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Word Grammar in Theory Dick Hudson Cardiff, May 2013.

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1 Word Grammar in Theory Dick Hudson Cardiff, May 2013

2 History 1963: PhD on Beja grammar at SOAS Halliday or Chomsky? –Halliday was more convincing 1964-71: worked with Halliday –64-67 with Huddleston on a corpus study –66-67 met Terry Winograd (AI) –read about Lamb's network theory –wrote first generative Systemic Grammar book

3 Systemic Grammar

4 Dependency theory 1976: why no word- word dependencies? Systemic + Dependency = Daughter-Dependency Grammar

5 Psychological reality AI (e.g. Winograd, Schank, Anderson) Mental networks (Lamb, Halliday) Linguists (Bresnan, Chomsky) Sociolinguistics (e.g. Labov, Gumperz)

6 Word Grammar 1984 Why recognise phrases? Daughter-Dependency Grammar + psychological reality – phrases = WG

7 What am I? a lapsed systemicist a dependency grammarian a cognitive linguist a sociolinguist a descriptive linguist a theoretical linguist an educational linguist

8 What do I believe? Theory matters and can be improved Truth matters and can be aimed at. Minds matter and can be modelled Texts matter and can be explained Education matters and needs linguistics Neighbouring disciplines matter, and can be learned from.

9 A nice quote Wray 2009 One has to ask … whether a particular claim or assumption in one domain can really be true, given what we know about another domain.

10 What don't I believe in? macrofunctions in structure system networks the rank scale constructions as signs

11 Macrofunctions in structure Many artefacts have multiple functions But the functions are all 'realized' by the same structure. –e.g. chair: comfortable for sitting strong, durable good-looking affordable

12 For instance Hearer is part of the meaning of 'question', but not otherwise. Why 'interpersonal'? What does 'theme' mean?

13 System networks Why is this the first choice? How might we organise knowledge so tidily? And why?

14 The rank scale sentence clause group word Hurry! hurry unary branching Headedness Classification of mother is always predictable from its head daughter objections

15 Constructions CxG: a language consists of nothing but constructions. A construction is a form-meaning pair. –So: every 'form' has a meaning But some forms have no meaning, e.g. –extraposition –(arguably) all of morphology, e.g. {z}, {ing}

16 What does WG actually claim? Language is just ordinary knowledge applied to words. So: Language is a mental network. The network nodes (concepts) are atoms. Concepts are defined solely by their links to other concepts. Concepts are organised in 'isa' hierarchies.

17 For instance … around … messing around … looked around … all around were … … the soil around the base of the plant … roundagroundon {on} {a}{round} around 1 around 2 labels are NOT part of the analysis isa hierarchy

18 Tokens and types Tokens are created ad hoc, types are stored. The type-token ratio = types/tokens –e.g. for The cat sat on the mat TTR = 5/6 Tokens have distinct properties, so they must be distinct concepts. Each token isa at least one type. –e.g. He wandered around Tokens show modifying effects of context. isa around 1

19 An utterance as part of the grammar The cat sat on the mat. THE CAT SIT past ONMAT noun verbpreposition word SIT, past

20 Tokens and syntax Each word token is distinct from its type: It shows the effects of its syntactic context. –the/1 means 'the cat' –on means 'on the mat' –sat means 'sat on the mat' –but also 'the cat sat on the mat' So phrases aren't needed.

21 Tokens of tokens … The 1 cat sat on the 2 mat. 'mat' 'the mat' 'on the mat' 'sat on the mat' 'the cat sat on the mat' 'cat' 'the cat' sat 1 on 1 the 21 the 11 sat 2

22 Usage The network is 'usage based' –built out of episodic memories It contains 'ex-tokens': words plus context –so formulae –and socially constrained So any properties may be generalised –'linguistic' – relations to other words –'non-linguistic' – relations to social constructs

23 Processing Node creation: one node per token Default inheritance to enrich token nodes Binding tokens to existing nodes Spreading activation –activation guides inheritance and binding –super-active tokens become permanent types

24 An utterance as part of the grammar THE CAT SIT past ONMAT noun verbpreposition word SIT, past ? The cat sat on the mat

25 Summary Mentalist – just cognitive structures Just a network of atoms –Declarative network –Organised round an isa hierarchy Procedures: –node creation –node enrichment (inheritance, binding) –spreading activation

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