Exercises for April 30 #3:

(This sentence is ambiguous: what scared me is either the flying airplanes that "He" owns, or that "He" is flying those airplanes. We can represent the fact of the sentence's ambiguity by diagrams that show the two quite structurally different ways we can understand it. Each of these structually different ways of understanding the sentence has its own Basic Structure. But they end up being pronounced the same, even though they are different basic structures, because the complementizer (poss,-ing), when applied, makes the second version look (and sound) just like the revised structure of the first version. Indeed, the whole reason we are able to understand sentence 3 as having two different meanings is that our internal subconscious sentence parser knows how to parse it both ways. Here, then, are two versions of #3--each of which is correct. They represent sentences that look exactly the same, but have two distinct meanings.

(This sort of syntactic ambiguity actually happens quite a bit in language, and in conversation we have to depend on context to decide which meaning is the "right" one.)

Version A:


Version B:


Exercises for April 30 #4:


Exercises for April 30 #5: