Chapter+5+-+Syntax

Chapter+5+-+Syntax - 5 Syntax WOfl,I>S bOWN 60T wt've...

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5 Syntax WOfl,I>S bOWN 60T wt've Goot> P,tTTY .. SI"IOl/L.b NOW I NVF:NT we SYNTAX! FRANK & ERNEST: © Thaves/Dist. by Newspaper Enterprise Association, Inc.
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5.0 What Is Syntax? W ords in a sentence are more than just a string of items that can be put together anywhich way. There are patterns and regularitiesto the ways in which they can be combined. Syntax studiestheorganizationofwords into phrases, and likewise the organization of phrases into sentences. Linguists are interested in understanding the kinds of rules that govern phrase and sentence formation because they tell us something about what it means to use language, and moreover about what it means to be human. We find that although the rules for how syntactically differ from languageto language, there are many sim- ilarities a.swell. As we discussed in File 1.1., rules for language use are stored in the hu- man mind. Therefore, by understandinghow rules of sentence formation work in various languages, we can understand sometbiflgabout how the human mind works: the sorts of strucmresthat the human mind is able to process and store. Contents 5.1 Basic Ideas of Syntax Introduces five main concepts in syntax: word order, phrase structure, constituency, lexical categories, and agreement. 5.2 How Sentences Express Ideas Shows that although syntax is not itselfabout meaning, ultimately the goal ofsyntax is to allow a language express meanings; provides examples ofsome ofthe kinds ofmeanings that syntax can be used express. 5.3 Lexical Categories Introduces eight lexical categories, providing ways identify them based on morphological, syntactic, and semantic criteria. 5.4 Phrase Structure Provides examples ofrules for how words can combine together form phrases in a sentence, and shows how these rules and phrases and their resultant structures can be represented in tree structure diagrams. 5.5 Tests fo1' Structure and Constituency Provides ways test whether certain groups ofadjacent words in a sentence combine form some kind ofphrase: whether they comprise a constituent ofthe sentence. 5.6 Word Order Typology Investigates aspects ofword order within hierarchical structures that can differ from language language. 5.7 Practice Provides exercises, discussion questions, and activities related syntax. 194
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5.1 Basic Ideas of Syntax 5.1.1 Phrases, Sentences, and Structure In this chapter we ask the question, "What determines whether a string of words in a lan- guage is a sentence or simply a string of unrelated words?" We emphasize be- cause one ofthe key properties that makes a string ofwords a sentence is that the words are related to one another in particular ways. That is, a sentence is not just an arbitrary list of words. Asentence of a particular language is a sequence of words whose ordering with re- spect to one anothetf?llowscertain rules. Of course, in order for speakers to be able to pro- duce sentences accordingto these rules, the rules must be part ofwhat speakers know about their language.
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Chapter+5+-+Syntax - 5 Syntax WOfl,I>S bOWN 60T wt've...

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