zaterdag 9 september 2017

English question syntax

I took the time to find out what types of question syntax there are. Even though one probably needs only a couple of them, it's always good to have some sort of overview.

I had no idea there were so many forms. I learned many of them from this very helpful page! My English Teacher

But I started my search in the ever inspiring ...

The phrase structure rules presented below are my own. Some structures recur in several places. They may probably be grouped. For a more authoritative reference, see Stanford Parser

I use the following abbreviations:

  • EQ = identity (is, was, are, were)
  • BE = auxiliary (is, was, are, were)
  • DO = auxiliary (do, does, did)
  • HAVE = auxiliary (has, have)
  • MOD = modality (can, could, will, would, shall, should)
and these syntactic categories
  • NP = noun phrase (a "thing")
  • VP = verb phrase (an action, or more general, a predication)
  • ADJP = adjective phrase (i.e. red, little, happy)
  • ADVP = adverbial phrase (i.e. quickly, happily)
I grouped the questions by their response type, which I showed in each of the headings.

Factual yes/no-questions or choice questions (boolean / a selected object)

  • DO NP VP (did Lord Byron marry Queen Elisabeth, did Lord Byron not marry Queen Elisabeth)
  • DO NP VP (did Lord Byron marry Queen Elisabeth or Anne Isabella Milbanke)
  • EQ NP NP (was Lord Byron king of England, was Lord Byron not king of England)
  • EQ NP NP (was Lord Byron a king or a lord)
  • BE NP ADJP (is the block red)
  • BE NP ADJP (is the block red or blue)
  • BE NP VP (was Lord Byron born in London, was Lord Byron not born in London)
  • BE NP VP (was Lord Byron born in London or Cambridge)
  • HAVE NP VP (has Napoleon invaded Germany, has Napoleon not invaded Germany)
  • HAVE NP VP (has Napoleon invaded Germany or The Netherlands)
  • MOD NP VP (would you like a cup of coffee, should I leave my things here, can dogs fly, can i ask you a question, can you stack a cube on a pyramid)
  • MOD NP VP (would you like coffee or tea)

Uninverted yes/no questions (boolean)

  • NP VP (Lord Byron married Queen Elisabeth?) (question mark is required)

Wh-questions (which, what, who; name one or more individuals)

  • WHO VP (who married Lord Byron, who was Lord Byron's wife)
  • WHO BE NP VP (who are you seeing)
  • WHO DO NP VP (who does Pierre want to beat)
  • WHO HAVE NP VP (who have you been seeing)
  • WHO MOD VP (who can drive me home)
  • WHOM DO NP VP (whom do you believe)
  • WHOM HAVE NP VP (whom have you believed)
  • WHOM MOD NP VP (whom should I talk to)

    (with whom is Peter speaking)
  • --
  • WHICH NP VP (which countries border the mediterranean, which countries do not border the mediterranean)
  • WHICH BE NP (which is the best option)
  • WHICH DO NP VP (which do you do more often)
  • WHICH NP MOD NP VP (which way should I go)
  • WHAT NP VP (what rock sample contains most iron, what food items did you eat)
  • WHAT BE NP (what is the biggest block, what is your name)
  • WHAT DO NP VP (what do laptops cost)
  • WHAT HAVE NP VP (what has Churchill done to stop the war)
  • WHAT MOD NP VP (what should I do)
  • WHOSE NP VP (whose autographs have you collected, whose parents will drive)
  • WHOSE NP BE NP (whose book is that)

Amount (a number, requires aggregation)

  • HOW MANY NP VP (how many children had Lord Byron, how many children did Lord Byron have)

Degree (a number, the unit result depends on subject)

  • HOW MUCH NP VP (how much sugar goes in a single drink)
  • HOW ADJP BE NP (how high is the Mount Everest, how tall is the tallest man, how small is a mouse, how old are you)
  • HOW ADVP DO NP VP (how often do you go to the movies, how nicely do I need to dress tonight)

Manner (a means)

  • HOW BE NP VP (how was Napoleon crowned king)
  • HOW DO NP VP (how do you go to work)
  • HOW HAVE NP VP (how has Napoleon invaded Britain)
  • HOW MOD NP VP (how can I become more productive)

State (a state)

  • HOW BE NP (how are you)

Reason (a cause)

  • WHY BE NP VP (why was Napoleon crowned king)
  • WHY DO NP VP (why did Napoleon invade Germany)
  • WHY HAVE NP VP (why has John hit Jake)
  • WHY MOD NP VP (why should I go)

Time (a time)

  • WHEN BE NP (when was the marriage)
  • WHEN BE NP VP (when was Napoleon crowned king)
  • WHEN DO NP VP (when did you start wearing make up)
  • WHEN HAVE NP VP (when have you bought the tv)
  • WHEN MOD NP VP (when can I go home)

    WHEN -> WHEN PP (when in the next hour do you want to go)

Place (a place)

  • WHERE BE NP (where is it?)
  • WHERE BE NP VP (where is the concert taking place)
  • WHERE DO NP VP (where did you go)
  • WHERE HAVE NP VP (where has Sally gone)
  • WHERE MOD NP VP (where can I find a pub)

    WHERE -> WHERE PP (where on the map is it)

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