Anonymous asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 1 decade ago

Linguistics question help?

My girlfriend is studying for an entrance exam into a linguistics program... she is having trouble with this problem, and frankly, i don't know what it's talking about either.

i.*which dog does Michael think that loves bones?

ii.what does Michael think his dog loves?

In ii a complementizer deletion rule has deleted that. The rule is optional in that the sentence is grammatical with or without I ,however,the complementizer must be deleted to prevent the ungrammatical sentence from being generated. What factor governs the optionality of the rule?

2 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Well, for ii you could also say "what does Michael think that his dog loves?" (the "complementizer" that is not deleted) and for i you should say "Which dog does Michael think loves bones?"

    Um, so in embedded quesions, direct object complementizer deletion is optional but subject complementizer deletion is mandatory.

  • 1 decade ago

    You're giving me a headache dude! Do you always talk like that?

    How about this instead? Much simpler...

    "What does Michael's dog love?"

    Stop torturing yourself at once!

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