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SYNTAX. Introduction to Linguistics. BASIC IDEAS. What is a sentence?. Grammaticality. Grammatical vs. ungrammatical well formed vs. ill formed words must conform to specific patterns determined by the syntactic rules of the language based on syntactic rules NOT based on

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syntax

SYNTAX

Introduction to Linguistics

grammaticality
Grammaticality
  • Grammatical vs. ungrammatical
    • well formed vs. ill formed
    • words must conform to specific patterns determined by the syntactic rules of the language
  • based on
    • syntactic rules
  • NOT based on
    • what is taught in school
    • whether it is meaningful
    • whether you have heard the sentences before.
phrasal categories
Phrasal categories
  • Verb phrase (VP)
  • Noun phrase (NP)
  • Prepositional phrase (PP)
phrase structure ps rules
Phrase structure (PS) rules
  • What are PS rules?
    • How words of different parts of speech are connected.
  • Different languages have different PS rules
    • English
      • An adjective is placed before a noun.
        • A beautiful woman
    • French
      • An adjective is placed either before or after a noun.
      • Une belle femme ‘a beautiful woman’
      • Une femme fatale ‘an attractive woman’
writing ps rules
Writing PS Rules
  • Books
    • NP->N
    • Read: An NP is composed of a noun.
  • A book
    • NP -> Det N
  • John’s book
    • NP -> Pos N
  • Good books; a good book
    • NP -> Det Adj N
    • NP -> Adj N
    • NP -> (Det) (adj) N
  • Books on the table
    • NP -> N (PP)
  • The PS rule of an NP
    • NP -> (Det) (adj) N (PP)
phrase structure ps rules in english
Phrase structure (PS) rules in English
  • NP -> (Det) (adj) N (PP)
  • NP -> Pronoun
  • VP -> ?
  • AP -> ?
  • PP -> ?
  • CP -> COMP (that) S
    • COMP: complementizer=that, if, unless
  • S -> ?
phrase structure ps rules in english1
Phrase structure (PS) rules in English
  • NP -> (Det) (adj) N (PP)
  • NP -> pronoun
  • VP -> V (NP) (PP) (CP)
  • AP -> Adj (PP)
  • PP -> P NP
  • CP -> COMP (that) S
    • COMP: complementizer=that, if, unless
  • S -> NP (Aux) VP
a tree diagram
A Tree Diagram

S

VP

NP

NP

Det

N

PP

V

Det

N

P

N

The

boy

from Taiwan

knew

the

answer

what does a tree diagram show
What does a tree diagram show?
  • Speakers’ syntactic knowledge of sentence structure
    • the linear order of the words
    • the categorization of words into particular syntactic categories (i.e. constituents)
    • the hierarchical structure of the syntactic categories
grow your own trees
Grow your own trees.

The sun melted the ice.

A fast car with twin cams sped by the children on the grassy lane.

The boy put the toy in the box.

The reporter realized that the senator lied.

A stranger whispered to the Soviet agent on the corner that a dangerous spy from the CIA loved coffee.

what can tree diagrams explain
What can tree diagrams explain?
  • Structural ambiguity
  • long-distance relationships
structural ambiguity
Structural ambiguity
  • A sentence may have two interpretations due to different structural compositions of constituents.
  • Example :
    • The boy left Mary with a broken heart.
structural ambiguity1
Structural ambiguity

S

NP

VP

Det

N

NP

V

N

PP

P

NP

The

boy

left

Mary

with

a broken heart

structural ambiguity 2
Structural ambiguity (2) **更正**

S

NP

VP

Det

N

NP

V

PP

N

NP

P

left

The

boy

Mary

with

a broken heart

long distance relationships the guy who has two houses and three cars seem seems kind of cute
Long-distance relationships-The guy who has two houses and three cars (seem, seems) kind of cute.
how do we know that it is a constituent
How do we know that it is a constituent?
  • The substitution test
    • Mr. Smith asked the students to leave.
    • Mr. Smith asked them to leave.
  • Clefts: It is/was X that Y
    • It was in this house [PP] that they had a party _____[PP].
    • *It was this house [NP/PP?] that they had a party in _____[PP].
  • The movement test
    • They had a party in the house [PP].
    • In the house [PP] they had a party.
  • The coordination/conjunction test
    • They went into the bookstore [VP] and bought a book [VP].
    • *They went into the bookstore [VP] and a book [NP].