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Definition of Syntax (1)

Definition of Syntax (1)

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Definition of Syntax (1)

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  1. Definition of Syntax (1) • “syntaxis” (Greek) = “arrangement” • The rules of sentence formation; the study of the structure of sentences. Language Structure Phonology Grammar Semantics morphology syntax (the specific sense; more traditional)

  2. Definition of Syntax (2) Popularized by Chomsky (the general sense) Grammar Phonology (Morphology) Syntax Semantics

  3. II. Hierarchical Structure (1) • Concepts of hierarchy e.g.1: John is easy to please John is eager to please Q: Do the two sentences have the same sentence structure (the same syntax)? Paraphrase: It’s easy for somebody to please John. John is eager to please somebody.

  4. Maslow’s hierarchical nature of the needs

  5. II. Hierarchical Structure (2) • Analogy: A. University school board, principle, vice presidents, dean of academic affairs, dean of student affairs, dean of general affairs, dean of research and development, dean of each college, dept. chairs…. B. Country president, vice- president, legistrative yuan (立法院), executive yuan (行政院), control yuan (監察院), judicial yuan (司法院).

  6. University School board President, Vice presidents 教務長學務長總務長 研發長 外語 理工 文 法 民生 醫 管理 藝 社科 院長 院長 院長 院長 院長 院長 院長 院長 院長 : : : : : : : : : 系主任 系主任 系主任 系主任 系主任 系主任 系主任 系主任 系主任

  7. country president vice- president legistrative yuan executive yuan control yuan judicial yuan (立法院) (行政院) (監察院) (司法院) : : : :

  8. Hierarchy • Hilary couldn’t open the windows. VPNP sentence phrases words morphemes • Constituent: part that makes up something; a linguistic unit which is part of a larger construction. • e.g. Can you identify the construction and constituents in the sentence, “the boy jumped” ?

  9. II. Hierarchical Structure (3) Modal of syntactic investigation: Five-rank hierarchy (Crystal 95) Sentences Sentences are analyzed into are used to build Clauses Clauses are analyzed into are used to build Phrases Phrases are analyzed into are used to build Words Words are analyzed into are used to build Morphemes Morphemes

  10. Upward Expansion • Phrases • e.g. cars  the cars  the big cars  all the big cars all the bigcarsin the garage (premodification) (head) (postmodification) • Upward expansion: Tom couldn’t find his notes, and Davie couldn’t find his textbook, and (repeat the structure) . . . but he still lectured for three hours.

  11. Hierarchy • Another way to look at “hierarchies”: construction and constituents • The young must respect the old people. (A) the young (B) must respect the old people (C)the (D) young (E) must respect (F)the old people (G) must (H) respect (I) the (J) old people (K) old (L) people

  12. Clauses Clause Types: • S+V (The dog + is running) • S+V+O (The dog + bites + him) • S+V+C (The car + is + ready) • S+V+A (The picture + lays +on the ground) • S+V+O+O (I + give + him + a pen) • S+V+O+C (He + calls + John a fool) • S+V+O+A (Mary + saw + John +yesterday) • Note: subject (S), verb (V), complement (C), object (O), adverbial (A).

  13. Formats of the Hierarchy • Tree Diagram different levels in analysis • Phrase Structure (in tree diagrams) • Recursiveness (Recursion) • Deep and Surface Structure Transformational Generative Grammar: e.g.1. Imperative Transformation e.g.2. Reflexive Transformation and Imperative Transformation e.g.3. Passive Transformation e.g.4. Particle Movement

  14. 1.Tree Diagrams (1) “The girl chased the dog.” (Crystal 96) Thegirlchasedthedog • Identify the 2 major constituents (The girl + chased the dog) • Divide the next-biggest constituent into 2: chased + the dog • Continue dividing constituents into 2 units until we can go no further. e.g. the + girl, the + dog, chase + -ed

  15. 1.Tree Diagrams (2) • Tree Diagrams:Different levels in analysis • The tree diagram format may be viewed as: • A static representation of the structure of the sentence at the bottom of the diagram. • A dynamic format, representing a way of “generating” a very large number of sentences with similar structures (by the use of phrase structure rules).

  16. 2. Phrase Structure S NP VP ART N V NP (DET) ART N the girl chased the dog

  17. Phrase Structure Rules • Phrase structure rules(Nash 75-77):present the information of the tree diagram in an alternative format S NP + VP VP V + (NP) + (PP) + (ADV) (ART) + (ADJ)* N NP PRO PP P + NP • Note: see Yule 105 for symbols and abbreviation definition.

  18. 3. Recursiveness (Recursion) • Recursive rule: VP VS (Yule 107) e.g.: John said [ Cathy thought (Mary helped George)]. • Another e.g. of recursiveness The Rose in My Garden This is the rose in my garden. This is the bee that sleeps on the rose in my garden. These are the holly hocks high above ground, that give shade to the bee that sleeps on the rose in my garden.

  19. 4. Deep and Surface Structure • Deep and surface structure: “the form of a sentence we produce and understand is very often not the same as the basic form which shows its meaning” (Nash 79) A. Deep Structure: the abstract, underlying level, but basic form of the sentence B. Surface Structure: the superficial, syntactic form that we produce in reality e.g. old men and women e.g. Annie whacked a man with an umbrella.(Yule 103) same surface structure form, two underlying interpretations (deep structures) Other examples: 1. Look! 2. *Help herself. 3. The runner broke the world record.

  20. old men and women Flying planes can be dangerous Syntactic processing: linking segmentsSyntactically ambiguous constructions

  21. When we read such sentences and find our initial syntactic interpretation wrong, we can only get back to the beginning for another possibility. “To be led down the garden path” means to be confused (purposely). Garden path sentences • What problems do you have when you read this? • The girl told the boy the dog bit Mary was coming. • The horse raced past the barn fell.

  22. Transformational-generative grammar • Transformations: processes that change the deep structure into surface structure. • Generative: using phrase structure rules, we can produce (generate) infinite sentences. • Surface Structure: S NP VP V NP eat ART N the chou tofu

  23. Deep Structure: S imperative NP VP transformation pro V NP ART N you eat the chou tofu

  24. Surface structure: Help yourself! • Deep Structure: S S NP VP reflexive NP VP pro V NP transformation pro V NP pro (reflexive pro) you help you you help yourself

  25. S NP VP imperative Pro V NPtransformation (reflexive pro) Help yourself You help yourself

  26. Transformation: important criteria A. Some transformations are required; some are optional. B. Transformation is in a certain order. e.g. “Help yourself!” reflexive transformation is required. imperative transformation is optional.

  27. Passive transformation NP1 V NP2 and changes it into NP2 BE V-EN BY NP1 e.g. The runner broke the world record. The world record was broken by the runner.

  28. Transformational Process • In this process: won’t change the relationship and the meaning of the sentence 1. Combination e.g.: You have You’ve 2. Substitution e.g.: You Yourself 3. Deletion e.g.: You X 4. Movement e.g.: Put…on Put on… 5. Addition e.g.: relative clause

  29. Important Contribution of TGG • Not everything we know about a sentence is revealed in the actual form we produce—the surface structure. We must look for deeper structural information. • The deep—surface structure idea=a very important contribution.

  30. Relative clause (1) S NP VP NA S V NP (+N) NP VP confused ART N (+definite) N V NPx (-human)(+N) gave N the students lecture (-common) (+N) Nash (+definite) (-human) lecture

  31. Relative clause (2) • 1st TRNAS: relative clause transformation S NP VP NP S +ART N1 NP N NP VP (+DEF) lecture (+ART) lecture (-Human) (+N) (+DEF) (+N) N V (+DEF) (-Human) (+DEF) (-Human) (+WH) (-Human) Nash gave (+PRO) (+WH) (+PRO)

  32. Problems of TGG 1. Theory is unwieldy.(too cumbersome, too clumsy—too many transformations) 2. Not universal(It’s language specific, not conform to all languages). 3. Psychological unreal(Semantics should be applied first, then comes the syntax)

  33. Ambiguity • Children are nice to understand. • 1. It’s nice for someone to understand children. • 2. It’s nice for children to understand something. • S-structure: • Children are nice [ Ø to understand Ø ] • D-structure: • Children are nice [ Ø to understand Ø ]

  34. D-Structure and S-Structure • Definition: D-structure—in which the basic order of phrases is represented. S-structure—in which the actual linear order of phrases is observed; deep structure positions of phrases are represented by empty categories. • What will Frances drink [Ø] ? • Drano, he drank [Ø] !

  35. D-structure S S NP VP N V NP N he drank Drano S-structure S NPi S NP VP N N V NP Drano he drank ti T=trace “an inaudible copy of the moved NP is left in the D-structure position of the moved phrase” i=identical index

  36. D-structure S S NP I VP N V VP N Frances will drink what S-structure S NPj S Willi S N NP I VP V NP What Frances ti drink tj

  37. Language Ambiguity 1. Sentence Ambiguity: e.g.: Visiting relatives can be a nuisance. 2. Word Ambiguity: e.g.: The man put his straw on the floor.

  38. Grammatical Hierarchy Grammar is the structural system of a language . The grammar of the English language is organized into five ranks:the sentence, the clause, the phrase, the word and the morpheme. Each rank is composed of one or more than one grammatical unit of the immediate lower rank,thus the sentence is a grammatical unit that consists of one or more than one clause…the sentence is the highest of grammatical unit while the morpheme is the minimum or the lowest rank .(Zhang, 2004:1)

  39. Ex. 1C Page 24Combine each group of sentences into a single sentence, using coordination, subordination or both. • 2. Almost every summer night the cooling northeast wind swept through our bedroom windows. /It made air conditioning unnecessary./It made a light blanket welcome. • Almost every summer night the cooling northeast wind swept through our bedroom windows, making air conditioning unnecessary and a light blanket welcome. • Sweeping through our bedroom windows almost every night, the cooling northeast wind made air conditioning unnecessary and a light blanket welcome.

  40. 4. This is a good spot for a picnic. /A river flows on one side. /A large tree provides shade. / We can spread our blanket on the grassy knoll. • * This is a good spot for a picnic that /where a river flows on one side and a large tree provides shade and we can spread one blanket on the grassy knoll. • With the river on one side and a large tree providing shade, this is a good spot for a picnic, and we can spread our blanket on the grassy knoll.

  41. 5. Mr. Wood ran up the stairs. /He was panting for breath. /He stood at his neighbor’s door. /He knocked again and again . / Then someone opened the door. • *Panting for breath, Mr. Wood ran up the stairs where he stood at his neighbor’s door and knocked again and again and then someone open the door. • Panting for breath after running up the stairs, Mr. Wood stood at his neighbor’s door and knocked again and again till someone opened the door.

  42. 7. Jim stood in front of the mirror. He looked at his image. He wondered at the big change. It had come over him in recent years. • * Jim stood in front of the mirror where he looked at his image and wondered at the big change which had come over him in recent years. • * Jim stood in front of the mirror, looking at his image , wondering at the big change which had come over him in recent years. • Standing in front of of the mirror, Jim looked at his image, wondering at the big change that had come over him in recent years.

  43. 10. John was covered with mud. He was shivering . He sat hunched over a bowl of hot broth. The broth had been prepared by his father to drive off the chill. • *John was covered with mud,he was shivering and sat hunched over a bowl of hot broth which had been prepared by his father to drive off the chill. • * John who was shivering was covered with mud and sat hunched over a bowl of hot broth which had been prepared by his father to drive off the chill. • Mud-covered and shivering, John sat hunched over a bowl of hot broth prepared by his father to drive off the chill.

  44. 11. Far above the waters of a beautiful lake stand five pavilions. The pavilions are in Chinese style.They stand over the tops of the tall pine trees. The pine trees grow on the steep slopes of a hill. • * Far above the waters of a beautiful lake stand five pavilions which are in Chinese style and stood over the tops of the pine trees which grow on the steep slopes of a hill. • Far above the waters of a beautiful lake and over the tops of the tall pine trees growing on the steep slopes of a hill stand five Chinese pavilions.

  45. 13. Sarah sank in the nearest chair. She was completely exhausted. Her limbs were stiff with cold. Her mind was a piece of blank. • * Sarah, whose limbs were stiff with cold and mind was a piece of blank, was completely exhausted and sank in the nearest chair. • * Sarah was completely exhausted so she sank in the nearest chair, her limbs were stiff with cold and mind was a piece of blank. • Sarah sank in the nearest chair, completely exhausted, her limbs stiff with cold, her mind a piece of blank.

  46. 15. Mr. Jacob was Tony’s former employer. He had promised Tony a half-day employer. The job would give Tony 20 pounds a week. It was necessary to break this news to his family, Tony thought. • * It was necessary to break the news that his former employer Mr. Jacob had promised him a half-day job which would gave him 20 pounds a week to his family, Tony thought . • * Tony thought it was necessary to break the news that his former employer, Mr. Jacob had promised him a half-day job which would give Tony 20 pounds a week to his family. • Tony thought it necessary to break the news to his family , that Mr. Jacob, his former employer, had promised him a half-day job at 20 pounds a week.

  47. 17. The men of the disbanded royal bodyguard were a potentially dangerous element. The men were suddenly turned onto the street of a capital. The capital was seething with unrest. The men were unemployed. The men were perhaps disgruntled at their abrupt dismissal. • * The men of the disbanded royal bodyguard were suddenly turned loose onto the street of a capital that was seething with unrest were potentially dangerous element since they were unemployed and perhaps disgruntled at their abrupt dismissal. • The men of the disbanded royal bodyguard, suddenly turned loose onto the street of a capital seething with unrest , unemployed and perhaps disgruntled at their dismissal, were a potentially dangerous element.

  48. 19. He was nearing the top. His eyes were already glowing with triumph. He was climbing faster and faster. He climbed recklessly fast. He suddenly slipped and fell. He tumbled to the ground. He lay motionless there. He was a crumpled pile of arms and legs. • * He suddenly slipped and fell , tumbled to the ground, lay motionless there , and was a crumpled pile of arms and legs, because his eyes were already glowing with triumph as he was nearing the top and climbed recklessly fast. • Nearing the top, he climbed recklessly faster and faster , his eyes already glowing with triumph, but suddenly he slipped and fell, tumbling to the ground and lying motionless there, a crumpled pile of arms and legs.

  49. 20. Bertrand Russell was one of the very few persons. The very few persons have received the Order of Merit. They have received the Nobel Prize for literature. The British government conferred the Order of Merit on Bertrand Russell. It was conferred in 1949. The Nobel Prize was conferred in M\Norway. It was conferred in 1950. • *Bertrand Russell who was conferred the Order of Merit by the British government in 1949 was one of the very few persons who have received it, since they have received the Nobel Prize for literature which was conferred in Norway in 1950. • Bertrand Russell was one of the very few persons who have received both the Order of merit , which was conferred on him by the British government in 1949, and the Nobel Prize for literature, conferred in Norway in 1950.

  50. Word / Compound word • Conceptions • Classifications • Parts of speech