Week3.HO.Intro.LIN200 - LIN200F 2012 LIN200 S Introduction...

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25/01/2012 1 LIN200 S Introduction to Language Week 3: Syntax Lecture: January 26, 2012 Corresponding Reading: Textbook Chapters 7,8 0. Introduction Today we will be discussing syntax, i.e. the module of grammar which responsible for sentence structure. Two fundamental questions of this subdiscipline: o What does it mean to know the sentence structure of a language? o How do we formalize this knowledge? Recall from last week that we can assign a certain kind of meaning to utterances even if they are written using nonsense words, so long as the syntax is transparent. o This is because syntax provides a SYSTEMATIC MAPPING between sound and meaning. § Y-MODEL o The mapping consists of a FINITE set of rules, with the capacity to generate an infinite number of expressions (hence the creative capacity of human language). Some preliminary ground work: o Description vs. Prescription o Competence vs. Performance Roadmap for today’s lecture: o I’ll introduce the claim that the syntax of a sentence is more abstract than just a string of words. Knowing the syntax of a language is more than knowing what order to put words in. o
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Week3.HO.Intro.LIN200 - LIN200F 2012 LIN200 S Introduction...

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