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Syntax: Phrase structure and Syntactic Rules

Unit 5 (chapter 8)
by

Inmaculada Pineda

on 17 January 2012

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Transcript of Syntax: Phrase structure and Syntactic Rules

Syntax: Phrase Structure and Syntactic Rules

Inmaculada Pineda, PhD
Syntax
Phrase structure and syntactic rules can account for
ambiguity
in language and can help us understand, interpret, reorder and even omit elements in a sentence
The boy ran out the door with a sticker
The boy ran out the door with a sticker
Cl
NP VP
Det N VP PP PP
Aux V
P NP
P NP
Det N
Det N
Det N VP PP
Aux V
P NP
P NP
Det N
Det N
NP PP
Cl
NP VP
Syntax can also explain
recursion
: a clause contained in another clause or phrase
Cl

NP VP
VP= Aux+V+ (XP)
XP could be a clause
Cl

NP VP
Aux V Cl2
NP VP
Aux V Cl3
explains why we can generate clauses and sentences of great complexity effortlessly and this is why we call grammar "generative"
Silent syntax
is unpronounced, yet understood syntactic material in sentences
Ana is happy to be here

Ana is eager to please
Substitution:

Pronouns replace NPs
Proforms
can replace APs, PPs, or even a clause
Aitor wanted a break and the rest of students
did so
, too.
Pablo is very punctual, and
so
is Toni.
I think that syntax is fun, eventhough you might not think
so
.
Exercises:
p278 1&2
p279 3&4
Thank you!
HW:
Tuesday Chapter 8 (finish reading)
Thursday Chapter 9 (read)
Pronouns and ambiguity
:
A pronoun can substitute an NP, so if there's ambiguity about the elements
of an NP, you can try by substituting it by a pronoun (it, them, the one...)
Pronoun reference
: process linking a pronoun to its antecedent
linguistic antecedent (in a previous sentence)
pragmatic antecedent (understood by context)
personal pronoun= previous sentence
reflexive pronoun= inside the same clause that precedes it
yuxtaposition

coordination

subordination
for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so
because, if, however, when, since,...
Movement
:

process by which phrases can be re-arranged in a sentence under specific conditions or constraints
Deep structure

surface structure
Deletion:
omission of elements (VP) when it is identical to another VP somewhere close by, not necessarily in the same sentence.
Full transcript