anth 4 reader 4

anth 4 reader 4 - FILE 5.4 .‘u. "um-I...

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Unformatted text preview: FILE 5.4 .‘u. "um-I "an-"mud." ....fl‘""m-muuuflu-D" Morphological Processes n the previous files of this section on morphology, we have been looking at how words and grammatical forms of words are put together. We have seen that English makes use of derivational affixes to create more words than would exist with only free morpheme; Of course, English is not the only language that enlarges its vocabulary in this way. When linguists observe a language which uses affixation to form additional words, they note that the occurring combinations are systematic, i.e., rule-governed, as we have certainly seeni _ the case in English (recall that the prefix re— takes only verbs as input, and the suffix -able It? produces only adjectives as output}. Because these combinations are rule~governed, we can - say that a process is at work, namely, a word formation process, since new words or forms of words are being formed. What we will consider in this file are the ways in which languages create new words from existing words, and the grammatical forms of words. (See Files 12.6 and 12.7 for still more ways in which new words come into use in a language.) Before describing some of the word formation processes found in the world’s lan— _ guages, we must first address the question, In what sense is it meant that new words are t _ being “formed”? [)0 we mean that every time a speaker uses a morphologically complex ' word, the brain reconstructs it? Some linguists would maintain that this is the case. They would Claim that in a speaker’s mental dictionary, the lexicon, each morpheme is listed in— dividually, along with other information such as its meaning, its part of speech (if a free morpheme}, and possibly a rule naming its input and Output partis} of speech, if it is a bound morpheme. Thus, each time a word is used, it is re—fonned from the separate entries in the lexicon. There is evidence, however, that indicates this is not actually the case; even morphologically complex words apparently have a separate entry in the adult lexicon. Even if language users do not ‘build’ morphologically complex words and word- forms every time they use them, there are other reasons, though, to consider derivation a process of word formation. In the context of the description of a language, the term formation refers to the systematic relationships between roots and words derived from them, on the one hand, and between a word and its various inflected, i.e., grammatical, forms, on the other. Speakers of a given language, however, are also often aware of these relation— ' b_ ships. We see evidence of this when new words are formed based on patterns that exist in the lexicon. For example, a speaker of English may never have heard words such as irrrsmelly, smellness, or smellfirl before, but he or she would certainly understand what they mean. The word stick—to-it-ive—ness causes some prescriptivists to wail: why create this new word when a perfectly good word, perseverance, already exists? This word illustrates that 156 File 5.4 Morphological Processes keg, of a language have no problem accessing the patterns in their lexicons and ' g them for new creations or for interpreting unfamiliar words. Rules that speakers actually apply to form words that are not currently in use in a ' . age are termed productive rules. English has examples of nonproductive morphemes wen; for example, the suffix wtion is generally not used by speakers to form new nouns, Hereas the suffix «ness is. Over long periods of time, different affixes or other morpho- ggical processes may become more or less productive (see File 12.6). There was a time in cent American popular usage when the suffix -age (as in established lexical items mile and roughage) was applied productively to roots from several part of speech classes to 1m new nouns meaning “some unspecified amount of (root) ”, for example beemge ‘some " aunt of been’ spoilage ‘some amount of spoiled material,’ tun(e)age ‘some amount of music gs)’, and so on. These words arefwere acceptable on a socially and perhaps regionally ted basis, that is, they are not equally known to or used by all speakers of English. In a my, therefore, productivity in word formation is somewhat analogous to fads and fashion, that new items are introduced in particular groups or communities, and these may or _ 'y not spread and become popular in the wider population of consumers (in this case, 'anguage users). tion 0 this point, our morphological discussion has been limited to the process of afiixation. Although English uses only prefixes and suffixes, many other languages use infixes as well. xes are inserted within the root morpheme. Note that English really has no infixes. At first glance, some students think that -fiil in a word like doubtfiilly is an infix because it occurs in the middle of a word. However, if we examine the hierarchical structure of the word (see the diagram below), we find that the -ly suffix attaches not to the affix fill but rather to a complete word, doubtful. Thus -ful attaches to the word doubt as a suffix and does not in fact break up the root morpheme doubt. Adi /\ dOubt ful Tagalog, one of the major languages of the Philippines, uses infixes quite extensively. For example, the infix ~um- is used to form the infinitive form of verbs: Verb stem Infinitive sulat ‘write’ sumulat ‘to write’ bili ‘buy’ bumili ‘to buy’ kuha ‘take, get’ kumuha ‘to take, to get’ ' @mpounding Compounding is a process that forms new words not by means of affixes but from two or more independent words. The words that are the parts of the compound can be free morphemes, words derived by affixation, or even words formed by compounding them- selves. Examples in English of these three types include: 158 Morphology girlfriend air-conditioner lifeguard chair blackbird looking-glass aircraft carrier textbook watch-maker life—insurance salesman Notice that in English compound words are not represented consistently in writing Sometimes they are written together, sometimes they are written with a hyphen, and some. times they are written separately. We know, however, that compounding forms words an not just syntactic phrases, regardless of how the compound is spelled, because the stres patterns are different for compounds. Think about how you would say the words red neck in each of the two following sentences: 1. The wool sweater gave the man a red neck. 2. If you want to make Tirn really angry, call him a redneck. Compounds that have words in the same order as phrases have primary stress on the? first word only, while individual words in phrases have independent primary stress. Som other examples are listed below. (Primary stress is indicated by ' on the vowel.) Compounds Phrases blackbird black bird makeup make up Other compounds can have phrasal stress patterns, but only if they can’t pessiny be phrases. These same compounds might also have stress on the first word only, like other '3 compounds. For example: Compounds Phrases easy-going easy-gomg man~made man- made homemade ho mern ade German is one of the many other languages that use compounding to form new words. Some examples of the numerous compounds in German are: Muttersprache ‘native language’ < ’motherlanguage' Schreibtisch ‘desk' < ’writing table’ stehenbleiben ‘stand (still)’ < ‘stay remain’ Wunderkind 'child prodigy" < ’miracle child’ Geschwindigkeitsbegrenzung ‘speed limit' < 'speedlimit' c. Reduplication Reduplication is a process of forming new words either by doubling an entire free If; morpheme (total reduplication) or part of it (partial reduplication). Engngh makes no . systematic use of reduplication, but other languages do make sometimes extensive use of - reduplication. Indonesian uses total reduplication to form the plurals of nouns: Singular Plural rumah ‘house’ rumahrumah ‘houses’ iliu ’mother' ibuibu ‘rnothers’ laiat ’tly’ lalatlalat ‘flies’ rds if 1e stress" red neck; 3 on the is. Some arm 112W File 5.4 Morphological Processes 159 Tagalog, on the other hand, uses partial reduplication to indicate the future tense of verbs: Verb stem Future tense bili ‘buy’ bibili ‘will buy’ kain ‘eat’ kakain ‘will eat’ pasok ‘enter’ papasok ‘will enter’ Notice that the reduplicated piece, the reduplicant, can be described phonologically as the first syllable of the stem. In conjunction with the prefix mag- (which often changes the initial consonant of a following morpheme to a nasal with the same place of articulation as the original initial consonant), Tagalog uses reduplication to derive words for occupations: [mamimili] 'buyer’ < lmag+bi+bilil (cf. [bili] ‘buy’) [manunulat] ‘writer’ < lmag+su+sulatl (cf. [sulat} ‘write’) [magi’ii’isda] ‘fisherman’ < {man+?i+?isda! (cf. [?isda] ’fish’} Since the phonological content of the reduplicated piece (the reduplicant) depends on the phonological shape of the stem it attaches to, the "morpheme” in reduplication is the presence of the reduplicant, rather than the phonological shape of the reduplicant. ' Altemations Besides adding an affix to a morpheme or copying all or part of the morpheme to make new words or make morphological distinctions, it is also possible to make morpheme- internal modifications, called aiternations. While alternations have to do with the sounds in a particular word pair or larger word set, note that these alternations mark morpho logical distinctions, whereas the rules in the Phonology files (see Files 4.1443) dealt with pronunciation independent of meaning. The following are examples of morphological alternations in English: 1. Although the usual pattern of plural formation is to add an inflectional morpheme, some English plurals make an internal modification: man men [ae] ~ [3} ([ae] alternates with [e] in these forms) woman women [0] - [I] erase gase- [u] ~ [ii foot fgt [U] ~ [1] 2. The usual pattern of past and past participle formation is to add an affix, but some verbs also show an internal alternation: ring rang rung [I] ~ [35‘] " [A] drink drank drunk swim swam swum feed fed fed [iHEi ~lE] hold held held [0] ~ [8] ~ [e1 160 e. Suppletion Morphology Some verbs show both an alternation and the addition of an affix to one form: break broke broken speak spoke spoken bite bit bitten fall fell fallen give gave given 3. Although the above examples are all inflectional, sorn etimes a derivational relation such as a change in part of speech class can be indicated by means of alternations: strife (n) [strait] strive (v) lstrarv] teeth (r1) [tie] teethe (v) {tin} breath (11) [bree] breathe (v) {brie} life (n) [lalt] live (v) {11v} life (n) [laif] live (adj.) [law] Over the years, English has reduced the number and frequency of word-internal morpho. logical markers and has increased the frequency of marking with affixes. From the ex. amples in this section, however, it should be clear that many common words in EngliSh continue to be morphologically marked by means of alternations. Languages that employ morphological processes to form words will usually have a regular, ' productive way of doing so according to one or more of the processes discussed above. They 5 might also have some smaller classes of words that are irregular because they mark the same __- morphological distinction by another of these processes. Sometimes, however, a root will '_‘ have one or more inflected forms which is phonetically unrelated to the shape of the root. 13:: ' This cornpletely irregular situation is called suppletion and usually occurs only in a few -. ."IL words of a language. A small number of English verbs have suppletive past tenses: [wazl was [went] went {aem} am lgol 30 Two common English adiectives have suppletive comparative and superlative forms: [hrstl best [wrst] worst better W0 [‘58 {god} good [bag] It) 33d] b ad [w Ir 5] Note that there is simply no systematic similarity between the stems of these various in- flected forms. Interestingly, verbs derived from the irregularng also show similar suppletion in their past stems: undergo, [past] underwent. A Further Example Any given language will likely have some cxample(s) of suppletion, but these typically con- stitute a minority class within the lexicon. Noun inflection in Classical Arabic provides another example of suppletion: [maflat] ‘woman’ [nisa:?] ‘women' File 5.4 Morphological Processes 161 lusual plural form for Classical Arabic nouns ending in [at], however, involves the r ening of the vowel of this ending (a morphological alternation}: {dirazsat} ’(a) study’ [dirazsa:t] ’studies’ [harakat] ‘movement' iharakan] ’rnovements’ ere are also some irregular plurals of nouns ending in {at} that involve other internal [dgumlat] ‘sentence’ [dgurnal] ‘sentences’ _. [fikrat] ‘thought’ [fikarl ’thoughts’ lorphological Types of Languages \nguages can be classified according to the way in which they put morphemes together form words. There are two basic morphological types, analytic and synthetic, the latter having several subtypes. tic Languages nalytlc languages are so called because they are made up of sequences of free mor- hemes—each word consists of a single morpheme, used by itself with meaning intact. Purely analytic languages, also called isolating languages, do not use prefixes or suffixes to _rnpose words. Semantic and grammatical concepts which are often expressed in other languages (like English) through the use of suffixes are thus expressed in analytic languages by the use of separate words. Mandarin Chinese is an example of a language that has a highly analytic (isolating) structure. In the example sentences below, for instance, the concept of plurality and the concept of a completed action in the past are communicated in Mandarin through the awe of invariant function words rather than the use of a change of form (cf. English, I to we 'to indicate plurality) or the use of a variable affix (cf. English net! for past tense). (1) [wo man tan tcin] (tones omitted) I plural play piano ‘We are playing the piano’ (2) [wo man tan tcin la} (tones omitted) f plural play piano past ‘We played the piano’ Note that the form of ‘we’ (I—plural) that is used in the subject position is [wa man] and that the pronoun has the same form when it is used as the obiect, placed after the verb: (3) [ta da WI) man] (tones omitted) s/he hit(s) l plural ‘the hits us’ Only the position of a word in a sentence shows its function. English is unlike Mandarin in this respect, since the personal pronoun we is changed in form to as when it is used as the object of a verb. But English is like Mandarin in that word order is used to show the '. functions of nouns in a sentence, and in that nouns (unlike pronouns) are not marked by :- affixes to show their functions. For example, in the sentence Tracy likes cats the noun Traqz 152 Morphology functions as the subject and the noun cuts as the direct object, but just the opposite is . ,- of Cats like Tracy; these differences in function are signaled only by the order of words the sentence. b. Synthetic Languages In synthetic languages, affixes or bound morphemes are attached to other morphemes, _ that a word may be made up of several meaningful elements. The bound morphernes ma add another element of meaning to the stern by indicating the grammatical function the stem in a sentence. Recall that the term stem refers to that part of the word to Whi affixes are added. It may consist of one or more morphemes: for instance, in reruns, .3 added to the stem rerun, which is itself made up of two morphernes. Hungarian is a synthetic language. In the examples below, bound morphernes she the grammatical functions of nouns in their sentences: (4) [32 ember lamp 3 kucait] the man sees the dog-( object) ‘The man sees the dog' (5) [3 kuco laxtio oz embert] the dog sees the man-(object) ‘The clog sees the man’ As mentioned above, in English it is the position in the sentence of the noun phrase the man or the dog that tells one whether the phrase is the subject or object of the verb, but in Hungarian a noun or noun phrase may appear either before or after the verb in a sen- tence and be recognized as the subject or object in either position because it is marked with a bound morpherne (the suffix [t]) if it is the direct obiect. (Other synthetic languages behave similarly.) 50 both examples below mean the same thing, even though the position of the noun phrase meaning ‘the man’ is different with respect to the verb meaning ‘sees’. | I ' . i (6) [3 kuco laztp oz embert] i the dog sees the man-(object) “The dog sees the man’ (7} [DZ embert laztia a kuco] the man-(object) sees the dog ‘The dog sees the man’ :\ Synthetic languages like Hungarian also use bound morphernes to indicate some 5 concepts that English signals by means of free morphemes. For example, Hungarian indi- : cates personal possession and location by the use of suffixes attached to the stem (hart, ’house’), whereas in English these concepts are expressed by the use of free morphemes. For example, (8) [3 haizunk zoid] _ the house—our green i ‘Our house is green’ I (9) [a harzad ' fehezr} the house-your white 3, ‘Your house is white’ File 5.4 Morphological Processes 163 (10) [a se:ked 3 ha:zunkbr)n van] the chair-your the house-our—in is ‘Your chair is in our house’ Agglutinating Languages f_ To be more specific, the kind of synthesis (putting together) of morphemes we find in Hungarian is known as agglutination. In agglutinating languages, like Hungarian, the morphemes are joined together relatively “loosely.” That is, it is usually easy to determine where the boundaries between morphemes are, e. g., (1 1) hatz-unk-ban harz-od-ban house—our—in house—your—in " 33' 'in our house’ ’in your house’ (12) hazz—ad hazz-unk Muss-your home-our ‘your house’ ‘our house’ Swahili is another example of an agglutinating language. Swahili verb stems take prefixes to indicate the person of the subject of the verb (first, second, 0r third) and also to indicate the tense of the verb, as in the following list of forms for the verb ’read’. _ (13) ni-na-soma I—present—read ‘I am reading’ .I b {14) u-na-soma you-present-read ‘You are reading’ (15) a-na-soma sfhe-present-read ’5! he is reading’ (16) ni-li-soma I-past~read ‘l was reading’ (1 7) u-li-soma you-past-read ’You were reading’ ' (18) e-li-somrr sr’he-past-read ’5! he was reading’ :ees (19) ni-ta-somn I-tuturevread ‘I will read’ (20) u-ta-soma you~future~read ‘You will read' (21) a-ta-soma stile—future—read ’5! he will read’ A second characteristic feature of agglutinating languages is that each bound mor- pheme carries (ordinarily) only one meaning: m‘ = ‘1’, u = ‘you’, a 2 “she, rm = ‘present’, etc. :t d. Fuswnal Languages _ . i _ In fusional languages, another Subtype ot synthetic language, words are formed by add- - :__ lndl‘ ing bound morphen‘ies to stems, inst as in agglutinating languages, but in fusional lan- :5 I’m-'1’ : guages the affixes may not be easy to separate from the stern. It is often rather hard to tell "1 “195' where one morpheme ends and the next begins; the affixes are characteristically fused with ' ' the stem. Spanish is a fusionai language that has suffixes attached to the verb stem to indicate the person (Ifyoui’hefshei’it) and number (singularfplurai) of the subiect of the verb. It is often difficult to analyze a verb form into its stern and suffix, however, because there is often a fusion of the two morphemes For example, in the forms: (22) habit) ’i am Speaking ' 3._ (23) habit: ’the is speaking’ (24) habit? ‘I spoke’ 154 Morphology these morphemes can be isolated: [~o] first person singular present tense [-a] third person singular present tense [-e] first person singular past tense However, although these forms would suggest a stem habl- that means ‘speak’, such a form never appears in isoiation in Spanish. In the following forms: {25} hablamos “We are speaking’ (26) hablon ‘They are speaking’ where these morphemes can be isolated: [-mos} first person plural present tense [-ri] third person plural present tense it seems possible to say that the verb stem is habla-, to which the suffixes [-mos] and [-n} are .5 added. But in the case of examples (22), (23), and (24) above, it is apparent that if there is a a stern habla-, it has been fused together with the suffixes {-o], [-a], and [-e].1 Fusional languages often differ from agglutinating languages in another way as well: agglutinating languages usually have only one meaning indicated by each affix, as noted above, but in fusional languages a single affix may convey several meanings simultane ously. Russian is a fusional language in which bound morphemes attached to verb stems '- indicate both the person and number of the subject of the verb and the tense of the verb at one and the same time. For example, in the verb form: ' (27) {tfitaiet} ‘sfheis reading’ the bound form [-jet] signifies third person as weii as singular and present tense. In the form: (28) {tjital} “he was reading’ the suffix {-1} means singular, masculine, and past tense, simultaneously. (Compare the Swahili examples above, where person and tense are signaled by separate affixes.) e. Polysyntketic Languages In some synthetic languages, highiy complex words may be formed by combining several stems and affixes; this is usually a matter of making nouns (subjects, objects, etc.) into parts of the verb forms. Sora, a language spoken in India, allows such incorporation of objects (subjects, instruments, etc.) into verbs: (29) [anin 11am - i3 - te - n] he catch fish non-post do ‘He is fish-catching’ i.e.. ‘He is catching fish’ ‘ An alternative analysis to account for the form in example (23) is to posit that httbla— has a “zero-suffix" for 3rd person Singular past tense. File 5.4 Morphological Processes 165 (30) [para - kid - te - n - ai} catch tiger non‘past do first person agent ‘I will tiger-catch’ i.e., ‘I will catch a tiger’ Such verbs are roughly comparable to an English construction like baby-sit or trout-fish, but the polysynthetic constructions may be more complex, including several nouns as well as a variety of other affixes: (31) [p3 - poon- koon - t - am] stab belly knife non-past you(sg.) '(Someone) will stab you with a knife in (your) belly' (32) [pen— ad3 - d3a - dar - si - am] I not receive cooked rice hand you (5g) '1 will not receive cooked rice from your hands' The incorporated or "built-in" form of the noun is not necessarily identical to its free form. In Sora, the free form of 'tiger’ is [kinaL that of ‘hand' is [sti’i], that of ‘knlfe’ is [kondi]. Summary From the discussion we can extract the following statements about language types: 1. Analytic languages build up the meanings of sentences through the use of isolated morphemes. They do not use affixes (prefixes or suffixes). 2. Synthetic languages build up the meanings of sentences by combining free and bound morphemes to make up words. a. Agglurinan‘ng languages are languages in which the affixes can easily be separated from the stems to which they are attached and in which each affix generally conveys only one meaning. b. Fusional languages are languages in which the affixes and the base to which they are attached are fused together in pronunciation as a result of phonological processes or change, and therefore they are not easily separated from one another. In addition, there is generally a fusion of meanings that is represented by the affixes in such languages. c. Polysyntlietfc languages are languages in which several stern forms may be combined (along with affixes) into a single word. Such a word is usually a verb with its associ- ated nouns “built-in" or incorporated, so that the verb alone expresses what seems to us to be about the equivalent of a whole sentence. It is important to note that languages are rarely “pure” types. Although particular languages may tend to be primarily one or another type with respect to morphology, they usually combine elements of a variety of types. 1. Imagine for a moment that fill is an info: in English. How would it attach to a morpheme like hope? like pain? What would the entire words look andlor Sound like? (Focus on the FILE 6.2 ’ Basic Ideas g of Syntax com ID- Inc. .g, and - 1ged. Co -1' Word Order and Meaning The order of words in a sentence or phrase is connected to its literal meaning. Consider the . English sentences in (1). in boldfa': (1) a. The cat is on the mat. b. The mat is on the cat. c. The pig is on the mat. What are the factors that go into determining the meaning of the sentence? One factor is the choice of words, and another is their linear arrangement. There are other factors, which we will come to shortly. What determines the meaning of a sentence? yen thou 1: the selection of words plays a role in determining the literal meaning of the sentence. ifference _ 2: the order of words plays a role in determining the literal meaning of the sentence. 3: [other factors] .tngle st! in a 5111 Does every order of words express some kind of meaning? No. As we can see by rearranging ' 3‘1" mm the words used in (1a), some orders do not make a sentence at all. _wo or m0 5th a 31m : e.- (2) a. *The is cat on the mat. ' Chflptyerm’ b. *Mat on is the cat the mat. entlal m c. *The cat on is the mat. “P hem w d. *The cat on the is mat. :‘Cture ls .. ._ e. *The cat on the mat is. [fferent Sm ' f. *Mat the on is cat the. We represent the impossibility of particular word sequences with the symbol ‘*’. Strings of words that form possible sentences of a language are called grammatical. They conform to the rules of that language. Sentences that are impossible because the words are in the wrong order with respect to one another are called ungrammatical. 18? L_______._Sr2ex___w_._cfi 6.2.2 Ambiguity As indicated above, there is a third factor in determining what a sentence means. Consider the following examples. (3) a. Can you tell me the time? b. We had the president for dinner. c. We need more intelligent administrators. All three sentences are ambiguous—athat is, they have more than one meaning. The first sen. tence is ambiguous because it can be used either as a straightforward question (‘Are you able to tell me the time?’) or as a request for information. We call this pragmatic ambiguity, The second sentence is ambiguous because the expression have . . . for dinner can mean either ‘host for dinner’ or ‘eat for dinner’. This type of ambiguity is called LEXICAL AMBIGUITY because it depends on the words having more than one meaning. Let us consider now the third sentence, ‘We need more intelligent administrators.’ This sentence also has two meanings. On one meaning, we need administrators who are more intelligent. On the other meaning, we need a greater number of intelligent adminis. trators. This type of ambiguity does not depend on the meanings of the words. What does the third sentence tell you about word order and its role in determining meaning? Is it suf. ficient to determine meaning? Why (not)? The type of ambiguity found in (3) is called structural ambiguity. This is because it de- pends on how the words are arranged, that is, the structure. 0n the first meaning of ’more intelligent administrators’, more is grouped with intelligent to form the phrase more intelli- gent. On the second meaning, intelligent is grouped with administrators to form the phrase intelligent administrators. One way to represent the difference in structure is to bracket to- gether the words that form a phrase, as in (4}. (4) a. [more intelligent] administrators b. more [intelligent administrators] Let us consider another case of structural ambiguity. (5) Pat shot the soldier with the gun This also has two meanings. On one meaning, the soldier that Pat Shot had a gun. On the other meaning, Pat used a gun to shoot the soldier. Again, we can represent the two struc- tures for this single string of words by bracketing the words that go together. On the first meaning, with the gun is bracketed with the soldier. On the second meaning, with the gun is bracketed with shot the soldier. (6} a. Pat shot [[the soldierllwith the gun]} b. Pat [[shot the soldier] [with the gun]! Notice that sometimes sentences that are potentially ambiguous lack a possible meaning because it does not make sense from the perspective of how we understand the world. FOI'I-f __ - example, let us take gun in {5) and replace it with telescope, which produces Pat shot the sol- I dier with a telescope. in this case it is plausible that the soldier that Pat shot has a telescope: f and it is much less plausible that Pat used a telescope to shoot the soldier. Of courser MS 3;: I I possible in some imaginary world that We can use telescopes to shoot people. But notice _- 5 that we are not likely to seize on this as a possible meaning, because in our everyday world . such a telescope is not familiar to us. But the sentence is ambiguous anyway. From the per' i: File 62 Basic Ideas of Syntax 189 spective of the language, it is perfectly possible for a completely grammatical sentence to mean something very improbable, or even something impossible or contradictory. This fact highlights the fact that form and meaning, while closely related, are distinct aspects of the expressions of the language. if a single Sentence can have two meanings, then we cannot attribute the meaning to just the choice of words and their ordering; there must be a third factor, as hinted earlier. The third factor is how the parts are related to one another, that is, structure. Let us consider one more case of structural ambiguity. (7) (That is) a large man’s hat. On one meaning, the hat is a hat that belongs to a large man. Hence we group a large man’s as a phrase as in (8a). On the other meaning, we are talking about a man’s hat that is large. In this case, man’s hat is a phrase, as shown by the bracketing in (8b). (8} a. [a large man’s] hat b. a large [man‘s hat} ' "rcises 1. Make up four more sentences that are ambiguous in the same way that Pat shot the sol— dier with a telescope is, using words such as to, from, under, without and on. 2. Each of the following sentences or phrases is ambiguous. State informally but as pre- cisely as you can what the two meanings are. Then draw boxes for each of the two mean- ings showing a plausible structure corresponding to each meaning. a. old men and boys 1:). From a Dave Barry piece: “Toni Summers sent in a magazine advertisement for DiGiorno Brand pastas and sauces making this appetizing promise. You can enjoy a gourmet meal in your sweat pants." c. the 01d women’s shoes 3. Explain what kind of ambiguity is involved in each of the following sentences. a. My nose was running all night. b. We live in a dump. C. Time flies with a stopwatch. (1. Do you know how to get to the freeway from here? 4. Place in brackets the units and Subunits (but not the individual words} in each of the fol- lowing. a. Pat shot the soldier. b. with a gun c. Leslie said it rained. d. Kim looks angry about something. “ML-r- = .- FILE 6.4 puwu-D'muw'm ,- - "wfluflfimm T hrase Structure in this file we look at how sentences of English are organized. There are four basic ideas. Every word is a member of a category (e.g. Noun, Verb, etc.) that determines what kind of phrases it can form. A phrase is a string of words (one or more) that functions as a unit in a sentence. A phrase is built up around a single word, called its head. In a language, there is a set of specific ways in which phrases can be combined with one another to construct bigger phrases and sentences. We cali these the phrase structure rules of the language. The way in which the phrases are combined in a sentence determines its phrase structure. Lexical Categories In EngliSh the main categories are Nouns, Verbs, Adjectives, Prepositions, and Adverbs. We give some examples of each and some ways in which they can be identified and distin- guished from the others. Eg. book, water, unicorn, idea, sincerity Nouns refer to real, imaginary, and abstract things and substances. if they refer to things that can be counted, they regularly express the plural by adding -.s: hooks, unicorns, ideas They can occur with the articles and demonstratives the, this, that, etc: the book, this water, the unicorn, this idea, that sincerity. They can be modified with descriptive words (adjectives) like funny, wet, slippery: the firmly book, this fitnny water, that wet unicorn, the slippery idea sing—sang, wok—walked,- is—wns Verbs refer to states of affairs and events. Verbs express time, and take particular forms corresponding to particular times. Reg- ular verbs like walk express the past by adding -ed; irregular verbs express the past by using a special form, like song, was, etc. 195 196 Syntax ' Verbs take other forms to indicate the manner of an event. For example, by adding- we indicate an ongoing action (I am singing) and by adding -en or -ed we can express - a completed action (I have written; I have walked). For some verbs the completed ac tion uses a special form (I have sung). Adjectives (A) E.g. funny, wet, slippery ' Adjectives can be used to describe things that nouns refer to. 0 Adjectives can be used in sentences with a form of the verb be. E.g. The book is funny, The unicorn is wet, That idea was slippery. o Adjectives can themselves be modified by very and too. E.g. very funny, too wet, very slippery - Adjectives have comparative (with -er or more) and superlative forms (with —est or most). E.g. funnier, wetter, more slippery/*slipperier fiznnlest, wettest, most slippery/slipperiest Prepositions (P) E.g. with, in, on, into, for, of, before, without, over, under - Prepositions are used to express a number of different roles, including lNSTllUMENT (the - preposition with) and POSSESSOR (the preposition 0f), and various spatial and temporal relations (in, on, under, etc.). E.g. with a spoon, in the room, on the first Tuesday of the month, into the void, for everyone, of Robin, before Sunday Adverbs (Adv) E. g. quickly, fast, obviously, unfortunater often ‘ Adverbs are used to express manner (as quickly does), the attitude or judgment of the speaker (unfortunately), temporal frequency (often) and other relations. O Like adjectives, some adverbs can be modified by very and too. E.g. very quickly, too fast, very often Determiners (Dot) E.g. the, a, every 1! Determiners are used to Express definiteness, indefiniteness, and quantity. _ E. g. the book, a table, every day . . -_ 6 4 Categories of words are determined by the properties that the words have—basically, words I that share many properties are in the same category. The kinds of properties that are male ' vant have to do with meaning (semantic), form (morphology), and distribution {syntactic}- In English, many words can participate in two or more categories. For example, amazing is ' an adiective (very amazing, more amazing) and a verb (We were amazing our fi'ientis when sud- denly, we fell.) ...
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This note was uploaded on 02/02/2010 for the course ANT 004 taught by Professor Chand during the Fall '08 term at UC Davis.

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