Student or Learner
Please help me diagram the sentence : "The performer that sang the love song was my favorite contestant on the show."
I am surprised.
was – linking verb
favorite contestant on the show – compound predicative
On the phrase level
favourite, on the show - attributes
Frankly speaking, I am not familiar with the expression diagram the sentence, but seeing your post I decided it was syntactical parsing.
I don’t know whether a linking verb can be called a main verb in such sentences; but I think the nominal part of a predicate is not an object.
Actually, there have been may cases, when I disagreed with the syntactical parsing done by native speakers.
As some of them are teachers, knowledgeable people, I came to the conclusion that we belong to different grammar schools (most of them mention a Quirk, if I remember it right).
My numerous attempts to clarify things have failed so far, but I can’t help cringing when I see, for instance, the collocation used as an adjective amidst syntactical parsing.
Last edited by Humble; 22-Mar-2007 at 21:48. Reason: Errors
Here's my take:
The (det) performer (N)
that (Comp) sang (V) the (det) love (adj) song (N)
my (poss. pronoun)
favorite (adjective) contestant (N)
on (prep) the (det) show (N)
Note, the prepositional phrase on the show functions as an adjective in that sentence. It modifies the noun contestant. (A prepositional phrase can modify a noun or a verb.)
Note also, the verb BE (is, am, are, was, were, etc.) functions as a main verb (as opposed to a linking verb) in only two environments:
1. when it functions as an auxilairy (e.g., was walking) and
2. when it's followed by an adverb (e.g., The contestant was on the show;
Now, given our example sentence (shown below), we need to know how the prepositional phrase (PP) on the show functions in order to be able to label the verb correctly.
Ex: The performer was my favorite contestant on the show.
There are two ways to parse the PP on the show:
i. as an adjective modifying the noun contestant, which would make was a linking verb:
The performer was my favorite contestant on the show.
ii. as part of an omitted relative cluase, which would make was1 a linking verb, and was2 a main verb,
The perfomer was1 my favorite contestant that was2 on the show.
The second choice (ii.) reads stilted though, doesn't it?
All the best.
What kind of parsing does diagramming require – morphological (parts of speech) or syntactical (parts of the sentence)?
According to your parsing, morphological.
Then I don’t understand why the is a determiner (a syntactical term) and not an article. My is a a determiner, too, isn’t it?
And here comes the phrase I mentioned in my previous post: functions as an adjective.
OK, I’ll try again to explain my view:
Morphology is like names of people working in a company – Mr.A (the Article), Mr. P (the Pronoun), Mr. V (the Verb) etc.
Syntax is their functions – Mr. A and Mr.P are, say, guards; Mr.N (the Noun) is manager etc. All the staff in this family-like company are good friends and willingly perform each other’s functions if necessary.
We cannot say Mr.P now is working as Mr.N , we can only say Mr.P is working as manager now.
As is followed by a function; adjective is not a function, it can itself have different functions, though its main one is attribute.
Am I right?
The performer: [NP[detthe][Nperformer]]
Terminology is at play, Humble. Again, you need to know what diagramming involves. In linguistics my is a possessive pronoun in form and an adjective in function. As for the, it's called "a determiner" by linguists as well as by teachers who were taught linguistics; it's called "an article" by others. Both terms are used. It's semantics, that's all.Originally Posted by Humble
All the best.
Last edited by Casiopea; 23-Mar-2007 at 13:12.
All answers are welcome; We learn form one another. Unlike the members of other forums out there who bicker about what the answer is or should be, we try to accommodate all views, cover all sides, and be accepting of all attempts, for the sole purpose of generating discussion about how English is used. Our collective experience is what makes us different from the other forums.