Featured in a post by Laura Conaway ("Impossible sentence diagrammed twice", 4/13/2012), this virtuosic effort from Mississippi State Senator Hob Bryan:
What we have not done is to pass bill after bill after bill that was obviously unconstitutional just so we could all get on record one more time as casting another vote realizing that what was going to happen was someone would file suit the next day and the legislation would never take effect.
This sentence clearly deserves a nomination for the coveted Trent Reznor Prize — it's a tribute to the impressive neurological and cultural advancement of our species that ordinary rock stars and state legislators can accomplish such intellectual feats.
I've used phpSyntaxTree to make a stab at a version in the more modern immediate-consituent style, though I'm not a syntactician and there are several points where neither the theory or the facts are clear to me. For example, what's the structure of "… bill after bill after bill that was obviously unconstitutional …"? Does the relative clause modify a (preposition-mediated) conjunction of three bills, or just the last one, or just the first one? And should the adjunct "realizing … never take effect" be attached to the VP headed by "get on record", or should it go at the sentence level?
Anyhow, here's my attempt. For clarity, I've used some functionally-descriptive labels (like "Rel" for "Relative Clause", or "FRel" for "Fused Relative"), and I've omitted most of the within-clause structure.
(Large version here.)
Other suggestions are welcome.
FWIW, here's the input that I used:
[S [FRel What we have not done] is [Inf to pass [NP bill after bill after bill [Rel that was obviously unconstitutional] just so [S we could all get on record one more time as casting another vote] [Adjunct realizing that [S [FRel what was going to happen] was [S [S someone would file suit the next day] and [S the legislation would never take effect]]]]]]]
[Hat tip: Victor Steinbok]