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Richard Hudson Budapest, March 2012. Word order without phrases (Introduction to Word Grammar). Plan. Dependency or phrase structure? Rich dependencies Word order, dependencies and landmarks Default inheritance Landmark raising and lowering Pied-piping Conclusion.

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slide2
Plan
  • Dependency or phrase structure?
  • Rich dependencies
  • Word order, dependencies and landmarks
  • Default inheritance
  • Landmark raising and lowering
  • Pied-piping
  • Conclusion
1 dependency or phrase structure
1. Dependency or phrase structure?

A phrase-structure analysis:

Small children use short sentences.

Small children use short sentences

use short sentences

small children

short sentences

a dependency structure
A dependency structure

'stemma' notation(Tesnière)

'arrow' notation (Word Grammar)

Small children use short sentences.

object

adjunct

subject

adjunct

history and geography
History and geography
  • Phrase structure
    • Since 1930
    • USA (Bloomfield – Chomsky)
  • Dependency structure
    • Since at least 9th Century?
    • Europe+
    • Basis for most school grammar
why phrase structure
Why phrase structure?
  • Why not recognise direct word-word relations?
    • academic tradition in the USA
  • Cognitively, this restriction is very implausible.
    • Compare social structure!
for example a kinship network
For example, a kinship network

Gretta

son

brother

mother

husband

Colin

me

Gaynor

brother

wife

daughter

daughter

grandson

Lucy

son

Peter

moreover words are like other actions
Moreover, words are like other actions
  • Actions aim to solve problems
    • and sub-problems
      • and sub-problems of sub-problems
  • Notice:
    • asymmetrical relations ('dependencies')
    • ordering in time
slide9

Opening a door

insert the key

turn the key

remove the key

open the door

find the key

slide10

Dependents as sub-solutions

  • Task: Say that small babies cry.
    • Solution: Say cry, but specify 'small babies'.
  • Sub-task: Specify 'small babies'?
    • Solution: Add babies before, but specify 'small'.
  • Sub-task: Specify 'small'?
    • Solution: Add small.

cry

small

babies

2 rich dependencies
2. Rich dependencies
  • Relations among words are too rich for stemma notation because of:
  • Interdependencies
    • impossible in phrase structure
  • Multiple dependencies
interdependencies
Interdependencies

Consider: Who came?

  • Who depends (as subject) on came.
  • But came depends (as complement) on who.
    • I wonder who/*he came.
    • Someone came. I wonder who.

Who came?

complement

subject

multiple dependencies raising
Multiple dependencies: raising

Consider: It was raining.

  • It depends (as subject) on was.
  • But it also depends (as subject) on raining.
    • RAIN selects it as its subject.

It was raining.

Has no effect on word order.

subject

subject

predicate

3 word order and dependencies
3. Word order and dependencies
  • Dependencies typically restrict word order
  • e.g. children play, not: *play children.
  • But some dependencies have no effect on word order
    • e.g. It (was) raining.

subject

subject

subject

how to model word order mentally
How to model word order mentally
  • In our minds, there is no left-right order.
    • Mental space is just a network.
  • Order (in place or in time) is a relation.
    • e.g. 'before' or 'after'
  • Order relates:
    • a 'trajector' (subordinate)
    • to its 'landmark' (superior)
      • Langacker
landmarks and sub tasks
Landmarks and sub-tasks
  • In general we solve sub-tasks before returning to the super-task
  • So a sub-task's landmark is the super-task
  • So the sub-task takes its position from the super-task
    • so sub-tasks stay next to their super-task.
similarly with words
Similarly with words
  • A word's landmark is the word on which it depends (its 'parent')
    • i.e. its 'super-task'
  • So a word stays next to its parent.
  • Hence: 'phrasal glue'
phrasal glue
Phrasal glue
  • Good: I like red wine.
  • Bad: *I red like wine.
  • Why?
    • Because red isn't next to its landmark, wine.
    • Shown by crossing lines.
notation for landmarks
Notation for landmarks
  • Typical dependencies match landmarks.

A B

  • These dependencies are above the words.
  • Others are below the words.
  • x

landmark

dependent

two examples
Two examples

predicate

  • It was raining.
  • What do you think we should do?

subject

'surface structure'

'deep structure'

subject

summary so far
Summary so far
  • A word has one parent
    • but: roots have no parent
    • and: raised, extracted words have >1 parent
  • A word's parent is its landmark
    • but: if a word has >1 parent, only one is its landmark.
    • this is 'raised', i.e. the highest parent.
4 default inheritance
4. Default inheritance
  • Every concept is in an 'is-a' hierarchy
    • e.g. penguin is-a bird is-a creature is-a …..
  • By default, properties are inherited from higher concepts.
  • But exceptions are allowed.
    • e.g. A bird flies.
    • BUT: A penguin doesn't fly.
    • x
exceptional words may
Exceptional words may …
  • reverse the default order
    • e.g. are they for they are
  • have a non-landmark parent
    • e.g. it … raining
  • have a 'lowered' landmark
  • have a parent but no landmark
  • x
reversing the default order
Reversing the default order
  • An English word's dependent is after it.
  • A verb's subject is before it.
  • An interrogative auxiliary verb's subject is after it.

is in London

he is

is he

5 landmark raising and lowering
5. Landmark raising and lowering
  • Landmark raising

A B C

  • Landmark lowering

A B C

winner

winner

landmark lowering
Landmark lowering
  • Landmarks are usually 'raised'
    • if: W has two parents P1, P2
    • and P1 depends on P2
    • then: W's landmark is P2, not P1
  • But there are exceptions
  • Thanks to default inheritance.
german partial vp fronting
German Partial VP fronting
  • Eine Concorde ist hier nie gelandet.

A Concorde is here never landed

  • Eine Concorde gelandet ist hier nie.
6 pied piping
6. Pied-piping

Thanks to András Imrényi!

  • e.g. With whom does he live?
  • Whom is extracted to the front
  • But whom depends on with
    • whom allows its parent to have no landmark
    • so it takes ('pied-pipes') with to the front.

With whom does he live?

conclusions
Conclusions
  • Word order can be predicted from:
    • dependency structure, plus
    • landmark structure, plus
    • default inheritance
  • This is better than phrases because:
    • it gives enough flexibility for language data
    • it uses the full power of the human mind.
    • x
thank you
Thank you
  • This slideshow can be downloaded:
  • www.phon.ucl.ac.ak/home/dick/talks.htm
  • More on Word Grammar:
  • www.phon.ucl.ac.ak/home/dick/wg.htm