question about syntax

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clairelikespring

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Hello, I am a learner of linguistics. Now I am very confused about how to produce a simple transformational rule of “tag questions”. Can you help me? Examples are like these:
  1. She was a dancer, wasn't she?
  2. You are ready, aren't you?
And now how to produce a transformational rule applied for these two sentences?
  1. He smokes a lot, doesn't he?
  2. They arrived early, didn't they?
</SPAN>
 

albertino

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Hello, I am a learner of linguistics. Now I am very confused about how to produce a simple transformational rule of “tag questions”. Can you help me? Examples are like these:
  1. She was a dancer, wasn't she?
  2. You are ready, aren't you?
And now how to produce a transformational rule applied for these two sentences?
  1. He smokes a lot, doesn't he?
  2. They arrived early, didn't they?
</SPAN>
(Not a teacher)
Hello, buddy.
See if the following can help:
BBC World Service | Learning English | Grammar Challenge
 

Pedroski

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For linguistics, especially Transformational Grammar, you'd best go to www.lingforum.com You won't get any help on Cognitive Grammar there!

But since the verb 'be' is the mother of all unaccusative verbs, start with any subject as the complement of the verb, and transform.
 

crazYgeeK

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For linguistics, especially Transformational Grammar, you'd best go to www.lingforum.com You won't get any help on Cognitive Grammar there!

But since the verb 'be' is the mother of all unaccusative verbs, start with any subject as the complement of the verb, and transform.

Could you please tell me what is the mother of the verb "be" ?
Thank you so much !
 

Pedroski

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The idiomatic phrase 'the mother of' is taken, I believe, from Arabic. But I'm not certain there. The meaning is: the original, the first, the worst.

eg This storm is the mother of all storms. (A very bad, very powerful and destructive storm.)

There is a class of verbs called unaccusatives, of which, in my opinion, 'be' is the first and foremost example.
 
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