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Why Syntax?

Why Syntax?. 1) Syntax and ELL : Taro a dog found. Chan, Alice Y.W. (2004). Syntactic Transfer: Evidence from the Interlanguage of Hong Kong Chinese ESL Learners. The Modern Language Journal , 88, 56-74. 2) Syntax to expand meaning. Language and Syntax. Phonetics- sounds

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Why Syntax?

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  1. Why Syntax? 1) Syntax and ELL: Taro a dog found. Chan, Alice Y.W. (2004). Syntactic Transfer: Evidence from the Interlanguage of Hong Kong Chinese ESL Learners. The Modern Language Journal, 88, 56-74. 2) Syntax to expand meaning

  2. Language and Syntax • Phonetics- sounds • Morphology- sounds form meaning • Phonology- morphemes form words- spelling rules • Syntax- words, phrases, sentences (word order, hierarchy)

  3. Syntax “Part of grammar that represents a speaker’s knowledge of sentences and their structures is called syntax” (Fromkin p.116)

  4. Word Categories: 1) Lexical (Parts of Speech) • types of meanings: noun, preposition, verb, adjective, adverb 2) Functional *Auxiliary (Aux) - provide verb time frame- ongoing, past, future, have, had, be, was, were Modal- possibility or necessity- may, might, can, could, must, shall, should, would *Determiner (Det) Articles- infinite or definite noun- a the Demonstrative- noun to context- this, that, these, those ‘Counting words’- each, every

  5. Phrase Categories:Each lexical word category has a corresponding phrase • Noun phrase • Verb phrase • Prepositional phrase • Adverbial phrase • Adjective phrase

  6. Functions of Syntax Syntax allows language to be limitless within the structure rules. John found a book in the library. John found a book in the library in the stacks. John found a book in the library in the stacks on the fourth floor.

  7. Grammar without meaning Colorless green ideas sleep furiously. A verb crumpled the milk. * “Jabberwocky” by Lewis Carroll

  8. Word Order: Languages have specific word orders. English: Subject-Verb-Object (SVO) The professor wrote the book. Book the wrote the professor. The book was written by the professor.

  9. Word order changes meaning: http://www.buzzin.net/english/syntax.htm

  10. Word order in other languages: Basic sentence word order and phrase order varies by language. SVO vs. SOV Noun Phrase: # - N vs. N- # 4 tables vs. tables 4 Adj- N vs. N- Adj pretty girl vs girl pretty

  11. Spanish • Quiza venga el Presidente. The President may come. • La chica es una estudiante excelente. The girl is an excellent student. • Yo lo vi. I saw him. • El nino escribe poemas preciosos. The boy writes beautiful poems.

  12. ASL *Word order + non-manual features • I teacher (with head nod) I am a teacher. • I from Utah. I am from Utah • Boy fall The boy fell down. • My cat chase dog My cat chased the dog. http://www.lifeprint.com/asl101/pages-layout/syntax.htm

  13. Constituents & Constituency Tests Constituents = the natural groupings of a sentence A constituent is formed if… 1) a group of words can stand alone Ex. “What did you find?” “A puppy” (not “found a”) 2) pronouns can substitute for natural groups Ex. “Where did you find a puppy?” “I found HIM in the park.” 3) a group of words can be move.[move unit] Ex. It was [a puppy] that the child found. [A puppy] was found by the child.

  14. S = Sentence The boy likes to eat cake. Det = Determiner Articles: a, the Demonstratives: this that these, those, each, every N = Noun puppy, boy, cake, happiness, kiss Aux = Auxillary Auxillary verbs: have, had, be, was, were Modals: may, might, can, could, should, will, would V = Verb find, run, realize, believe, want Adj = Adjective red, big, candid, hopeless, lucky Adv = Adverb again, carefully, never, very, TERMS:

  15. NP = Noun phrase (subject or object in a sentence) The child is lucky. A police officer found the criminal. She is the girl that John loved. VP = Verb phrase (always contains a verb, may contain other categories, such as noun phrase or prepositional phrase) The child saw an elephant. Rob slept on the couch. PP = Prepositional Phrase (preposition followed by an NP) Susan devoured the cake in the pantry. CP = Complementizer Phrase (contains complementizer, such as that, if, whether, and is followed by an embedded sentence) Jack doesn’t know if he should fetch a pail of water. Jill knows that she should fetch a pail of water. TERMS

  16. TEMPLATE: The boy raced the girl. Det-N-V-Det-N This TEMPLATE says that a determiner is followed by a noun, which is followed be a verb, etc This TEMPLATE, however, suggests that words have no internal organization. Thus, we can use a TREE DIAGRAM to make it easier to see the parts and subparts of a sentence. As a result, the structure of the sentence can be recognized in the tree’s hierarchical organization. Template vs. Tree Diagram

  17. The boy raced the girl. Words grouped into natural units: [The boy] [raced the girl]. Further division: [[The][boy]][ [raced][[the][girl]]]. Tree Diagram: Sentences: Hierarchical Organization verb phrase noun phrase noun phrase raced The boy the girl

  18. a tree diagram with syntactic category information The boy raced the girl. Phrase Structure Tree (PS Trees) or Constituent Structure Tree:

  19. The boy raced the girl. The sentence above consists of syntactic category nodes VP and NP (subject and direct object). The VP dominates over V, NP (DO), and also Det and N [raced the girl]. Categories that are immediately dominated by the same node are sisters. V and NP are sisters [raced] [the girl] in the PS tree of [The boy raced the girl]

  20. Phrase Structure TreesWord order is important. English is a SVO language. NOT Raced the girl the boy. The boy raced the girl. NOT The boy Boy the

  21. PS Rules: finite set of permissible structures

  22. Emily danced on the beach.

  23. Mark said that you left the office.

  24. The man loves the beautiful intelligent woman. NOT: Beautiful intelligent the woman An adjective modifies the noun BUT a determiner modifies the adjective + noun complex. The man loves the beautiful intelligent woman.

  25. Tree # 1: The magician used the wand to touch the child. Tree # 2: The magician touched a boy who was holding a wand. Tree Diagrams for Exercise #4: The magician touched the child with the wand.

  26. a) She played in the park. b) The teacher said that the classroom needs books. c) The kind handsome athletic boy mowed the lawn. In groups of two or three: create the tree diagrams

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