In this chapter, we have learnt that tree diagrams are essential tools for linguists working in the area of syntax. Tree diagrams capture the sentence structure and help us understand the relationship amongst the constituents of the phrase. We have also discussed that in building up the tree diagrams, we have the head of a phrase and it branches out to take either a specifier or a complement. All phrases are characterized by an obligatory head and derive their name from this head. While working out the tree representation, one could work it down to the level of words or to the level of an unspecified complement, in which case it can be left as a triangle. In the Generative framework, branching of nodes is always binary. The phrase structure rules provide an essential structure of all the sentences in a language by spelling out the specifier and the complements for each phrasal head. The trees will conform to the phrase structure rules.
INTRODUCTION TO LINGUISTICS & PHONETICS - TREE DIAGRAMS