2 Syntax & ConstituentsSyntactic rules determine the order of words in a sentence, and how the words are grouped.E.g.NP + VP + NPthe child found the puppy = (the child) + (found the puppy)(the child) = (the) + (child)(Found the puppy) = (found) + (the puppy)(the puppy) = (the) + (puppy)
3 ConstituentsA constituent is an identifiable subpart of a sentence. It can either be a single word or a group of words. Most constituents are called phrases.The natural groupings of a sentence are called constituentsConstituents = these internal structuresConstituents = the units of substructure
4 ConstituentsIf one word modifies the meaning of another, they will be linked in a constituent.E.g.The very big can of tuna(very & big) (very & can )
7 Constituents Please note: Constituents are usually parts of other constituentse.g.The very big can of tunaWords that modify one another need not be adjacent to each anotherThe beautiful old town houses
8 Exercise / semantic modification test for constituency A black cat quickly scratched the rather large couchYesNo1Does a modify black?2Does a modify cat?3Does black modify cat?4Does the modify rather?5Does the modify large?6Does the modify couch?7Does rather modify couch?8Does rather modify large?9Does rather large modify couch?10Does quickly modify scratched?
9 Constituents Constituent: A linguistic unit (usually in sentence analysis) which is part of a larger construction.Constituents are usually parts of other constituents
10 Constituent structure The arrangement of linguistic units (constituents) in a phrase, clause, sentence, etc., in order to show their relationship to one another. A constituent structure can be represented in various ways. A popular way is to use a tree diagram.
11 Representing constituents In the tree notation, the name of the whole constituent is written on top; ach subconstituent is connected to this label with a linee.g.The penguin swallowed the fishThe monkey ate a banana
12 Constituent structure & tree diagram The penguin swallowed the fishThePenguinswallowedThe fishThe penguinSwallowed the fish
13 Rules & ConstituentsThere are some rules that govern what goes into each constituent:There are various linguistic tests that reveal the constituents of a sentence.
14 Stand-alone TestIf a string of words can stand alone in answer to a question, then it is a constituent.Remember that:When a string of words is a constituent, it functions as a unit
15 Example The child found the puppy in the garden What did the child find?Who found the puppy?Where did the child find the puppy?
16 Example I found The very big can of tuna in the cupboard this morning What did you find in the cupboard?How big was that can of tuna?Where did you find the can of tuna?When did you find the can of tuna?
17 Exercise A black cat scratched the rather large couch Yes No 1 a black 2a black cat3the rather4rather large5the rather large couch6quickly scratched7quickly scratched the rather large couch
18 2. Replacement test for constituency If you can replace a string of words with a single word. Without changing the meaning of the rest of the sentence, then that string is a constituent.Remember that:When a string of words is a constituent, it functions as a unit
19 ExamplesE.g.The big fat cat with black and white fur demanded attentionCalvin demanded attention
20 ExerciseReplace the underlined strings (constituents) with a single word:I took the garbage to the dump.The guy with the feather hat fell on the floor.Susan arrived from Chicago.
21 3. The displacement or movement test If a string of words can be displaced (i. e. moved) as a unit, then it is a constituenta cleft is a displacement, where a string of words is placed at the beginning of the sentence after the words it is/ it was / it will be but before a word like that, who, where, or whose and the rest of the sentence
22 Example I saw the cat with the black and white fur The Cleft structure It was the cat with the black and white fur that I saw
23 ExerciseTry clefting the underlined string to see if they are constituents:Calvin brought a really expensive ring.Cleft:I was going to the storePangur ate his tuna very quickly