The Major Principles of Syntax

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The Three Components of Syntax. Role of Lexicon in Syntax. The lexicon adds meaningful (semantic) components to the sentence.The lexicon also plays a major role in determining the grammatical structure of the sentence.Selection restrictions are governed by the lexical items chosen in each clause.The water evaporated quickly.*The boy evaporated quickly.*The water evaporated the dog..

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The Major Principles of Syntax

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1. The Major Principles of Syntax The Operations of the Lexicon, Morphology, and Word Order in the Understanding of Language Daniel Kies

2. The Three Components of Syntax

3. Role of Lexicon in Syntax The lexicon adds meaningful (semantic) components to the sentence. The lexicon also plays a major role in determining the grammatical structure of the sentence. Selection restrictions are governed by the lexical items chosen in each clause. The water evaporated quickly. *The boy evaporated quickly. *The water evaporated the dog.

4. The Elements of the Lexicon

5. The Role of Word Order UNMARKED WORD ORDER functions to distinguish the grammatical and semantic roles of sentence constituents. Grammatical roles include subject, verb, object, complement, & adverbial. Semantic roles include agent, action, goal, beneficiary, instrument, location, and more. MARKED WORD ORDER allows us to choose the ‘point of view’ in the sentence and allows us to emphasize various parts of our message.

6. The Grammatical Roles in Word Order Word order helps us understand the grammatical function of each constituent. Subjects in English for example are usually at the beginning of the clause. John left yesterday after he gave his lecture. Objects in English occur after the verb. “Close the door,” she yelled, kicking it shut.

7. The Semantic Roles in Word Order Constituents also serve semantic roles in sentences, such as agent, action, goal, instrument, location and many more. John opened the door with a key. agent action goal instrument subject verb object adverbial In most cases, grammatical & semantic roles overlap, but not always.

8. Interplay of Grammatical & Semantic Roles Semantic roles ‘realize’ grammatical functions. In the usual, unmarked case, agents are realized by subjects, actions are realized by verbs, etc. Occasionally, language users do not choose to use some semantic roles, resulting in a marked realization of semantic roles. The key opened the door. instrument action goal subject verb object

9. Marked Word Order & ‘Point of View’ Marked word order not only allow us to promote ‘unusual’ semantic roles to unexpected grammatical functions, it can also allow us to choose a ‘point of view.’ Elizabeth helped Emily. Emily was helped by Elizabeth. This is called voice; the 1st example is called active voice, the 2nd passive voice.

10. Marked Word Order & ‘Emphasis’ Marked word order also allows us to emphasize the most relevant portion of our sentence, our message. Compare: John sent the letter to Mary. It was the letter that John sent to Mary. This variation allows us to ‘emphasize’ the relevant portion of our sentence as message; the 2nd example is called a cleft sentence.

11. The Role of Morphology Morphology provides us with two additional sets of language clues about the structure of a sentence: Function words Inflectional morphemes (which usually occur as word endings in English)

12. Function Words & Syntax Function words are minor word classes. In English, those are prepositions, pronouns, articles, and conjunctions. These function words provide valuable grammatical information: how easily can you read the following text for example?

13. Examples of Function Words Was walking front door, dropping bags going. It was me -- walking out of my front door, dropping my bags and going back in. (O. J.) Function words provide important information about the grammatical & semantic roles played by the constituents in a sentence.

14. Grammatical Morphemes & Syntax Other grammatical morphemes (primarily word endings in English) serve a similar function: English uses grammatical inflections to provide different kinds of grammatical information on the major word classes -- nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs.

15. Grammatical Inflections in Nouns English uses the grammatical morphemes to mark case This is John’s book, number He owns several rare books, and gender Adrienne Rich hates being called a poetess.

16. Grammatical Inflections in Verbs English uses grammatical morphemes to mark tense Liz walked with her sister. aspect Liz has helped her often. voice Liz was pleased by her cleverness. modality Liz must be smarter than Dad. mood God bless this ship & all who sail in her.

17. Grammatical Inflections in Adjectives & Adverbs English uses grammatical morphemes on adjectives and adverbs to mark grammatical function Ingenious Liz can do this easily. comparison (degree) Liz is smarter than her father. She learns faster than he does.

18. All the Elements of Syntax

19. The Entire Syntax System in Concert There was me, that is Alex, and my three droogs, that is Pete, Georgie, and Dim, Dim being really dim, and we sat in the Korova Milkbar making up our rassoodocks what to do with the evening, a flip dark chill winter bastard though dry. The Korova Milkbar was a milk-plus mesto, and you may, O my brother, have forgotten what these mestos where like things changing so skorry these days and everybody very quick to forget, newspaper not being read much neither. Well, what they sold there was milk plus something else. They had no license for selling liquor, but there was no law yet against prodding some of the some of the new veshches which they would put into the old moloko, so you could peet it with vellocet or synthemesc or drencrom or one or two other veshches which would give you a nice quiet horrorshow fifteen minutes admiring Bog And All His Holy Angels And Saints in your left shoe with lights bursting all over your mozg. Or you could peet it with knives in it, as we use to say, and this would sharpen you up and make you ready for a bit of dirty twenty-to-one, and that was what we were peeting this evening I’m starting off the story with. Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange

20. Finding Nouns in A Clockwork Orange There was me, that is Alex, and my three droogs, that is Pete, Georgie, and Dim, Dim being really dim, and we sat in the Korova Milkbar making up our rassoodocks what to do with the evening, a flip dark chill winter bastard though dry. The Korova Milkbar was a milk-plus mesto, and you may, O my brother, have forgotten what these mestos where like things changing so skorry these days and everybody very quick to forget, newspaper not being read much neither. Well, what they sold there was milk plus something else. They had no license for selling liquor, but there was no law yet against prodding some of the some of the new veshches which they would put into the old moloko, so you could peet it with vellocet or synthemesc or drencrom or one or two other veshches which would give you a nice quiet horrorshow fifteen minutes admiring Bog And All His Holy Angels And Saints in your left shoe with lights bursting all over your mozg. Or you could peet it with knives in it, as we use to say, and this would sharpen you up and make you ready for a bit of dirty twenty-to-one, and that was what we were peeting this evening I’m starting off the story with.

21. Finding Verbs in A Clockwork Orange There was me, that is Alex, and my three droogs, that is Pete, Georgie, and Dim, Dim being really dim, and we sat in the Korova Milkbar making up our rassoodocks what to do with the evening, a flip dark chill winter bastard though dry. The Korova Milkbar was a milk-plus mesto, and you may, O my brother, have forgotten what these mestos where like things changing so skorry these days and everybody very quick to forget, newspaper not being read much neither. Well, what they sold there was milk plus something else. They had no license for selling liquor, but there was no law yet against prodding some of the some of the new veshches which they would put into the old moloko, so you could peet it with vellocet or synthemesc or drencrom or one or two other veshches which would give you a nice quiet horrorshow fifteen minutes admiring Bog And All His Holy Angels And Saints in your left shoe with lights bursting all over your mozg. Or you could peet it with knives in it, as we use to say, and this would sharpen you up and make you ready for a bit of dirty twenty-to-one, and that was what we were peeting this evening I’m starting off the story with.

22. Finding Modifiers in A Clockwork Orange There was me, that is Alex, and my three droogs, that is Pete, Georgie, and Dim, Dim being really dim, and we sat in the Korova Milkbar making up our rassoodocks what to do with the evening, a flip dark chill winter bastard though dry. The Korova Milkbar was a milk-plus mesto, and you may, O my brother, have forgotten what these mestos where like things changing so skorry these days and everybody very quick to forget, newspaper not being read much neither. Well, what they sold there was milk plus something else. They had no license for selling liquor, but there was no law yet against prodding some of the some of the new veshches which they would put into the old moloko, so you could peet it with vellocet or synthemesc or drencrom or one or two other veshches which would give you a nice quiet horrorshow fifteen minutes admiring Bog And All His Holy Angels And Saints in your left shoe with lights bursting all over your mozg. Or you could peet it with knives in it, as we use to say, and this would sharpen you up and make you ready for a bit of dirty twenty-to-one, and that was what we were peeting this evening I’m starting off the story with.

23. In Summary Despite the apparent, incredible variety of sentence structure in any one language, not to mention the 5200+ languages around the world, syntax in all human languages is realized by the simultaneous work of three systems: the lexicon word order inflectional morphology

24. ‘Doing Syntax; Doing Linguistics’ In a literal way, syntax -- like all of linguistics -- is something we do. We do linguistics every time we make or decode a sentence. Despite the enormous variety of human language, we make or decode every linguistic act with just a few elements: those elements are used in a system and we recognize the patterns. Doing linguistics is learning to see and understand those patterns of human language.

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