © 2011 Dave Sperling. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group

Road2Spain - TEFL and Spanish with one year student visa
EBC