2017-11-06 20:25:21 UTC
I'd offer a glimpse at what I am up to these days.
Here's a paragraph from a paper of the Pure English Society
(I like parsing Victorian prose because it seems so exotic
3. Besides the class of words indicated in Mr. Pearsall
Smith's paper, there is another set of plural forms needing
attention, and that is the Greek words that denote the
various sciences and arts; there is in these an uncertainty
and inconsistency in the use of singular and plural forms.
We say Music and Physics, but should we say Ethic or Ethics,
Esthetic or Esthetics? Here again agreement on a general
rule to govern doubtful cases would be a boon. The
experience of writers and teachers who are in daily contact
with such words should make their opinions of value, and we
invite them to deal with the subject. The corresponding use
of Latin plurals taking singular verbs, as _Morals_, should
be brought under rule.
I started out by removing the outer nominal material leaving
[X Besides O] there is O, and that is O; there is [L in
these] O. We say O, but should we say O? [L Here] again S
would be a boon. S should make O A, and we invite them to
deal with O. S should be brought under rule.
Here [ ... ] denotes an adjunct. L means a locative. X means
I am unsure what to call it. S and O are subject and object.
A is an adjectival phrase. I have left pronouns in this
skeleton - including the dummy "there". I have taken "be a
boon" and "bring under rule" as (verbal) idioms. Idiom
meaning idiosyncratic pattern.
The adjectival phrase is "of value" which I think is also
That leaves the nominal phrases:
the class of words / indicated / in Mr. Pearsall Smith's
another set of plural forms / needing attention
the Greek words / that denote the various sciences and arts
an uncertainty and inconsistency / in the use of singular
and plural forms
Music and Physics
Ethic or Ethics, Esthetic or Esthetics
agreement / on a general rule / to govern doubtful cases
the experience of writers and teachers / who are in daily
contact with such words
the corresponding use of Latin plurals / taking singular
verbs /, as _Morals_
I wonder whether I should take the "the" back into the skeleton.
That would make it
[X Besides the O] there is O, and that is the O; there is
[L in these] O. We say O, but should we say O? [L Here]
again S would be a boon. The S should make O A, and we
invite them to deal with the O. The S should be brought
This would make the "anaphoric" relationships clearer but at
The '/' divide the nominal phrases into parts (note that I
treat "of" differently than other prepositions.
I would further parse
[S that] denote O
[S who] are A
I think I should treat "agreement on" as a whole and perhaps
also "uncertainty and inconsistency in". But my parsing is
still a work in progress and I might still change my mind
about any detail.