Learn English – Adverbs in noun phrase coordination


Consider the following example sentence:

The ball often hit the tree and never the man.

I am trying to represent this sentence as a constituency-based parse tree, but I am having a hard time deciding where to put the adverbs often and never.

For the sentence The ball often hit the tree. it is simple:
the ball often hit the tree

Even the coordination of NP can be represented easily:
the ball often hit the tree and the man

Where would the constituent never be added to the tree? It is connected to the noun phrase the man, but at the same time adverbs never belong into noun phrases. What structure is generally used to represent this special case where adverbs of a verb phrase belong to a noun phrase?

Best Answer

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Here is a tree for your example showing the coordination of two NPs with "never" in the second one.

I think this is much better than saying we have a coordination of VPs (or clauses), with ellipsis within the second coordinate.