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date: 17 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The phrase structure of English has been a central concern for most approaches to syntax, including various forms of Transformational Grammar, Head-driven Phrase Structure Grammar, Lexical Functional Grammar, and the earlier Generalized Phrase Structure Grammar framework. They have developed detailed analyses of verb phrases, nominal phases, clauses of various kinds, including unbounded dependency clauses and elliptical clauses, and adjective phrases and prepositional phrases, and coordinate structures. There are similarities and differences between the various approaches in all these areas. They differ in whether or not they are confined to binary branching, whether or not they assume that all phrases are headed, and in the extent to which they assume heads which are phonologically empty. More generally they vary in how complex they take phrase structures to be and in how much variety they see in the local trees that they consist of.

Keywords: constituency, X-bar theory, phrase and clause types, branching, heads, empty elements, complexity

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