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2003-04-0083

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2003-04-0083 Powered By Docstoc
					          Syntax

The study of sentence structure
            Word classes
Horse    terrible   on         because
may      they       casually   aha


Word classes are categories of words that
share certain features.
jodded
protting
haftest
chims
the plogs glorp some mooshash
What is plogs?
What is glorp?
What is mooshash?
We can identify their word categories on the
basis of their positions in the structure of the
sentence. Syntactic criteria are thus based on the
fact that all positions in the structure of a
sentence are restricted to particular word classes.
                             Slots
the   guy    from Budapest   handed   the   bag      to      me



a     girl    in   China      shot    a     guru   without   it



my friend at       home
  Trying to identify word classes
By two o’clock on the first afternoon of the trial,
snow covered all the island roads. A car pirouetted
silently while skating on its tires, emerged from this
on a transverse angle, and slid to a stop with one
headlight thrust into the door of Petersen’s
Grocery, which somebody opened at just the right
moment – miraculously – so that no damage befell
car or store.
Nouns:
afternoon, trial, snow, island roads, car, tires, angle, stop,
   headlight, door, Petersen’s Grocery, moment, damage, store
Verbs:
covered, pirouetted, skating, emerged, slid, thrust, opened, befell
Adjectives:
transverse, right
Adverbs:
silently, miraculously
Prepositions:
by, on, of, from, to, with, at
Conjunctions:
while, and, so that, or
Determiners:
the, a, no, its
Pronouns:
somebody, which
Other categories:
Modal auxiliaries:
e.g. be, have, do, must, should, can, may, etc.
Quantifiers:
e.g. half, all
Interjections:
e.g. yes, well, aha
      Words are not the only building
                 blocks
The drummer with the blue coat watched the audience in the hall.
                               S
Det N        P Det     A   N       V    Det N           P   Det N
The drummer with the blue coat watched the audience in the hall
• The drummer with the blue coat would have
  the same status as blue coat watched the
• The boundary between coat and watched
  would have the same status as the and blue.
                 Phrases
Syntax allows for constituents that come
between the individual words and the
sentence. Sentences are thus hierarchically
structured: word-level constituents form
higher constituents and these may again be
part of higher constituents till we eventually
arrive at the sentence level. In other words,
word-level constituents are not the immediate
constituents of sentences. These intermediate
constituents are called phrases.
           Structure dependency
The rules of syntax apply to the structure of
sentences, i.e. to the hierarchical organization of
constituents, and not to the linear sequence of
words. As sentences differ in structure we cannot
simply equate sequences in one sentence with
sequences in another.
that money
I don’t want that money
I like things that money cannot buy
           Constituent tests
Phrases as constituents form units and
therefore behave in ways that non-phrasal
sequences do not.
Constituent tests: tests that help us identify
which sequences of words are phrases.
                Mobility
mobility: phrases as a whole may undergo
movement
Oasis feel at home [in England]
[In England] Oasis feel at home
*[Home in England] Oasis feel at.
I am not going to see Suzanne Vega [this
   year].
[This year] I am not going to see Suzanne
  Vega.
[*Suzanne Vega this year] I am not going to
  see.
I like [the Spirce Girls] but I love [the boy
   band with their cute lead guitarist].
[The Spice Girls] I like but [the boy band with
  their cute lead guitarist] I love
Cleft sentence: It is [the Spice Girls] that I like
Pseudo cleft sentence: Who I like are [the Spice
   Girls].
It is [this year] that I am not going to see Suzanne
   Vega
It is [Suzanne Vega] that I am not going to see this
   year.
*It is [Suzanne Vega this year] that I am not going
  to see.
Who I like is [the boy band with their cute lead
 guitarist]
            Substitutability
Substitutability: phrases can be replaced by
  proforms (pronouns, this, he, they, proverbs,
  do (so), pro-PPs, here, then, etc.)
with [an amplifier] — with [it]
Did you [leave the Beatles in 1970]. — Yes I
 [did].
I was [in London] – I was [there]
Did you see [Ani DiFranco] [in February] –
 Did you see [her] [then]?
I hope [that Kate Bush will release a new CD
   this year] – I hope [so]
            Fragmentation
phrases can occur as sentence fragments.
Typically, sentence fragments are appropriate
answers to wh-questions.
I was [in England]
Where were you? — [In England].
I [signed a new contract]
What did you do there? — [Sign a new
 contract].
[My new manager] went there with me.
Who went there with you? — My new
 manager.
I saw [Ani DiFranco] in February.
Who did you see? – *Ani DiFranco in
 February.
        Ordinary coordination
Ordinary coordination: linking with and,
but, or, etc. Only phrases can occur in
ordinary coordination.
I like [the boy band with the cute lead
guitarist who starred in this concert at the
Berg Isel last year] and [the Spice Girls]
I [like the Rolling Stones] but [love the
  Beatles]
I have been [in Paris] and [in Amsterdam]
I have been in [Paris] and [Amsterdam]
The drummer with [the blue coat] and [the
  black shirt] watched the audience in the
  hall
The drummer with the [blue] and [extremely
  dirty] shirt watched the audience in the
  hall.
 Are the underlined sequences phrases in the
 sentence? What kind of evidence is there?

• Sheriff Granger arrested all the members of
  the fan club that night.
• Sheriff Granger arrested all the members of
  the fan club that night
 Are the underlined sequences phrases in the
 sentence? What kind of evidence is there?

• The band that I mean has never played in
  this town.
• The band that I mean has never played in
  this town
     Different types of phrases
The second task after identifying phrases is to
  categorize them.
all the good material from the CD
hits
Mary Jane
some hits in England
the songs I have never heard on the radio
Word classes and phrase classes
All phrases consist of a central word (= head),
which is the only obligatory element. From its
word class the phrase gets the name.
all the good material from just before Christmas
 the CD                     left
are busy doing other things Mary Jane
beautifully                   on my advice
busy doing other things       played it really well
couldn’t change the set-up    puzzled
extremely happy with my life some hits in England
from behind the sofa         the songs I have never heard on
                               the radio
hits
                              very accurately
instead of Song 2
is waiting outside            was not present at the concert
           Types of phrases
All major word classes form phrases. We thus
  have:
• Noun phrases (NP)
• Verb phrases (VP)
• Adjective phrases (AP)
• Adverb phrases (AdvP)
• Prepositional phrases (PP)
Whenever there is a word from a major word
class in a sentence it MUST be the head of a
phrase of the same name. This means that a
noun must be the head of a noun phrase, a
verb the head of a verb phrase, etc.
At this early stage, we also assume that there
are no concentric phrases, i.e. two or more
phrases with the same head.
The drummer with the blue coat watched the audience in
  the hall
Noun phrases:
the drummer with the blue coat
the blue coat
the audience in the hall
the hall
Verb phrases:
watched the audience in the hall
Prepositional phrases:
with the blue coat
in the hall
Adjective phrases:
blue
            Representation
Representation = how we can visualize the
structure of sentences.
Generally, there are two methods
  – labelled bracketing
  – tree diagrams
              Labelled bracketing
The idea of labelled bracketing is to bracket every
constituent/phrase and label it, i.e. add a subindexed label
at the left bracket
 [NP my uncle from Vienna]
   [PP in the city]
   [VP record two songs in one session]
   [AP very beautiful with her new glasses]
[NP a [AP very strange] postman [PP with [NP a [AP large]
bag]]] [VP came [PP to [NP our house]]]
                     Tree diagrams
Tree diagrams: trees that grow upside down, with root at the top.

                              

                                                  

                                                        

                                                  

a b          c       d            e       f    g        h   i   j
                          body

       limbs                  torso   head

arms            legs

         legs          feet

                   toes   heel...
Jane plants the flowers in the garden.
                       S
   NP                           VP

    N           V      NP          PP
                      Det N       P NP
                                     Det N
   Jane       plants the flowers in the garden
Lovers of colourful videos appreciated the
  last song by JJ72.
                             S

                NP                         VP

  N             PP           V             NP

       P        NP                  Det    AP     N       PP

           AP        N                     A          P    NP

           A                                                   N

Lovers of colourful videos appreciated the last song by JJ72
     Phrase structure rules (PS-rules)
bands
these bands
these wonderful bands
these wonderful bands from Liverpool
these wonderful bands from Liverpool that recorded songs last year
these wonderful bands that recorded songs last year
wonderful bands from Liverpool
We know that these are grammatically well-formed sentences of
English. This means they follow rules that define which combinations
of words and phrases are grammatically well-formed in English.
Native speakers‘ knowledge is what we are interested in. We
therefore have to be able to formulate these rules. We call these rules
phrase structure rules (or PS-rules).
        What do PS-rules look like?
XYZ
reads: X consists of Y and Z irrespective of context
example: NP  Det N
reads: an NP consists/can consist of a determiner and a N no
matter what the context (this means an NP can always consist
of this sequence no matter whether it occurs as subject, object,
within a PP, etc.)
bands                                  NP  N
these bands                            NP  Det N
these wonderful bands                  NP  Det AP N
these wonderful bands from Liverpool   NP  Det AP N PP
these wonderful bands from Liverpool   NP  Det AP N PP
   that recorded songs last year         S’
these wonderful bands that recorded    NP  Det AP N S’
   songs last year
wonderful bands from Liverpool         NP  AP N PP
    The longest possible noun phrase
Form the most complex noun phrase that you can think of).
The aspiring attractive new bands from Liverpool with new
songs on stage that have never before played in this hall.
It has to start with a determiner. Then there can be any
number of APs. Then there is the head noun, then any
number of PPs, then a relative clause.
NP  Det AP N PP S’
But only the noun is obligatory.
          One rule for all NPs
NP  (Det) (AP)x N (PP)x (S’)
This is the general rule of noun phrases, it should
account for all possible NPs in English.
If we now have similar rules for verb phrases,
adjective phrases, adverb phrases, prepositional
phrases, sentences and subordinate sentences, then
we have rules for all possible sentence structures in
English.
         Syntactic functions
Relations between constituents or functions
that constituents fulfil in the sentence.
                  Subject and object
The drummer with the blue coat watched the audience
Subject:
   –   NP directly under S but not under VP
   –   Typically nominative case
   –   Changes position in question
   –   Deleted or moved to prepositional phrase in passive clause
Object:
   –   NP inside VP
   –   Directly follows verb
   –   Typically accusative case
   –   Moved into subject position in passive clause
     Predicative complements
Phrases that follow verbs such as be or call
and which are dependent either on the subject
or the object.
I am a loser
I became a loser
they call me a loser
                    Adjuncts
NPs, PPs, AdvPs, and APs that are not required by the
verb but just give additional information in the
sentence. Sometimes they are also called adverbials.
I saw Ani DiFranco in Vienna in February.
She sang really beautifully.
   Inside the phrase – heads and
             modifiers
the extremely intelligent woman with the
  degree who has sold four books
Head: woman
Premodifier: the, extremely intelligent
Postmodifier: with the degree, who has sold
  four books
                Ambiguity
A sentence has two readings.
I killed the lion in the tent
1st: the killing took place in the tent
2nd: only the lion was in the tent (which lion?
   the one in the tent)
                Structural ambiguity
I killed the lion in the tent
                            S
    NP                                VP
   Pronoun                  V      NP          PP
                                 Det N     P        NP
                                                Det N


     I                  killed   the lion in the tent
            Functional ambiguity
Petra likes Paul more than John
Flying planes can be dangerous

				
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