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  1. syntax

  2. The part of grammar that represents a speaker’s knowledge of sentences andtheir structures is called syntax. • The aim of this chapter is to show whatsyntactic structures look like and to familiarize you with some of the rules that determine them.

  3. What the syntax rules do • The rules of syntax combine words into phrases and phrases into sentences. • the rules specify the correct word order for a language. 1. The President nominated a new Supreme Court justice. 2. *President the new Supreme justice Court a nominated.

  4. What the syntax rules do • b) describe the relationship between the meaning of a particular group of words and the arrangement of those words. 3. I mean what I say. 4. I say what I mean.

  5. What the syntax rules do • The rules of the syntax also specify the grammatical relations of a sentence,such as subject and direct object. 5. Your dog chased my cat. 6. My cat chased your dog.

  6. What the syntax rules do • specify the constraints that sentences must adhere to. 7. (a) The boy found. (b) The boy found quickly. (c) The boy found in the house. (d) The boy found the ball. 8. (a) Disa slept the baby. • (b) Disa slept soundly.

  7. What the syntax rules do • specify the constraints that sentences must adhere to. • 9. (a) Zack believes Robert to be a gentleman. • (b) Zack believes to be a gentleman. • (c) Zack tries Robert to be a gentleman. • (d) Zack tries to be a gentleman. • (e) Zack wants to be a gentleman. • (f) Zack wants Robert to be a gentleman.

  8. What the syntax rules do • Our syntactic knowledge crucially includes rules that tell us how words formgroups in a sentence, or how they are hierarchically arranged with respect to one another. • The captain ordered all old men and women off the sinking ship. • [old men] and [women] • [old [men and women]]

  9. What the syntax rules do

  10. Sentence Structure Constituency and Constituency tests

  11. Syntactic Categories • A family of expressions that can substitute for one another without loss ofgrammaticality is called a syntactic category. • The child, a police officer, John, and so on belong to the syntactic categorynoun phrase (NP), one of several syntactic categories in English and every otherlanguage in the world. • John found the puppy. • He found the puppy. • Boys love puppies. • The puppy loved him. • The puppy loved John.

  12. Syntactic Categories • Syntactic categories are part of a speaker’s knowledge of syntax. That is,speakers of English know that only items (a), (b), (e), (f), and (g) in the followinglist are NPs even if they have never heard the term noun phrase before. 1. (a) a bird • (b) the red banjo • (c) have a nice day • (d) with a balloon • (e) the woman who was laughing • (f) it • (g) John • (h) went You can test this claim by inserting each expression into three contexts: Whofound _________, _________ was seen by everyone, What/who I heard was _________.

  13. Syntactic Categories • There are other syntactic categories. The expression found a puppy is a verbphrase (VP). A verb phrase always contains a verb (V), and it may contain othercategories, such as a noun phrase or prepositional phrase (PP), which is a prepositionfollowed by an NP, such as in the park, on the roof, with a balloon. In (2) theVPs are those phrases that can complete the sentence “The child __________ .” 2. (a) saw a clown (b) a bird (c) slept (d) smart (e) ate the cake (f) found the cake in the cupboard (g) realized that the earth was round

  14. Phrase Structure Trees and Rules

  15. TheInfinity of Language • The number of sentences in any language is, as we have said before, infinite. • This is because you can always make any sentence longer and longer by adding extra CPs, VPs, APs, NPs etc. • Once we acknowledge the unboundedness of sentences, we need a formaldevice to capture that crucial aspect of speakers’ syntactic knowledge. • To see how this works, let us first look at the case of multiple prepositionalphrases such as [The girl walked [down the street] [over the hill] [through the woods] ..]. • According to our PS-rules we have devised so far, VP substructures currently allow only one PP per sentence (VP →V PP—rule 5). We can rectify this problem by revising rule 5:

  16. TheInfinity of Language • The number of sentences in any language is, as we have said before, infinite. • This is because you can always make any sentence longer and longer by adding extra CPs, VPs, APs, NPs etc. • Once we acknowledge the unboundedness of sentences, we need a formaldevice to capture that crucial aspect of speakers’ syntactic knowledge. • To see how this works, let us first look at the case of multiple prepositionalphrases such as [The girl walked [down the street] [over the hill] [through the woods] . . .]. • According to our PS-rules we have devised so far, VP substructures currently allow only one PP per sentence (VP →V PP—rule 5). We can rectify this problem by revising rule 5:

  17. TheInfinity of Language • The number of sentences in any language is, as we have said before, infinite. • This is because you can always make any sentence longer and longer by adding extra CPs, VPs, APs, NPs etc. • Once we acknowledge the unboundedness of sentences, we need a formaldevice to capture that crucial aspect of speakers’ syntactic knowledge. • To see how this works, let us first look at the case of multiple prepositionalphrases such as [The girl walked [down the street] [over the hill] [through the woods] . . .]. • According to our PS-rules we have devised so far, VP substructures currently allow only one PP per sentence (VP →V PP—rule 5). We can rectify this problem by revising rule 5: 5. VP → VP PP

  18. TheInfinity of Language • Rule 5 is different from the previous rules because it repeats its own category(VP) inside itself. This is an instance of a recursive rule. Recursive rules are ofcritical importance because they allow the grammar to generate an infinite set of sentences.

  19. TheInfinity of Language • Rule 5 is different from the previous rules because it repeats its own category(VP) inside itself. This is an instance of a recursive rule. Recursive rules are ofcritical importance because they allow the grammar to generate an infinite set of sentences.

  20. TheInfinity of Language • NPs can also contain PPs recursively. An example of this is shown by thephrase the man with the telescope in a box.

  21. TheInfinity of Language • NPs can also contain PPs recursively. An example of this is shown by thephrase the man with the telescope in a box.

  22. TheInfinity of Language • NPs can also contain PPs recursively. An example of this is shown by thephrase the man with the telescope in a box. To show that speakers permit recursive NP structures of this sort, we need toinclude the following PS rule, which is like the recursive VP rule 5. 9. NP → NP PP

  23. TheInfinity of Language • The defined PS rules handle the recursive nature of the language. • For example, rule 7 (VP → V CP) in combinationwith rules 8 (CP → C S) and 1 (S → NP VP) form a recursive set. • These rules, formulated for different purposes, correctly predictthe limitlessness of language in which sentences are embedded inside largersentences, such as The children hope that the teacher knows that the principalsaid that the school closes for the day as illustrated on the following page.

  24. TheInfinity of Language • The children hope that the teacher knows that the principalsaid that the school closes for the day.

  25. TheInfinity of Language

  26. TheInfinity of Language • The problem is that although determiners and adjectives are both modifiersof the noun, they have a different status. • First, an NP will never have more thanone determiner in it, while it may contain many adjectives. • Second, an adjective directly modifies the noun, while a determiner modifies the whole adjective(s) + noun complex. • In general, modification occurs betweensisters. If the adjective modifies the noun, then it is sister to the noun. If thedeterminer modifies the adjective + noun complex, then the determiner is sister to this complex.

  27. TheInfinity of Language • The problem is that although determiners and adjectives are both modifiersof the noun, they have a different status. • First, an NP will never have more thanone determiner in it, while it may contain many adjectives. • Second, an adjective directly modifies the noun, while a determiner modifies the whole adjective(s) + noun complex. • In general, modification occurs betweensisters. If the adjective modifies the noun, then it is sister to the noun. If thedeterminer modifies the adjective + noun complex, then the determiner is sister to this complex. We can represent these two sisterhood relations by İntroducingan additional level of structure between NP and N. We refer to this level as N-bar (written as N'). This structure provides the desired sisterhood relations

  28. TheInfinity of Language • We must revise our NP rules to reflect this new structure,and add two rules for N'. Not all NPs have adjectives, of course. This isreflected in the second N' rule in which N' dominates only N. Let us now see how these revised rules generate NPs with multiple (potentiallyinfinitelymany) adjectives. Thus far all the NPs we have looked at are common nouns with a simple definiteor indefinite determiner (e.g., the cat, a boy), but NPs can consist of a simplepronoun (e.g., he, she, we, they) or a proper name (e.g., Robert, California, Prozac).To reflect determiner-less NP structures, we will need the rule NP → N'

  29. TheInfinity of Language In these structures the possessorNP (e.g., John’s, the girl’s, etc.) functions as a determiner in that it furtherspecifiesitssisternoun. • But that’s not all, what about the possesive NPs like John’s cat, the girl’s book etc. The ’s is the abstractelement poss. To accommodate the possessive structure we need an additional rule: Det → NP poss

  30. TheInfinity of Language In these structures the possessorNP (e.g., John’s, the girl’s, etc.) functions as a determiner in that it furtherspecifiesitssisternoun. • But that’s not all, what about the possesive NPs like John’s cat, the girl’s book etc. The ’s is the abstractelement poss. To accommodate the possessive structure we need an additional rule: Det → NP poss

  31. The rules so far S = NP VP VP = V NP VP = V VP = VP PP VP = VP AdvP NP = (D) N’ N’ = (AdjP) N’ or N’ (PP) N’ = N (PP) PP = P NP Adjp = (AdvP) Adj AdvP = (AdvP) Adv CP = C S Det = NP poss

  32. Heads and Complements Phrase structure trees also show relationships among elements in asentence. Grammatical relations, i.e. subject and direct object of the sentence is structurallydefined. Another kind of relationship is that between the head of a phrase and its sisters. The head of a phrase is the word whose lexical category defines the type of phrase Sister categories are complements; they complete the meaning of the phrase. E.g. find a puppy; I thought that the child found a puppy.

  33. Selection • Subcategorization (C-selection) Whether a verb takes a complement or not, or the number of complements that it should take is determined by the particular properties of the verb. (1) The philosopher loves caramel apples The philosopher smiled (2) *The philosopher loves *The philosopher smiled the breadbox.

  34. Selection • Subcategorization (3) Traci gave the whale the jawbreaker. *Traci gave the whale. *Traci gave the jawbreaker. (4) I think that Sam won the race. (5) I told Sam that Michael was on his bicycle. (6)Paul felt strong as an ox. He feels that he can win.

  35. Selection • Subcategorization The information about the complement types selected by particular verbs andother lexical items is called C-selection or subcategorization.

  36. Selection • Subcategorization Verbs are not the only categories that can select complements. Some adjectives such as “tired” and “proud” select a PP complement: tired of eating sandwiches proud of her children

  37. Selection • Subcategorization Nouns can also selects complements. For example, the noun “belief” selectes a PP or a CP complement while the noun “symphaty” selects a PP complement: the belief in freedom of speech the belief that freedom of speech is a basic right their sympathy for the victims *their sympathy that the victims are so poor

  38. Selection • S-selection S-selection limit the semantic properties of the complements. #My toothbrush loves me. #The bolt of lightening killed the rock. #The rock murdered the man. #The tree liked the boy. Verbs include in their lexical entry a specification of intrinsic semantic properties of their subjects and complements, just as they select for syntactic categories.

  39. What heads the sentence? The category T is a natural category to head S. Just as the VP is about thesituation described by the verb—eat ice cream is about “eating”—so a sentenceis about a situation or state of affairs that occurs at some point in time.

  40. What heads the sentence? VP here is the complement to T. Therefore, there is a selectional relationship between T and VP. Particular Ts go with particular kinds of VPs. For example, the auxiliary be takes a progressive (-ing) form of the verb: The boy is dancing. The auxiliary have selects a past participle (-en) form of the verb: The girl has eaten. Modals select the infinitival form of the verb (no affixes): The child must sleep The boy may eat.

  41. What heads the sentence? To have a uniform notation, we use the symbols T (= tense) andTP (= tense phrase) instead of Aux and S. Furthermore, just as the NP requiredthe intermediate N-bar (N') category, the TP also has the intermediate T-bar(T') category. We need to include other rules into our system: TP = NP T’ T’ = T VP

  42. What heads the sentence? Your book does not use the TP and T’ categories, therefore they use a different rule instead of what we have:

  43. What heads the sentence? They do it because English allows sentences with multiple auxiliaries such as: The child may be sleeping. (modal, be) The dog has been barking all night. (have, be) The bird must have been flying home. (modal, have, be)

  44. What heads the sentence? Instead of this, I want you use the TP rule, but take all the auxiliaries under the same T when there are more than one auxiliary TP NP T’ D N’ the T VP N child may be V sleeping

  45. Structural Ambiguities • The boy saw the man with the telescope.

  46. Structural Ambiguities • The boy saw the man with the telescope.

  47. Structural Ambiguities • The boy saw the man with the telescope.

  48. Structural Ambiguities • The boy saw the man with the telescope.

  49. The rules so far (updated1) TP = NP T’ T’ = T VP VP = V NP VP = V VP = VP PP VP = VP AdvP NP = (D) N’ N’ = (AdjP) N’ or N’ (PP) N’ = N (PP) PP = P NP Adjp = (AdvP) Adj AdvP = (AdvP) Adv CP = C TP Det = NP poss

  50. More structures