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Chapter 4 - Syntax
Transcript of Chapter 4 - Syntax
Parker, F., & Riley, K. (2005). Linguistics for non-linguists: A primer with exercises (5th ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon. ISBN 13: 9780137152049
*We learn that in the English language articles are a type of adjective but that is actually not true. "Adjectives and articles behave differently."
1. Adjectives can be made comparative and superlative while articles cannot.
For example, adjectives such as bright, brighter, brightest can be compared and placed in order from the least to greatest. Articles such as (the - theer - thest) cannot.
2. Articles must precede the adjective when modifying a noun.
For example, the blue house vs. blue the house.
3. A noun may be modified by two adjectives but not two articles.
For example, the big blue house vs. a the blue house.
Articles belong to a separate category called "determiner" which are demonstratives such as this, that, these and those and possessive pronouns such as my, your, his, her, its, our, their.
*Some words can be made plural while others cannot.
For example, words such as dog - dogs or place-places can be made plural. We can make words plural by adding s, es to the ending of specific base words. Other words such as quick - quicks or of -ofs cannot be made plural.
*Words that can be made plural are categorized into a group called nouns. The name "nouns" explaining this group/category could easily have named any other name. Left-to-Right Ordering 1) What is syntax and how is it important to interpreting language?
2) How do we draw meaning from what we read?
3) What are the five constructs of syntax and how do they help explain sentence structure? Constituent Structure Hierarchical Structure:
the grouping of words
within phrases **These phrases show structural ambiguity:
1) The phrase Russian newspaper reporter
can be grouped:
a)(Russian newspaper)reporter or
b) Russian (newspaper reporter)
a: a reporter of a Russian newspaper
b: a newspaper reporter who is Russian X Y Russian newspaper reporter Y X Russian newspaper reporter b) Constituent: a word or group of words that function together as a unit.
2 or more words form a constituent if there is a single node(branching point) that is above them and only them in the tree structure
In Diagram a, node Y illustrates that Russian reporter is a constituent so this phrase would mean "a reporter of a Russian newspaper."
In Diagram b, node X illustrates that newspaper reporter is a constituent so this phrase would mean "A newspaper reporter who is Russian." a) Active and Passive Sentences:
It is important to identify the constituent when changing from active to passive.
You can't break up the constituent when changing from active to passive sentences. Active and passive sentence example:
Active: The police examined a photograph of the accident.
Correct Passive: A photograph of the accident was examined by the police.
In this example, "a photograph of the accident" is the constituent.
Incorrect passive: A photograph was examined of the accident by the police.
As you can see, the constituent "a photograph of the accident" was not kept together and is therefore unacceptable. SP Relationships between constituents
1) Subcategorization restrictions: Syntactic constraints
Example 1: The verb "conceal" needs a direct object
He concealed the letter. Example 2: On the other hand, the verb "sleep" cannot have a direct object.
He slept the bed. As you can see, this does not make sense. 2) Selectional Restrictions: Semantic constraints
Example 1: The verb "admire" needs a human subject.
"My neighbor admires my flowers" not "My dog admires my flowers." SP Example 2: The verb "frighten" needs an animate object.
"Pete frightened his dog" not "Pete frightened his car." SP X-Bar Syntax Definition: A theory of constituent structure recognizing a structural unit that is bigger than a word category (nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs), but smaller than a phrasal category (such as noun phrases, verb phrases, adjective phrases, adverb phrases) SP This structural unit is called the intermediate category or bar category and uses a symbol such as N with a bar over it or N'. All phrase types (V', A') can use this symbol and can also be generalized to X' where X can stand for any category. Pro-Form Substitution:
A pro-form is a word that can replace a constituent.
*The word "one" can replace N-bar categories
Example 1: I like this (mystery novel) better than that (one).
In this sentence, the word "one" can replace mystery novel and still make sense which shows that mystery novel is a constituent. Example 2: I like (this mystery novel) better than (one).
In this sentence, "one" will not substitute for the entire noun phrase "this mystery novel."
*This shows that "this mystery novel" is not a constituent. Noun Phrases have 3 types of modifiers:
1) Specifiers: always occur first in a phrase
Example: in the noun phrase" that tall math student"
2) Adjuncts: occur between any specifier and complement within a phrase, can precede or follow the head
Example: in the noun phrase "that tall math student"
3) Complements: always occur next to the head of the phrase, can precede or follow the head
Example: in the noun phrase "that tall math student"
math=complement SP SP SP SP SP SP SP SP SP SP SP Left-to-Right Ordering is the order in which we read words. For example, "blue the house" would not be acceptable but "the blue house" would be. There are specific phrase structure rules. Phrase Structure Rules (PS)
There are three phrase structure rules.
1. Which elements are permitted in certain phrases.
2. Left-to-right ordering
3. Optional elements Words are grouped into categories based on their behavior. For example word endings and phrases. Linguists have grouped words into two main categories.
1. Lexical - nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs.
2. Phrasal - noun phrases, verb phrases, adjective phrases, adverb phrases.
In addition, every phrasal category includes one lexical category. For example, every noun phrase includes a noun.
Words are classified into groups/ categories so that we are better able to comprehend speech. Theorists appreciate words being placed into categories so that they can better explain word similarities/differences. Categories Transformations Constraints KW KW Essential Questions Transformations are "observations that move a category from one location to another within a structure."
In other words, left-to-right word order undergoes a transformation (a reorganization or shuffle) under certain circumstances. Transformations occur when the phrasing changes. For example, when asking or answering a question. KW Question: Phrase Transformation/Response: Jeff, where is the dog? The dog is outside. In the interrogative form, the direct object is after the verb. In the declarative form, the direct object from the question transforms into the subject of the sentence and moves to the left position. KW KW a) 4 - 3 + 6 = 7
b) 4 + 3 - 6 = 1
With all the same numbers and symbols, why don't the expressions equal the same value?
We have all been taught from an early age that order of operations in mathematics is essential.
Just as in mathematics, word order in language is critical to conveying meaning and communicating. All the same symbols, words, and phrases in a slightly different order convey different meanings all together. Just as how in math we have order of operations, in linguistics, there is Syntax. image: http://www.sfs.uni-tuebingen.de/~sam/teach/IntroGenLing/res_syntax.html When linguists study syntax, they are studying the theory of observable rules of how clauses, phrases, and sentences are constructed. The syntax rules dictate that "The boy jumped over the couch" is correct, but "the boy jumped the couch over" is not.
Likewise, it is important to note that "the boy threw the ball" is not the same as "the ball threw the boy." Word order of an animate object is an important component to determining sentence meaning. KW Syntax can be broken down into several components called constructs. The Parker and Riley text lists these 5: Categories
Constraints on Transformations KW KW http://img.izismile.com/img/img6/20130125/640/the_power_of_movie_makeup_and_costumes_640_03.jpg http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-qYby5DYo-Wg/T8QcrcCpuiI/AAAAAAAABPY/JC_ZG81BBxw/s1600/Mrs-Doubtfire-26.jpg http://izismile.com/2013/01/25/the_power_of_movie_makeup_and_costumes_67_pics-40.html Interrogatives commonly dictate transformations.
Wh-interrogatives are those that ask a who, what, when, where, or why question. KW We know that word order changes when sentence types change (i.e. from wh-interrogative to declarative). The question now remains, what are the rules that govern these translations? Movement There are a few main ways that words and phrases move within sentences. First, let's consider the difference between two types of sentence structure. Underlying structure is what exists "before" and surface structure is the outcome or "after" product of any transformation. KW KW KW Before/Underlying: After/Surface: NP Aux VP V NP Verb Phrase exists at end of sentence Language is like a quilt http://www.google.com/imgres?start=197&um=1&hl=en&tbo=d&biw=1280&bih=822&tbm=isch&tbnid=MTMPBDUEEjQYBM:&imgrefurl=http://www.amishcountrylanes.com/Pages/hs5433.shtml&docid=C5HrTEw91Ex5rM&imgurl=https://s3.amazonaws.com/ACQimages/hs5433/Front1.jpg&w=640&h=480&ei=5U8IUYu5FuSW2gXtsoC4Dg&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=127&vpy=364&dur=62&hovh=194&hovw=259&tx=96&ty=109&sig=117891870535271199382&page=6&tbnh=144&tbnw=186&ndsp=40&ved=1t:429,r:98,s:100,i:298 Nouns Verbs Clauses KW KW In quilt-making, you follow a pattern. Patterns are the rules that govern how you put the pieces of fabric together. Like quilt-making, language production also follows certain rules. This sentence construction "pattern" is called Syntax. Why follow the pattern?
What are the Syntax rules? KW These are the (mostly unspoken) rules we follow in sentence construction. All sewn together into one marvelous tapestry. Verb phrase is split and the wh-interrogative part is moved into the clause-first position (the beginning of the sentence). Types of Movement KW KW Wh-movement: Inflection Movement (I-Movement): the wh-phrase is moved into the clause-initial position The tensed verb (the 1st verb if there are multiple) is moved to the left of the subject. NP-Movement: Noun-phrase is moved into another NP position. This changes the subject and creates a passive sentence. Types of Structures
How would you organize these items? Categories You would probably categorize the swimsuit, sunglasses and beach towel in one group and the raincoat, umbrella and boots into another. Categories help people divide different items and topics into different groups. This helps us remember different items and we learn norms in our society. In the very same way, we organize words so that we can all comprehend one another when we use language. Different languages have different norms and categories. RC Categories - Nouns Categories - Adjectives vs. Articles Tree Diagrams RC RC RC RC RC RC Examples:
Initial Sentence: The dog stole barbeque chicken from the table.
Wh-Movement: What did the dog steal from the table?
I-Movement: Has the dog stolen anything from the table?
NP-Movement: The dog has stolen barbeque chicken from the table. Sentence: A sentence (S) consists of a noun phrase(NP) followed by a verb phrase(VP).
S NP - VP For example, "A friend at my work (NP) runs in the park." (VP) Noun Phrase: A noun phrase may be preceded by a determiner(Det), an adjective phrase(AP), or both, and it may be followed by a prepositional phrase(PP).
NP (Det) - (AP) - N - (PP)For example,
"The (Det) blue(AP) house (N) is on the corner." (PP) Noun Phrase Example Verb Phrase Example Verb Phrase: The verb(V) may be followed by a noun phrase(NP), an adjective phrase(AP), or neither. The verb phrase(VP) may end in a prepositional phrase(PP).
VP V- (NP or AP)- (PP)
"drove(V) the car(NP) into a tree(PP)." Sentence Example KW Constraints are the restrictions that are placed on transformations. KW KW Coordinate Structure: No element can be moved out of a coordinate structure (Although there is nothing "wrong" with a jelly and peanut butter sandwich, the coordinate structure dictates that it is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich). Unit Movement: No string of elements that do not form a constituent can be moved together in one movement rule.
You might say: Did she run down the stairs?
But you wouldn't say: Where did she run down the stairs? Constraints on Transformations Constraints on Translations (cont.) Subjacency: Tensed S: Prohibits an element from being moved across more than one S or NP boundary. Prohibits an element from being moved outside of a tensed clause. KW Syntax, Essential Questions Revisited Adjective Phrase Example
An adjective phrase must contain an adjective. The adjective may be preceded by an intensifier (e.g., very).
AP (I) - Adj.
A prepositional phrase consists of a preposition followed by a noun phrase.
PP Prep - NP
"at(Prep) the(Det) library(N)" RC RC RC RC Prepositional Phrase Example S NP VP Det N PP V PP Prep NP Prep NP Det N A friend in my club reads at the library Tree diagrams visually display the breakdown of the PS rules. A tree diagram shows the interrelationships among the words. The sentence dominates the two parts below, the noun phrase and verb phrase are considered the daughters of the sentence. The remaining sections below the daughters are considered the sisters.
Recursion is the ability of two types of phrases to be embedded into one another. The noun phrase is embedded into the prepositional phrase.
NP (Det) - (AP) - N - (PP)
PP Prep - NP
"the dog in the small house by the back porch in the under the tree next to shed........ Tree Diagrams RC RC Like a quilt has a pattern, and mathematics has order of operations, linguistics has the observable rules that exist for combining phrases, clauses, and sentences in meaningful ways. Five of the basic constructs of syntax are:
Constraints on Transformations We can think of the grouping of words as similar to the grouping of parentheses in math. For example:
(2+5) x 3 =21 versus
2 + (5 x 3) =17
Depending on how the numbers are grouped, the answer will change. Depending on how the words are grouped, the meaning will change. (small flower shop) owner:
owner of a small flower shop
small (flower shop owner):
a flower shop owner who is small