functional compositionality
Download
Skip this Video
Download Presentation
Functional Compositionality

Loading in 2 Seconds...

play fullscreen
1 / 68

Functional Compositionality - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • 302 Views
  • Uploaded on

Functional Compositionality. Some linguistic forms are elemental, i.e. they cannot be broken down into more basic forms with more basic functions: definites: the beer gapping: Sally brought the wine, and Mary, the beer. (cf. work in Construction Grammar).

loader
I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
capcha
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about 'Functional Compositionality' - Pat_Xavi


An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript
slide2

Some linguistic forms are elemental, i.e. they cannot be broken down into more basic forms with more basic functions:

  • definites: the beer
  • gapping: Sally brought the wine, and Mary, the beer.
  • (cf. work in Construction Grammar)
slide3

Other constructions are functionally complex, i.e. composed of more basic constructions, each of which imposes its own constraints on the use of the whole.

slide4

(1)

There are two O-rings around the seal, and on about five, perhaps half a dozen STS flights, on each flight there are six seal areas, three segments, three breaks in each of two solids.

[Challenger Corpus]

 preposed PP plus existential there

slide5

Not the same as inversion:

...on each flight there are six seal areas, three segments, three breaks in each of two solids.

...on each flight are six seal areas, three segments, three breaks in each of two solids.

slide6

A single argument-reversing construction?

Or two distinct constructions?

slide7

Functionally distinct from inversion:

(2) Jill and John sat eating pizza. Jill took a slice and carefully picked off all the mushrooms, then took a big bite. #Across from her there was John, working on his fourth or fifth slice.

 postposed NP must represent h-new information

[...] Across from her was John, working on his fourth or fifth slice.

 inversion OK with h-old/d-old, h-old/d-old

[...] John was across from her, working on his fourth or fifth slice.[CWO]

slide8

While inversion requires that the preposed constituent be at least as familiar as the postposed constituent, PP preposing with an existential comprises two distinct constructions used simultaneously rather than a single construction with a single function, and is correspondingly subject to the constraints on

those two component constructions.

slide9

Thus, such sentences require the preposed PP to represent discourse-old information (satisfying the constraint on preposing) and the postposed NP to represent hearer-new information (satisfying the constraint on postposing).

slide10

On each flightthere are six seal areas

must be must be

discourse-old hearer-new

cf. inversion:

On each flight are six seal areas

must be no

newer than

slide11

To summarize:

  • Inversion is a single construction subject to a single discourse constraint
  • PP preposing + existential is the sum of two constructions and is subject to the discourse constraints on both
slide12

PP preposing with existential thereis a functionally compositional construction – that is, one whose discourse constraints are built up straightforwardly from those of the more basic constructions of which it is composed.

slide13

Another family of functionally compositional constructions:

That would be X and its relatives (Birner, Kaplan, & Ward 2007)

slide14

The original (rather small) question:

What does it mean to say That would be X rather than simply That’s X?

slide15

Epistemic would:

(3) a. Q: Can you tell us if you recognize this

clothing?

A: That would be our standard attire, correct.

[Simpson transcripts, 2/7]

b. Dad: Uh… Who’s that boy hanging out in

our front yard, Danae?

Danae: That would be Jeffrey, my not-so-

secret admirer.

[‘Non Sequitur’ comic, 3/3/02]

slide16

Use of epistemic would requires a contextually salient OP:

(4) Dad: Uh… Who’s that boy hanging out in

our front yard, Danae?

Danae: That would be Jeffrey, my not-so-

secret admirer.

(5) ‘that boy hanging out in our front yard is X’

slide17

The epistemic would construction has a great deal in common with clefts – another set of OP-requiring constructions.

slide18

Clefts:

(6) a. A: Well, has the cat discovered the hamsters yet?

B: The hamsters? Actually, it’s the dog that is enthralled with the hamsters.

[Switchboard Corpus]

b. A: How long do you cook the meatballs?

B: The meatballs you just, after you form them, fry them in a pan until they’re browned on all sides and then drain off all the grease. Then what I usually do is I freeze them.

[Switchboard Corpus]

slide19

(7) a. NF: …One of, one my fellow soldiers came by and shook my bed and said, Come on Fredzo, get up… and the Sergeant himself said, ‘Leave him alone, he’s too short.’

KF: Hmm.

NF: I mean, the, that was the platoon sergeant that said that.

[Hedberg 1990, ch. 4, ex. 12]

slide20

b. A: Kennedy was convinced he would have needed Texas in the ’64 election and chose to take his chances.

B: Lee – I was only kidding. Besides – do we really know that was JFK that was shot and not a stand in?

[http://www.netshrine.com/vbulletin2/ showthread.php?t=532&goto=nextoldest, 6/15/04]

slide21

Clefts:

  • it-clefts: it’s the dogs that is enthralled with the hamsters
  • wh-clefts: what I usually do is I freeze them
  • th-clefts: that was the platoon sergeant that said that
slide22

Th-clefts require an OP unless the referent is present in the visual context (cf. Prince 1981’s ‘situationally evoked’ information):

(8) Hey, that’s your cousin who’s sitting on the curb, isn’t it?

slide23

In addition to full it-clefts and th-clefts, there are what have been referred to as ‘truncated clefts’ (Hedberg 2000, inter alia):

  • equative
  • structurally and functionally like clefts
  • but no relative clause
slide24

(9) Tonight Keith and I were home hanging out in the apartment, eating our dinner and trying to watch this incomprehensible subtitled Indian film I brought home from the video store, when a knock came at the door. We were expecting a friend to drop by with some clothes for Zeke, so we figured it was her.

[www.12pointfont.com/02/120702.html]

slide25

(10) A: Me? I never wallow. I suffer in silence.

B: No, that’s Christine.

[movie ‘Must Love Dogs’]

(11) Cleft variant: That’s Christine who suffers in silence.

slide26

These would appear to have the same structure as simple equatives:

(10) A: Me? I never wallow. I suffer in silence.

B: No, that’s Christine.

(12) A: Who’s that woman over there?

B1: It’s Christine.

B2: That’s Christine.

slide27

But then a sentence like That’s Christine is ambiguous between two syntactic analyses:

  • simple equative
  • truncated cleft
  • We will argue that the truncated-cleft analysis is unnecessary.
slide28

The OP is required not for felicity, but for the cleft-like reading – i.e., to have a th-cleft paraphrase.

I can say That’s Christine out of the blue with no infelicity.

slide29

These equatives are functionally compositional: Their pragmatic properties are built up from those of their components.

slide30

Any equative with demonstrative that as its subject will, in the presence of a salient OP, have a cleft-like reading and show cleft-like properties.

slide32

We looked at three constructions that shared the following properties:

  • demonstrative subject
  • equative structure
  • contextually salient OP
slide33

(13) [context: a knock at the front door]

a. That would be Christine. [TWBX]

b. That’s Christine who’s at the door. [th-cleft]

c. That’s Christine. [th-equative]

slide35

Recall that the combination of the equative, demonstrative, and OP makes possible the use of the demonstrative to refer to the instantiation of the OP variable:

(14) a. A [holding cup]: Whose is this?

B: That would be my son. My youngest son, to be exact.

[conversation, 2/4/01]

OP: ‘this cup belongs to X’

slide36

b.

Villager [in reference to an ogre]: He’ll grind your bones for his bread!

Shrek: Actually, that would be a giant.

[movie ‘Shrek’]

OP: ‘the creature that grinds your bones for his bread is X’

A: The pot’s light.

B: That would be me. [tosses in a chip]

[poker game, 1/31/03]

OP: ‘the person who failed to ante is X’

c.

slide37

Salient OP introduces a new (unknown) entity into the discourse model (e.g., the person who failed to ante), rendering it available for discourse deixis.

Discourse deixis:

I bet you haven’t heard this story.(Levinson 1983)

That’s a lie.(Lyons 1977)

three predictions
Three predictions
  • Ambiguity between variable reference and reference to some other salient entity
  • Apparent number disagreement due to verb agreeing with variable rather than salient plural entity
  • Apparent tense disagreement due to present-tense reference to instantiation rather than to salient past event
slide39

Ambiguity:

A: The pot’s light.

B: That would be me. [tosses in a chip]

OP: ‘the person who failed to ante is X’

[Looking through a photo album]

That would be me.

slide40

In some cases, context fails to disambiguate:

(15) [King dips his finger in a bowl held by a servant and then licks the food off his finger and proclaims it delicious.]

King: What do you call this dish?

Servant: That would be the dog’s breakfast.

[movie ‘Shrek 2’]

OP: ‘you call this dish X’

slide41

Apparent number disagreement:

(16) a. Also, here’s hoping you won’t burn your leaves, wasting them, despite the fact that burning them is illegal in most Illinois counties – that would be the populated ones, like Cook, DuPage, Lake, e.g. [email, 4/24/01]

OP: ‘the Illinois counties in which burning leaves is illegal are X’

 note singular that with plural NP

slide42

b. No, I’m sorry, but I must disagree with the observation that cats are energy sinks. That would be children under the age of ... say 12.

[email, 06/06/01]

OP: ‘X are energy sinks’

c. I heard your names (that would be you and Andy) on NPR yesterday. [email, 6/26/02]

OP: ‘I heard the names of X’

slide43

The demonstrative is used to refer to the (singular) instantation of the variable:

I heard your names (that would be you and Andy) on NPR yesterday. [email, 6/26/02]

OP: ‘I heard the names of X’

TWBX conveys ‘X (that) = you and Andy’

slide44

Choice of demonstrative can disambiguate:

(17) The show started on ABC as Two Guys, A Girl And A Pizza Place. The show centered on three young characters just starting out in life - that would be the two guys and a girl.

[www.poobala.com/twoguysandagirl.html]

OP: ‘the three young characters just starting out in life are X’

Cf. ...those would be the two guys and a girl.

slide45

Apparent tense disagreement:

(18) a. S: Do you remember a rainy afternoon we spent together? My father had driven your mother and David into town for a music lesson.

L: How old was he?

S: I don’t know... Fourteen, fifteen.

L: That would be the oboe.

[movie ‘Sabrina’]

OP: ‘David was taking lessons in X at that time’

slide46

Compare with expected verb complex:

‘I bought two hundred extras when I put this roof on.’ ‘When was that?’ I asked. He looked up at the clouds. I don’t know whether he was divining the weather or the past. ‘Right after the war,’ he said. ‘That would have been forty-six.’

[Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams, 1990, Harper Collins, p. 275]

OP: ‘I put this roof on at time X’

b.

slide47

TWBX makes an assertion either:

  • instantiating the variable, or
  • about some referent (in this case, a past event)
  • In the latter case, this instantiation is occurring in the present, hence the present tense is appropriate.
slide49

(19) A: The KKK is consistently hateful.

B: I thought they were working on their kinder, gentler image - kind of like compassionate hatred.

C: [...] [T]hat’s George Bush who is practicing compassionate hatred.

[www.majorityreportradio.com/weblog/ archives/001292.php]

OP: ‘the one practicing compassionate hatred is X’

three predictions50
Three predictions
  • Ambiguity between variable reference and reference to some other salient entity
  • Apparent number disagreement due to verb agreeing with variable rather than salient plural entity
  • Apparent tense disagreement due to present-tense reference to instantiation rather than to salient past event
slide51

Ambiguity:

(20) A: Who’s the one practicing compassionate hatred?

B: That’s George Bush who is practicing compassionate hatred.

OP: ‘the one practicing compassionate hatred is X’

 subtle ambiguity between taking X as

referent and taking as antecedent the

one practicing compassionate hatred

slide52

Apparent number disagreement – again, choice of demonstrative can disambiguate:

(21) A: Is it true that the officials who are resigning are the President and the CEO?

B: No, that’s the top three members of the Board of Directors who are resigning.

OP: ‘the officials who are resigning are X’

A: Is it true that the officials who are resigning are the President and the CEO?

B: No, those are the top three members of the Board of Directors who are resigning.

slide53

Apparent temporal disagreement:

(22) A: When did you put this roof on?

B: Let’s see…. that’s 1946 that I put this roof on.

OP: ‘I put this roof on at time X’

 instantiation of variable is taking place

at the present time

slide54

Again, when the demonstrative picks out something in the visual context, th-clefts do not require an OP:

  • a. Hey, that’s my uncle who’s walking over there.
  • b. #Hey, that’s 1946 that I put this roof on.
  • c. #Say, I read this interesting article yesterday; that’s George Bush who is practicing compassionate hatred.
slide55

When there’s no OP (as in the visual-context cases), the apparent number and tense disagreements cannot occur, since there’s no variable-instantiation being referred to:

(24) #That’s my two brothers who are sitting over there.

three predictions57
Three predictions
  • Ambiguity between variable reference and reference to some other salient entity
  • Apparent number disagreement due to verb agreeing with variable rather than salient plural entity
  • Apparent tense disagreement due to present-tense reference to instantiation rather than to salient past event
slide58

This account predicts that ANY equative with a demonstrative subject will, in the presence of a salient OP, show these same three properties.

slide59

Ambiguity:

(25) a. This is not Iowa we’re talking about – This is a different society.

b. This is not Iowa.

[Hedberg 2000, ex. 17]

(26) A: Me? I never wallow. I suffer in silence.

B: No, that’s Christine.

slide60

Apparent number disagreement:

(27) A: Is this like what you were saying yesterday? That you have to trust that I won’t hurt you?

B: No, that’s my parents, I’ve always known that I could trust you. [‘Unfinished Business,’ http://au.geocities.com/livvyb_au/ ub4b.html]

OP: ‘X has to trust that A won’t hurt B’

slide61

Apparent tense disagreement:

(28) ‘When I was 13, (that’s 1969, folks) one of

my older brothers came home from college with a huge stack of Marvel Comics - Thor, Avengers, Fantastic Four, etc.’ [www.comicon.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb. cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=36;t=004058]

OP: ‘I was 13 at time X’

slide62

And again, the OP requirement is lifted for visually present referents:

(29) Hey, that’s the Sears Tower!

In such cases, our three properties disappear:

(30) Hey, #that’s my favorite buildings!

slide63

So the question is whether equatives have two possible syntactic sources – the simple equative and the truncated cleft.

This account would mean that ALL th-equatives are systematically ambiguous.

We argue that it is simpler to assume a single syntactic structure.

to summarize
To summarize:
  • Three constructions:
    • TWBX (that would be Hilda)
    • th-cleft (that’s Hilda who won the Pulitzer)
    • th-equative (that’s Hilda)
  • Three interesting properties:
    • ambiguity
    • apparent number disagreement
    • apparent tense disagreement
functional compositionality65
Functional Compositionality
  • Three elementary properties:
    • Demonstrative subject (that)
    • Equative structure
    • Salient open proposition (OP)
  • When these three properties cooccur, the demonstrative can be used in reference to the OP variable
slide66

These constructions show evidence of FUNCTIONAL COMPOSITIONALITY: The functions of the smaller pieces (the demonstrative, the equative, and the OP) combine in a predictable, compositional way.

This explains why the complex constructions sharing these smaller elements show the same set of properties.

slide67

(31) a. I told my teacher that the John Hancock building was the tallest building in Chicago, but then I realized that that’s the Sears Tower.

  • b. Oh, look – that’s the Sears Tower!
  •  The only difference between (31a) and (31b) is that (a) occurs in the context of an OP, and the demonstrative can therefore be used in reference to the instantiation of the variable. Syntactically, they are parallel.
slide68
Conclusions

th-equatives needn’t be viewed as truncated clefts

functional compositionality: the functional properties of a complex construction are built up from those of its parts

ad