ch04_summary - Chapter 4 The Structure of Language Goals To...

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Chapter 4: The Structure of Language Goals: To be familiar with the basic concepts of Syntax (in boldface throughout this page) To be familiar with the uses of Syntax: what can we do with Syntax? To be familiar with the PS rules and transformations used in the lecture. o To be able to diagram a sentence as a structure tree. o To be able to show the movement in a transformation using traces and indexes. To be familiar with subcategorization . Basic Concepts: The basic object of study in Syntax is the phrase . A phrase consists of at least one word, and usually several words, which are organized into a hierarchical tree . Relationships between different objects in a tree can be described using specialized terms. For example, consider the following tree: S NP1 VP N V NP2 In this tree, S immediately dominates the nodes NP1 and VP. We can therefore say that NP1 and VP are sisters (they are both immediately dominated by the same node, S). S also dominates N, V, and NP2. Because S does not immediately dominate all of these nodes, we cannot say that they are all sisters. However, V and NP2 are sisters (they are both immediately dominated by the same node, VP). We call the relationship of immediate domination " motherhood " and can therefore say that S is the mother of NP1 and VP (which can be called the daughters of S). The different objects that occur in syntax are called categories . Syntactic categories are ways of classifying words or groups of words according to their syntactic properties. Categories come in two major types: lexical categories and phrasal categories . Lexical categories are types of words, such as V (erb), N (oun), Adv (erb), Adj (ective), P (reposition), Det (erminer), Comp (lementizer), Art (icle), et cetera. Some lexical categories are called " contentful " (e.g. V, N, Adv, Adj), while others are " functional " (e.g. P, Det, Art, Comp). Phrasal Categories, however, are types of word groups, such as S (entence), NP (hrase), VP , PP , CP (complement phrase), etc. In the case of NPs, VPs, and PPs, the phrase has a head which is the core part of the phrase and is a lexical category that matches the phrasal category (i.e. the lexical category that tells you what kind of phrasal category you have is the head). What does Syntax let us do? Syntax allows us to account for a variety of phenomena in human language. Among other things, it allows us to explain: Structural ambiguity ungrammaticality meaning relations between parts of a phrase structural paraphrases relationships between sentences
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This note was uploaded on 04/13/2009 for the course LING 101 taught by Professor Nicholson during the Fall '08 term at University of Delaware.

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ch04_summary - Chapter 4 The Structure of Language Goals To...

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