204 notes - LIN204H1S English Grammar Todays agenda -...

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1 January 8, 2009 LIN204H1S English Grammar Today’s agenda - Syllabus - What is it to study grammar? - Linguistic approach to language; prescriptive vs. descriptive grammar - Variation and standard dialect - Syntactic categories, Parts of speech - Morphology - Constituency - Summary, questions January 8, 2009 Why study grammar? Native speakers of a language make grammatical sentences without any difficulty. January 8, 2009 Why study grammar? Native speakers of a language make grammatical sentences without any difficulty. They make: The water is boiling. They never make: The water boiling is. January 8, 2009 Why study grammar? Native speakers of a language make grammatical sentences without any difficulty. Native speakers ‘know’ intuitively what is and is not an acceptable sentence in their language. January 8, 2009 Why study grammar? Native speakers of a language make grammatical sentences without any difficulty. Native speakers ‘know’ intuitively what is and is not an acceptable sentence in their language. A theory of sentence structure, called syntax, needs to account for certain facts about those sentences that native speakers do, and do not, create. January 8, 2009 Q1. Why are some sequences of words grammatical and not others? (1) a. The excited child chased the new puppy around the garden. b. *The excited child the new puppy chased around the garden. c. * The excited child chased the new puppy the garden around. *: ungrammatical, unacceptable, impossible
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2 January 8, 2009 Note: A grammatical sentence with respect to word order does not need to make sense . (2) Colourless green ideas sleep furiously. January 8, 2009 Q2. Words are finite, but an infinite number of sentences can be generated. How is this possible? (3) a. Linguistics is fun. b. Linguistics is really fun. c. Linguistics is really, really fun. d. Linguistics is really, really, really fun. e. Linguistics is really, really, really fun, but it is hard. f. I think that linguistics is really, really, really fun, but it is hard. g. You’ve heard that I think that linguistics is really, really, really fun, but it is hard. January 8, 2009 Q3. Why do sentences have the meanings that they have, and not other conceivable meanings? (4) Heidi bopped her on the head with a zucchini. her cannot refer to the same person as Heidi. (5) The woman saw the soldiers with the binoculars. This sentence is ambiguous: The woman used the binoculars to see the solders. The woman saw the soldiers who had the binoculars. January 8, 2009 Q4. How do children acquire the complex computational system without necessarily being explicitly taught? In this course, we learn to answer these questions (not much Q4, though). In other words, we look at English data
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This note was uploaded on 01/19/2010 for the course LINGUISTIC LIN204 taught by Professor Mayami during the Winter '09 term at University of Toronto.

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204 notes - LIN204H1S English Grammar Todays agenda -...

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