Introduction to Linguistics 4The Grammatical System Prof. Jo Lewkowicz
Review of week 3 • Why is it difficult to define what a word is? • What different aspects of a word do you need to get to know to say that you know a new word? • What are content words and function words? How are they different? • What is a morpheme? How are morphemes categorized? • What are free morphemes? How are they different from bound morphemes? • What are the two types of affixes that appear in English? • Identify the bound morphemes in the following words. Indicate whether they are derivational or inflectional. • Redistributing • Receive • Deliver • Disengaged • How are the following words pronounced? What pronunciation rule can you derive from these examples? - bagged, webbed; wrapped, booked; raided, rated.
Creation of new words • Numerous ways in which new words are created including: • compounding, i.e. putting two existing words together: compact disk, tree-hugger, songwriter • affixation, i.e. adding a prefix or suffix to a word: anit-Bush, SMSing, pro-choice • conversion, i.e. transforming one part of speech into another: to out-outing; to green-greening • clipping , i.e. Using a short form of the word: flu, roo, barbie • generification, i.e. using the proper name for the product to refer to it: Biro, Kleenex • acronomy, i.e. when the acronym becomes the word by which the thing is known: scuba=self contained underwater breathing apparatus; radar=radio detection and ranging
Cataloguing words • Dictionaries • 1st English dictionary drawn up by Samuel Johnson working with a team, took 10 years, completed in 1746 with over 400,000 words plus definitions • Currently dictionaries drawn up by committees which determine which words to include and which to leave out • Even with the technical resources today, no dictionary can be fully comprehensive • Corpora • Computers have allowed us to record data on real language as it is written or spoken • Corpora allow us to study not only the word but also the context in which it appears
Examples 1 from a written corpus 001. n their rise to military prominence, Custer was a BELIEVEr in blood and guts warfare. During the Ci 002. s concerning the nature of religion were, Adams BELIEVEd, some of the major keys to the understa 003. let the experience shape itself. Midi Garth also BELIEVEs in subjective continuity that begins with 004. Commons, on February 27, 1945, he had always BELIEVEd to be "just and right", but he did not wa 005. nic of grief she accepted Jonathan's dictum, and BELIEVEd in her desperation that she had been c 006. amen, I say to you, he who hears my word, and BELIEVEs him who sent me, has life everlasting, a 007. Westminster) was an outstanding Handler and BELIEVEd a Junior should have an opportunity to 008. man as one of mere potentiality or capacity and BELIEVEs that Adam and Eve were created as chi 009. tic switch i the budget during this recovery and BELIEVEs it "even more unlikely that the Federal 010. y the last 10 per cent are genuine Christians and BELIEVErs in democracy. But these Western count
Example 2 from a written corpus 001. 962. At that point the Administration will have little reason to hang ONTO Gen. Swing. The Faget case was the kin 002. ce filled all the seats inside the Wollman enclosure and overflowed ONTO the lawns outside the fence. The barbe 003. enjoined to look before they leap, either on top of someone else or ONTO a pool edge. Our pools also have wide, 004. a little newt and that he was transplanting a big eye of the big newt ONTO the little newt and a little eye of the litt 005. vaults. On the downstream, or "pavilion", side these vaults give out ONTO terraces twice as wide as the bridge its 007. to one side. This throwed the animal off balance, and over it'd crash ONTO its head and shoulders. Though the slightest yank was frequently 008. om. Like ... as if it were built of books". Having opened the windows ONTO the terrace, lit the fire, translated the motto, Meredith grinned 009. the saddle and had a look inside. "Not there", he said, getting back ONTO his horse. "Maybe he's at the hotel". They rode to the Rockfork H 010. ps. Got no business over here on a stakeout anyway". They went up ONTO a front porch and into a small hallway where a dim bulb burned hi
The grammar system • Grammar = the specification of how words are formed and combined to enable the communication of meaning • Formation of words = morphology • Ordering and combination of words = syntax
The study of grammar • Dates back to the Greeks & Romans • Modern or ‘scientific’ study of language is less 100 years old • Many different theories of language • Major current approaches are: • Mentalist approach in conflict with • Functionalist appraoch each other
Mentalist approach to grammar • Grammar is a physiological phenomenon • Transformational-generative grammar • Father of TG is Noam Chomsky • Highly abstract set of rules for generating correct utterances at the sentence level • Reject notion that there is a relationship between form and meaning • Ability to generate correct sentences is hard-wired in the human brain • Utterances can be grammatical but meaningless, e.g. Colourless green ideas sleep furiously
Functionalist approach to grammar • Believe grammar has a social dimension • Systemic functional linguistics • Major proponent is Michael Halliday • Claim cannot separate form and meaning • For functionalists grammar is a resource for creating meaning – for highlighting what is important in a sentence/utterance
Prescriptive vs. Descriptive Grammars • Many traditional grammars based on traditional beliefs about how language should be used • In reality, NSs often break rules • Computers have allowed scientists to record actual use • Modern grammars based on corpora inform about real language use • Modern grammars are non-judgemental • Modern grammars account for differences between spoken and written forms
The makeup of a sentence • Basic building block of sentence is phrase (a meaningful group of words, below the sentence that cannot stand alone) • Simple sentence is made up of S (noun phrase)+ V (verb phrase) e.g. Tom died; Tom is dying • Following the V may be phrases that act as O (object), C (complement) or A (adverbial)
Objects, complements & adverbials • O usually noun phrases that answer the question who or what e.g. Tom loves Jane; Tom reads novels I gave my wife some flowers my wife = indirect object some flowers = direct object • C may be subject complements or object complements • follow the V (usually be) e.g. Everyone was happy (subject complement) They made Jack redundant (object complement) • A provide additional information about how, when where or why e.g. Everyone was happy at the party Tom reads novels all the time
Transitive & intransitive verbs • When the verb can ‘stand alone’ it is an intransitive verb; it does not need to be followed by O, C, or A e.g. Tom died; I cried How many other intransitive verbs can you think of? • All other verbs that must be followed by an O are transitive e.g. I bought a book: He gave me the book Make a list of 8 transitive verbs
Transitive & intransitive verbs • Discuss with your partner why the following sentences are ungrammatical: • I threw. • The mother broke. • The sun rose the morning. • John fell the stairs. • The major spoke the speech. • He sneezed the cold. • The magician disappeared the rabbit.
Basic sentence patterns in English • S + V • S + V + O • S + V + O + O • Provide an example of each type of sentence • Decide whether you can move any of the elements of the sentence to a new position • What does moving the elements achieve in terms of communicative purpose?
Sentence analysis • Identify the different phrases in the following sentences and label them S, V, C, O, A. • The gentle giant laughed. • I’m tired. • At lunchtime, I should be seeing the dentist. • The teacher should have given me an A. • Three absurdly dressed party goers came waltzing out of the pub. • We will come to the party at around 9 o’clock. • You seem to be a little upset right now. • (from Nunan, 2007:86)
Information structure • English tends to place new / important information towards the end of a sentence / clause • Example: The building burst into flames at 11 a.m. Soon afterwards, the fire brigade arrived. Now, write two further sentences to continue the story. • Existential subjects (there or it) help maintain the distribution of information in certain types of sentences, e.g. • There will be a storm later on this evening. • It always takes you so long to get ready.
Other ways of giving text cohesion • Information structure provides text cohesion. Another way of providing cohesion is by lexical cohesion • Lexical cohesion occurs when two or more content words in a text are related • Two major categories of lexical cohesion are: • Reiteration: when the same word is repeated • To avoid exact word repetition employ: • anaphoric /cataphoric reference as in the following examples: • My car has been playing up for some time: it needs a service. • It’s happened: the big day has come! • lexical synonymy: when an alternative word or phrase is used to refer to the same thing or person as in: • My daughter, the apple of my eye, has just passed her exams. • Collocation • Words that go together • Often are register specific e.g. cash poor, cash flow, money market, national dept
Differences between speech and writing • Speech • All languages exist in spoken form • Acquired • 40 sounds in English • ‘Disappears’ if not recorded • Less dense • May appear fragmentary & ungrammatical • Writing • Not all language exist in written form • Learned • 26 letters in English • Permanent record • More content to function words • More coherent, with complete sentences
Similarities between speech & writing • Both serve the same 3 basic purposes: • Transactional: public signs in the street, instruction manuals, labels on food packaging, maps, TV Programmes, maps, newspapers and magazines, etc. • Interpersonal: letter, email, postcards, diaries • Aesthetic: novels, comics, movie/play scripts, poems • Can view speech and writing lying on a continuum: writing is not speech written down.