Pinker Syntax Chapter

Pinker Syntax Chapter - Pinker Syntax Chapter 1. What are...

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Pinker Syntax Chapter 1. What are the natural tricks behind human language ability? The first is the “arbitrariness of the sign”, the wholly conventional pairing of a sound with a meaning. i.e. “Dog” does not act like a dog or look like one but it refers to the animal because every English speaker has undergone an identical act of rote learning in childhood that links the sound to the meaning. The second is that language “makes infinite use of finite media”. We use a code to translate between orders of words and combinations of thoughts. That code, or set of rules, is called a generative grammar. A finite number of discrete elements are sampled, combined, and permuted to create larger structures with properties that are distinct from those of their elements (i.e. words senteces). Grammar is autonomous from cognition. A grammar specifies how words may combine to express meanings; that specification is independent of the particular meanings we typically convey or expect others to convey to us. 2. What is the importance of sentences like Colorless green ideas sleep furiously ? Sentences can make no sense but can still be recognized as grammatical. This sentence shows that syntax and semantics can be independent of each other. 3. What is the problem with finite state grammars? Aka. Word-chain device. This is a bunch of lists of words (or prefabricated phrases) and a set of
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Pinker Syntax Chapter - Pinker Syntax Chapter 1. What are...

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