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GPSG, HPSG, LFG. Jack Hoeksema. Syntax in the 1970’s. Rapid growth of transformations: Movement : Wh-movement, relativisation, topicalization, V2, Subject-Aux inversion, Extraposition, Passivization, Raising to Subject, Raising to Object, Verb Raising,Quantifier Raising, clitic movement, etc.

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gpsg hpsg lfg

GPSG, HPSG, LFG

Jack Hoeksema

syntax in the 1970 s
Syntax in the 1970’s

Rapid growth of transformations:

Movement: Wh-movement, relativisation, topicalization, V2, Subject-Aux inversion, Extraposition, Passivization, Raising to Subject, Raising to Object, Verb Raising,Quantifier Raising, clitic movement, etc.

Deletion: Gapping, RNR, conjunction reduction, VP-deletion, have/be deletion, complementizer deletion, Equi-NP deletion

leading to
Leading to
  • Complex derivations, reaching their apex in generative semantics, with extremely abstract underlying structures related to surface forms by a multitude of transformations
e g postal 1970 on the surface verb remind
E.g. Postal 1970‘On the surface verb remind’
  • me PERCEIVE [Larry SIMILAR Winston Churchill] =>

Larry reminds me of Winston Churchill

emonds 1970 and 1976
Emonds 1970 and 1976
  • Limit the possibilities of transformations
  • Structure-preserving transformations only
  • So: no tree-pruning, nor tree-building by means of transformations
brame 1976 conjectures and refutations in syntax and semantics
Brame 1976: Conjectures and Refutations in Syntax and Semantics
  • Chain of mutually dependent transformations: Equi-NP deletion, passive, raising to object
  • If one falls, so will the others
  • Making the transformational theory a house of cards
bresnan 1978 realistic syntax
Bresnan 1978: Realistic syntax
  • Problem with 1960’s transformational syntax was lack of psycholinguistic support
  • The theory of derivational complexity had fallen apart: it does not predict order of acquisition, nor ease of computation
  • A more realistic theory would not use transformations in a model of online production
slide9
Cf. Joan Bresnan, 1978, “A Realistic Transformational Grammar,” in Morris Halle, Joan Bresnan, and George A.Miller, eds., Linguistic Theory and Psychological Reality, The MIT Press, (pp. 1-59).
local transformations or base structure
Local transformations or base structure?
  • John was rescued by Mary

< Mary rescued John (transformation)

  • John was rumoured to be gay

(*they rumour John to be gay)

  • *A Toyota was had by John

(< John had a Toyota)

  • Alternative: two base structures
the main problem
The main problem
  • Long distance movement
  • Could not be done away by nontransformational means in the same way as the local transformations
gazdar 1979 1981
Gazdar 1979 (=1981)
  • Long-distance dependencies without movement by recursive feature-passing
gpsg generalized phrase structure grammar
GPSG: Generalized Phrase Structure Grammar
  • Let G be a context-free grammar
  • For each rule A -> B C add new rules

A/D -> B C/D and A/D -> B/D C (metarule)

  • And as well as: X/X -> [e] (for all X) (slash termination)
  • And: S -> XP S/XP (slash introduction)
bonus
Bonus
  • Coordinate Structure Constraint for free
  • No need for Across-the-Board convention
  • Beans, I like but Mary despises.
  • *Beans, I like salad but Mary despises.
recursive feature passing needed elsewhere in the grammar
Recursive feature passing needed elsewhere in the grammar
  • E.g. [+rel]:
  • The boy who stole the bike
  • The boy whose brother stole the bike
  • The boy whose brother’s girlfriend stole the bike
  • All bikes the colour of the handlebars of which is blue
  • The boy about whose brother we are speaking
similarities with slash
Similarities with slash
  • The boy whose brother and whose sister were abducted
  • *The boy whose brother and Jim were abducted
properties of gpsg
Properties of GPSG
  • Heavy use of features
  • Metarules, next to regular PS rules
  • Later stages: separation of Immediate Dominance from Linear Precedence
  • General feature passing mechanisms:

Head Feature Convention and Foot Feature Principle

separating id from lp
Separating ID from LP
  • PP -> P NP (in the car)
  • PP -> P PP (from behind the car)
  • VP -> V NP (drive the car)
  • VP -> V PP (drive into the garage)

Or:

XP -> X, YP (ID) and X < YP (LP)

slide26
Note:
  • Not all features “count” for coordination, only foot features do
  • Masculine + feminine is OK (la femme et l’homme sont venus)
  • Singular + plural is OK (the boy and the girls are in the yard)
  • First and second person is OK (Me and you, we are a good team)
later developments
Later developments
  • HPSG: Head-driven phrase structure grammar (1984 – 2005), deriving from the dissertation of Carl Pollard
  • Adopts the idea from categorial grammar that PS-rules can be discarded because the selection information of lexical heads predicts phrase structure
  • Is used frequently in computational linguistics
lfg lexical functional grammar
LFG: Lexical Functional Grammar
  • Joan Bresnan
  • 1980-2005
properties
Properties
  • Two levels of structure
  • C-structure (tree)
  • F-structure (representation of grammatical functions)
  • Mappings between C-structure and F-structure