0203_syntax_1

0203_syntax_1 - Psycholinguistics: Syntax I 9.59; 24.905...

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Psycholinguistics: Syntax I 9.59; 24.905 February 3, 2005 Ted Gibson
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Syntactic structure How to order the minimal meaning units (words / morphemes) so that they indicate a target meaning (e.g., in a communication situation). e.g., in a situation where you want to ask what it is that John sees: English: What does John see? Chinese: John saw what? Japanese: John what see?
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Goal of research in syntax: to figure out the grammar of a language. language : a set of strings over an alphabet of symbols. (an infinite set, for human languages) e.g., John walked, Bill walked, Lucy kicked the ball, . .. grammar : a set of rules or structures that generates all and only the strings in a language.
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Side effect of having this knowledge: grammaticality judgments. The man saw the boy. The man saw the boy on the hill. The man saw the boy on the hill with the telescope. * boy the the saw man * saw the man boy the
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Lecture overview 1. Parts of speech 2. Constituent structure 3. Argument structure of words 4. Cross-linguistic word order differences 5. Arguments vs. Modifiers: X-bar theory 6. (The categories Infl and Comp)
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Parts of speech Distributional analyses of words in sentences yields parts of speech or syntactic categories . E.g., The boy saw the man on the hill with the telescope. The boldface words are nouns. A word w 1 that can substitute in the same position as another word w 2 in all grammatical sentences containing w 2 is said to be of the same syntactic category as w 2 .
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Parts of speech Noun (N): boy, girl, table, Mary, John, destruction, report, belief Verb (V): buy, find, sleep, destroy, report, believe Preposition (Prep): in, at, to Adjective (Adj): tall, big, proud Determiner (Det): the, a, some, this, these Adverb (Adv): quickly, often Auxiliary verb (Aux or Infl): will, can, might, has, is Complementizer (Comp, C): that, whether: part of a CP E.g., “John thinks that Mary is intelligent.”
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By convention, categories with the same general semantic structure are grouped together. Distributional differences in these categories are treated as features of the larger category. Examples of features: Number (singular, plural),
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This note was uploaded on 11/11/2011 for the course BIO 9.07 taught by Professor Ruthrosenholtz during the Spring '04 term at MIT.

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0203_syntax_1 - Psycholinguistics: Syntax I 9.59; 24.905...

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