2. Basic Syntactic Structures of English
2. Basic Syntactic Structures of English CSCI GA-2590
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Abhishek Notetaker on Sunday January 31, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to CSCI GA-2590 at NYU School of Medicine taught by Dr. Ralph Grishman in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 11 views. For similar materials see Natural Language Processing in ComputerScienence at NYU School of Medicine.
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Date Created: 01/31/16
Basic Syntactic Structures of English • Goal of syntactic analysis: figure out who did what to whom • Goal of this lecture: introduce terminology for discussing different syntactic structures Parts of Speech: • Indicates the roles a word may play in a sentence • Major parts of speech – noun, verb, adjective, adverb [open classes] – pronoun, preposition, conjunction [closed classes] • Simple tests for each part of speech • The same word may have several parts of speech – common in English Nouns: • can form plural and/or possessive – cat à cats, cat’s • countable nouns vs. mass nouns – singular countable nouns must appear with a determiner: • Cats sleep. • * Cat sleeps. • The cat sleeps. • can form plural and/or possessive – cat à cats, cat’s • countable nouns vs. mass nouns – singular countable nouns must appear with a determiner: • Cats sleep. *indicates this is not a grammatical sentence • * Cat sleeps. • The cat sleeps. • can form plural and/or possessive – cat à cats, cat’s • countable nouns vs. mass nouns – singular countable nouns must appear with a determiner(mainly articles (“a”, “the”) and possessive pronouns (“my”, “his”)): • Cats sleep. • * Cat sleeps. • The cat sleeps. Verbs: • Most verbs can appear in “They must _____ (it).” • Verbs can occur in different (inflected) forms: • base or infinitive ("be", "eat", "sleep") • present tense ("is", "am", "are"; "eats", "eat"; "sleeps", "sleep") • past tense ("was", "were"; "ate"; "slept") • present participle ("being", "eating"; "sleeping") • past participle ("been", "eaten"; "slept") Adjectives: • Adjectives can appear in comparative or superlative forms: – happy à happier, happiest • and with an intensifier: – happy à very happy Adjectives vs Nouns: • we will not consider a word an adjective just because it appears as a modifier to the left of a noun: “the brick wall” most nouns can appear in this position Adverbs: • Can move within sentence: • He ate the brownie quickly. • He quickly ate the brownie. • Quickly, he ate the brownie. Personal Pronouns: • personal pronouns occur in nominative (“I”, “he”) and accusative (“me”, “him”) – last remaining evidence of case in English Phrases: • phrases can be classified by head • part of speech of the main word • syntactic role in sentence “The young cats drink milk.” noun phrase verb phrase subject predicate Verb complements: • Verbs must be followed by particular grammatical structures appropriate to the verb (the verb complement): • noun phrase: I served a brownie. adjective phrase: I remained very rich. prepositional phrase: I looked at Fred. particles: He looked up the number. • some verbs can occur without any explicit complement (“I died.”) These are intransitive. Prepositions vs Particles: • a particle can change places with the NP: He looked up the number. He looked the number up. • a preposition must precede the NP: He walked into the room. * He walked the room into. • Why do we care about distinguishing prepositions from particles? • The two constructs may have very different meanings • This is evident in ambiguous examples • He looked up the street Clausal complements: • The complement of a verb can itself be a complete sentence: “I dreamt that I won a million brownies.” Adjuncts vs complements: • A verbal modifier (“adjunct”) can be deleted without changing the basic meaning of a sentence: – He treated her in his office. – Deleting a complement generally changes the basic meaning: – He treated her as an equal. • adjuncts and complements may also have different readings: • He seemed to please his teacher [complement] • He appeared to please his teacher [ambiguous] • He disappeared to please his teacher [adjunct] Noun Phrase structure: • A noun may be modified on the left by: – determiner quantifier adjective noun “the five shiny tin cans” • and on the right by • prepositional phrases the man in the moon – apposition Scott, the Arctic explorer, – and relative clauses Relative Clauses: • A relative clause is like a sentence with a missing NP: the man who ate the popcorn the popcorn which the man ate • The gap can be filled in with the head of the larger NP: the man such that [the man] ate the popcorn the popcorn such that the man ate [the popcorn] Reduced Relatives: • A relative clause with a form of “be” can be further shortened: a man such that the man is eating a brownie à a man who is eating a brownie à a man eating a brownie Conjunctions: Co–ordinate conjunctions (and, or) are unusual in that they combine with several different parts of speech: – noun: I like ham and cheese. – verb: I prepared and ate the sandwich. – adjective: It is hot and humid. – adverb: He approached quickly and quietly. English vs other languages: Problems we avoid by focus on English: • text segmented into words • need segmentation stage for Japanese, Chinese • limited morphology • can enter all word forms in dictionary • inflectional morphology relatively simple – verb tenses, singular / plural • some derivational morphology – nominalization (destroy à destruction) • relatively fixed word order • freer word order in languages with case marking
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