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d-syntax: class 1

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joe trotta

on 1 October 2012

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Transcript of d-syntax: class 1

D-Syntax Class 1 Some relevant
basics: Levels of adequacy The Mechanics of Chomskyan-style A generative grammar is an algorithm (i.e. a rule or a list of well-defined instructions for
completing a task) for generating all and only the grammatical sentences in a language Our goal is to develop a general theory
that accounts for the speaker's knowledge

"A linguistic theory that aims for explanatory adequacy is concerned with the internal structure of the device [i.e. grammar]; that is, it aims to provide a principled basis,independent of any particular language, for the selection of the descriptively adequate grammar of each language." A grammar of a language is descriptively adequate if it correctly specifies which sentences are (and are not) syntactically, semantically, morphologically, and phonologically well-formed in the language and also properly describes the syntactic, semantic, morphological, and phonological structure of the sentences in the language in such a way as to provide a principled account of the native speaker’s intuitions about this structure. - The theory achieves an exhaustive and discrete enumeration of the data points. A grammar of a language is observationally adequate if it correctly specifies which sentences are (and are not) syntactically, semantically, morphologically, and
phonologically well-formed in the language. concerns how linguistic & non-linguistic knowledge interact in speech comprehension & production Competence vs. Performance do languages differ from each other in unpredictable ways, or do they share common, universal properties? A ‘Chomskyan style’
generative grammar seeks to develop three inter-related theories of language: i Theory of Language Structure ii Theory of Language Acquisition iii Theory of Language Use (concerns itself with what are the defining structural properties of natural languages) (concerns the question of how children acuire their native language) A theory of language structure
should answer the following questions: What is language? What is it you know when you know a language? What are the essential defining characteristics of natural language which differentiate them from, for example, artificial languages like those used inmathematics or computing, or from animal communication systems? UG the logical problem of language acquisition innateness Observational Adequacy - There is a pigeonhole for each observation. Descriptive Adequacy - The theory formally specifies rules accounting for all observed arrangements of the data.
- The rules produce all and only the well-formed constructs (relations) of the protocol space. It has predictive power. Explanatory Adequacy The theory provides a principled choice between competing descriptions. It deals with the uttermost underlying structure. and specifies the observed data (in particular) in terms of significant generalizations that express
underlying regularities
in the language." "...the grammar gives
a correct account of the linguistic
intuition of the native speaker, Theories which do not achieve the third level of adequacy are said to "account for the observations", rather than to "explain the observations." A linguistic theory attains explanatory adequacy just if it provides a descriptively adequate grammar for every natural language, and does so in terms of a maximally constrained set of universal principles which represent psychologically plausible natural principles of mental computation. S --> NP VP
NP --> {Det (Adj) N, Pro, PN}
VP --> V NP (PP) (Adv)
PP --> Prep NP
PN --> {Mary, George} Methodological issues: intuition,
grammaticality judgments and informant testing – formalist conventions Generative Grammar represented by means of a tree, it is more correct to say that the theory that we are aiming to develop should define, in a general and principled way, what counts
as a legitimate tree in a given language. of what counts as a sentence. Since, in the speaker's
knowledge, a sentence is not merely a linear string, but has a hierarchical structure of some sort which we have fence, house, bridge}
Det --> {a, the}
V --> {followed, helped, saw}
Prep --> {on, beyond, at} N --> {girl, dog, boy,
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