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Branching

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Branching is a method of giving a deeper more fundamental structure and meaning into sentences by creating branches according to a set of rules.

Abbreviations:

Abbreviation Meaning
S Sentence
NP Noun Phrase
Adj Adjective
VP Verb Phrase
PP Pre/Postpositional Phrase
Det Determiner
N Noun
V Verb
P Pre/Postposition


Lets start with the English sentence He ate a red apple on the sofa.

S
    / \
   /   \
  NP   VP
  |     |
 [He] [ate a red apple on the sofa]

A sentence can, at its highest point, be divided into a noun phrase and a verb phrase.&nbsp The noun phrase contains the subject while the verb phrase contains the verb and the object.

The verb phrase can branch out even further. Because he contains no additional branching, only apple's branching will be shown here.


The VP is divided into a V, an NP and a PP

VP  
          /|\
         / | \
        /  |  \
       /   |   \ 
      /    |    \  
     /     |     \  
    /      |      \  
   /       |       \
  |        |        |
[ate][a red apple][on the sofa]
NP
     / | \
    /  |  \
   /   |   \
  Det  Adj  N
   |   |    |
  [a][red][apple]

PP is divided into a P and a NP

PP
   / \
  P  NP
  |   |
 [on][the sofa]

All together it is like this:

VP
   / | \
     |  \____  
     NP      \           
    / \      PP   
  Det  N    /  \   
           P    NP
           |   /  \
          On  Det N
              |  |
             the sofa

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