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Lecture II Basic Concepts. 2.1 The Nature of Grammar Grammar: A comprehensive description of the structures of a language Two Classes of grammar: Actual.

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Presentation on theme: "Lecture II Basic Concepts. 2.1 The Nature of Grammar Grammar: A comprehensive description of the structures of a language Two Classes of grammar: Actual."— Presentation transcript:

1 Lecture II Basic Concepts

2 2.1 The Nature of Grammar Grammar: A comprehensive description of the structures of a language Two Classes of grammar: Actual grammars: limitations of authors Theoretical grammar: exhuastive in coverage, fully explicit, psychologically accurate; no such grammar exist

3 Or: The psychological representation of a linguistic system More specifically: Those aspects of cognitive organization in which resides a speakers grasp of established linguistic convention. Charactherised by : A structured inventory of conventional linguistic units

4 2.1.1 Units Unit: a structure a speaker has mastered quite thoroughly, to the extent that he can employ it in largely automatic fashion, without having to focus his attention specifically on its individual parts or their arrangement.(a prepackaged as- sembly) It is effectively simple, it demands no cons- tructive effort for the creation of novel structures.

5 Units in phonology: basic sounds phonological structures larger than segments (syllbalbes, words, phrases, sequences) Units in semantics: established concepts dragon, parliament (a familiar gestalt) Symbolic units: the symbolic association between a semantic and a phonological unit. (deployed in CG for the representation of both lexical and grammatical structure)

6 Grammatical patterns: schematic symbolic units, differring only in degree of specificity Symbolic units provide the means for ex- pressing ideas in linguistic form. No sub- stantial con structive effort is required if the idea to be ex-pressed happens to coincide with the semantic structure of a conventional sym- bolic unit; the semantic structure automatically calls the phonological structure to mind, and conversely, since the symbolic relation between them has unit status.

7 2.1.2 Linguistic Units The linguistic character of a unit is sometimes a matter of degree. Linguistic units include both semantic and pho- nological structures Only symbolic units or parts of such units quali- fy as linguistic units

8 2.1.3 Conventional linguistic units The grammar of a language is a characterization of established linguistic convention. Four features Semantic units are characterized relative to cognitive domains Semantics are encyclopedic in nature Language is often self-referential Units are aquired through a process of decontext- ualization

9 2.1.4 A structured inventory of conventional linguistic units Inventory: the nonconstructive nature of grammar not meaning the units in a grammar are discrete and unrelated. Structured: some units function as components of others E.g: [[d]-[ ɔ ]-[g ]] [[DOG]/ [[d]-[ ɔ ]-[g ]]]

10 Three basic kinds of relations between the com- ponents of a complex structure. Symbolization: correspondence between a seman- tic structure and a phonological structure. Categorization: schematicity Integration: two or more structures in a given do- main-----semantic,phonological, or symbolic----- combine to form a composite structure of greater size. E.g: [[DOG]/ [[d ɔɡ ]] and [[PL]/[z]]

11 2.2 Schema and Instance Schema Concepts abstracted from instances Can either be relational or nonrelational Relational (next figure) Nonrelational: [ANIMAL] [THING] [MOVE]

12 Relationship between and abstraction and instance [A](schema) [B] (instance) [C] (instance)

13 /p/ [p h ] [p] [p ]

14 [ORAL STOP] [VOICELESS] [VOICED] [LABIAL][CORONAL][VELAR] [p] [t] [k] [b] [d] [g]

15 2.3 Schema and instance in symbolic units Words and word classes tree : a symbolic unit [tri:] (phonological structure) [TREE] (semantic structure)

16 Schema: [WORD] Instances:[NOUN],[VERB],[ADJECTIVE] Schema:[NOUN] Instances: TREE [tri:] DOG [d ɔɡ ]

17 Criteria for word classes Distribution: syntactic and morphological behavior earthequake Note: book on the table: not purely syntactic Inadequacy: Circular

18 Semantics: Jackendoff: one should attempt to explain formal properties in semantic terms. Three levels: phonological, semantic, and syntactic aspects. Words are represented by their Phonological form and their semantic content, and also by a stipulation of their lexical category

19 Givón and the prototype approach Givón(1984): the referents of nouns and verbs tend to differ with respect to their time stability. Nouns: stay relatively stable over time. Verbs: denoting rapid changes Adjectives: the middle of the time-stability scale

20 Inadequacies: some aspects cant be explained (nominalization, )

21 A combination of distribution and symbolic aspects Twas brillig, and the slithy toves Did gyre and gimble in the wabe Gyre and gimble are verbs according to their dis- tribution,they are nonsense words. Yet once we have determined their status as verbs, we do have some vague idea of what their meanings would be

22 2.3 Meaning: Profile, base, and domain Three General approaches to meaning: The language-world approach. Meaning is studied as the relationship between linguistic expression and states of affairs in the world. The language-internal approach. Meaning is studied in terms of relations between expres-sions within a language. The conceptualist approach. The meaning of expression is equated with a conceptualization in the mind of language user.

23 The Language–world approach Two perspectives: The semasiological perspective: goes from language to the world, and asks: For this expression, what kinds of situations can be appropriately designated by it? The onomasiological perspective: goes from the world to language, and asks For this state of affairs, what range of linguistic expressions can appropirately describe it ?

24 Inadequacies of language-world approach: (1)Applicable only to expressions which designate concrete entites. (2)It is an error to suppose that linguistic expressions refer directly to the world at all; rather, linguistic expressions refer to mental entities in mental space. (3)Offers a less than complete account of meaning. There is more to the meaning of an expression than the relation between the expression and its referents.

25 (4) Often, one and the same state of affairs can be linguistically encoded in different ways. (i) a. Someone stole her diamonds from the Princess. b. Someone robbed the Princess of her diamonds. c. Her diamonds were stolen from the Princess. d. The Princess was robbed of her diamonds.

26 The language-internal approach Two ways of implementing this approach: Paradigmatic relations: the relations between different expressions. ( synonymy, hyponymy, opposites, entailment) Syntagmatic relations: the relations between items which co-occur within an expression. (collocations)

27 The conceptualist approach Three basic notions Profile Base domain

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