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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

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Discussion Details

Title: A problem for believers in deep-structure?
Submitter: John Harris
Description: The usual starting deep structure production for generativists is
S--  NP VP. On this view, to produce a surface sentence starting with
an initial PP, such as At night I wear pajamas, a speaker must first
generate a deep-structure sentence with the PP internal to VP, and
then perform a fronting movement of the PP from its deep structure
position within the VP. How can this be considered a realistic
assessment of the situation when the initial PP is very complex, as

(1) After a hard night on the town with my buddies from the office
together with a few gals from the secretary pool, I woke up this morning
with a splitting headache.

There is, of course, a similar problem of how it could be realistic
to think that a hearer of (1) could possibly remember such a long
initial PP in order to move it into an interval VP position in the
deep structure version.
Date Posted: 18-Nov-2004
Linguistic Field(s): Linguistic Theories
LL Issue: 15.3231
Posted: 18-Nov-2004

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