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Introduction to Syntax

by: Americo Abshire

Introduction to Syntax LINGUIST 401

Americo Abshire
GPA 3.52

Rajesh Bhatt

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Rajesh Bhatt
Class Notes
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This 9 page Class Notes was uploaded by Americo Abshire on Friday October 30, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to LINGUIST 401 at University of Massachusetts taught by Rajesh Bhatt in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 15 views. For similar materials see /class/232235/linguist-401-university-of-massachusetts in Linguistics at University of Massachusetts.


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Date Created: 10/30/15
Introduction to Syntax LINGUIST 401 Feb 1 2005 Constituency Categories and Phrase Structure Rules 1 Constituency Beyond knowing that certain sequences of words are English I The astronomer frequently gave some very long books about comets to her student and that certain others aren t Astronomer her the frequently books very comets about student to long gave we have an intuition that certain sequences of words go together 2 a the astronomer b some very long books about comets c to her student but others don t 3 a astronomerfrequently b comets to her c gave some very This grouping ofwords that syntax imposes is called constituency 4 Constituent A group of words that functions together as a unit 2 Categories Another kind of knowledge that we have about sentences is that words can be grouped together according to what kinds of words they are 5 Traditional Parts of Speech a Nouns b Verbs c Adjectives d Prepositions Other categories that we might need 6 3 a Determiners b Adverbs c Degree 1 Complementizers maybe also pronouns Meaning versus Form a The eradication of malaria was an important landmark b Sincerity seems to have become uncool Multiple uses a That man will man the watchtower b The rich are different c Verbing weirds language Calvin amp Hobbes New words The yinkish dripner blorked quasto cally into the nindin with the pidibs 3 Phrase Structure Rules and Trees Basic Schema XPHXYZ 10 Noun Phrases John comets E 0 the astronomer P the big box of crayons fl the big yellow box of cookies With the pink lid 1 l Adjective Phrases a the thin exciting book b the very exciting book 12 Prepositional Phrases a about comets b With an axe c in the garden 13 14 Verb Phrases a lan left b lan left quickly 0 lan often left quickly fl lan read a book in the garden 57 Ian read a book in the garden for an hour Clauses lan left 5 0 Fortunately lan left 9 Ian might leave fl lan said that he might leave That lan has left is certain 57 Introduction to Syntax LINGUIST 401 Feb 10 2005 Categories 1 Major lexical categories of English c N0un dog book jelly sincerity chaos o Preposition in on among away atop under until o Verb run play contemplate parse o Adjective happy tired orange crucial scared o Determiner the every all a most many few o Adverb happily tiredly crucially often sometimes 2 The big questions What distinguishes each of these categories from the others N Does linguistic theory need to recognize each of these categories as primitives A Are these categories universal A Are there other categories than these U l 3 Exploring the big questions Below are a number of tests that purport to distinguish each of the above categories from the others When using the tests it is vital to ask 0 Does this test uniquely identify the word class in question from all others 0 If it does not uniquely identify the word class in question then which classes does it distinguish among 0 Do all the words in this word class pass the test or do only some of them pass the test How do these categories combine with each other to form phrases 4 Nouns 0 Can in ect for number singularplural 0 Can in ect for gender 0 Cannot have noun phrase sisters 0 Can be modi ed by adjectives o Meaningful countmass distinction 0 Very open class of lexical items new nouns appear all the time and it is possible to coin new ones whenever we want 5 Verbs 0 Can in ect for tense 0 Can in ect for aspect eg the progressive form running formed with the suf x ring Q Can immediately follow a modal verb can could shall should may might and perhaps others 6 Adjectives 0 Can be modi ed by adverbs Q Can be modi ed by very 0 Can modify nouns 0 Can be in ected for the comparative er and the superlative rest Q Can appear immediately following seem appear and become 7 Prepositions 0 Can be modi ed by right 0 Seem to form a closed class that is new prepositions emerge relatively rarely and it is almost impossible to coin new ones Q Can appear next to the verb journey and head journey to the store journey into work journey the store 8 Determiners Q Can immediately precede the phrase other poem or other poems 0 Form a closed Class 0 Affect the singularplural marking on their associated nouns 9 Adverbs 0 End in 71y 0 Modify adjectives


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