Syntax - Language Journalists say that when a dog bites a...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–11. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: Language Journalists say that when a dog bites a man that is not news, but when a man bites a dog that is news. (Pinker, 1994) Signs link form to meaning = copyright = paragraph (pilcrow) Signs can be iconic, indexical, or symbolic Symbols are signs whose form and meaning have an arbitrary association. Language is a sign system used for human communication. Find the words in the sentence below. How many are there? Joe took father's shoe bench out Spoken words are not symbolic entities.- There are no reliable cues for word boundaries. If you take care of the syntax, the semantics will take care of itself . (Haugeland, 1981) Why have syntax? Simple Hypothesis: Sentences are memorized. That's a lot of sentences! But is it really true that if you take a sentence from a random volume in the Library of Congress, the sentence is unique? Speakers produce and understand novel sentences: Colorless green ideas sleep furiously. It would be difficult to express new ideas. How would new words be incorporated? Word Chains What is a word chain model? What are its strengths? What are its limitations as a means for describing linguistic structure? Grammaticality Hypothesis: Language obeys laws. If not all sentences are possible, we must have a means to decide, for any sentence, whether it is in the language. Sentences in the language are grammatical sentences . Linguists mark ungrammatical sentences with an asterisk. Gordon is always on time. *Gordon is on always time. Grammaticality is not always crystal clear. ?Always Gordon is on time. ?Gordon always is on time. Grammaticality Since his early work in the 60s, Noam Chomsky has distinguished between competence and performance. A good deal of normal speech consists of false starts, disconnected phrases, and other deviations from idealized competence. ( Language & Mind , 1972) Competence is a native speaker's tacit knowledge of her language. Performance is what a speaker says on a particular occasion. Categories are Abstractions Syntax applies to grammatical categories. A grammatical category is a class of expressions that share a common set of grammatical properties. For example, what is a noun? For syntacticians, a noun is not a person, place or thing! A noun is a member of a class of words that exhibit the same set of grammatical properties morphological properties Nouns form plural by adding -s (rat->rats, *foolishes, *sews) distributional properties (grammatical role in sentences) Consider a sentence and its interrogative form: Memories will fade away....
View Full Document

Page1 / 43

Syntax - Language Journalists say that when a dog bites a...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 11. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online