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Constituency Lec. 5.  Syntactic rules determine the order of words in a sentence, and how the words are grouped.  E.g.  NP + VP + NP  the child found.

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Presentation on theme: "Constituency Lec. 5.  Syntactic rules determine the order of words in a sentence, and how the words are grouped.  E.g.  NP + VP + NP  the child found."— Presentation transcript:

1 Constituency Lec. 5

2  Syntactic rules determine the order of words in a sentence, and how the words are grouped.  E.g.  NP + VP + NP  the child found the puppy = (the child) + (found the puppy)  (the child) = (the) + (child)  (Found the puppy) = (found) + (the puppy)  (the puppy) = (the) + (puppy) Syntax & Constituents

3  A 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 constituents  Constituents = these internal structures  Constituents = the units of substructure Constituents

4  If 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 )  Constituents

5 SNPVP Phrase structure rules S  NP VP

6  S  sentence  NP  noun phrase  VP  verbal phrase  PP  prepositional NP  N   V   Art.   Adj.   Adv.   Prep.  Typical constituents

7  Please note: 1.Constituents are usually parts of other constituents e.g. The very big can of tuna 1.Words that modify one another need not be adjacent to each another e.g. The beautiful old town houses Constituents

8 Exercise / semantic modification test for constituency A black cat quickly scratched the rather large couch YesNo 1Does 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  Constituent: A linguistic unit (usually in sentence analysis) which is part of a larger construction. Constituents are usually parts of other constituents 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. Constituent structure

11  In the tree notation, the name of the whole constituent is written on top; ach subconstituent is connected to this label with a line  e.g.  The penguin swallowed the fish  The monkey ate a banana Representing constituents

12 The penguin swallowed the fish ThePenguinswallowedThe fish The penguin Swallowed the fish Constituent structure & tree diagram

13  There are some rules that govern what goes into each constituent:  There are various linguistic tests that reveal the constituents of a sentence. Rules & Constituents

14  If 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 1.Stand-alone Test

15  The child found the puppy in the garden  What did the child find?  Who found the puppy?  Where did the child find the puppy? Example

16  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? Example

17  A black cat scratched the rather large couch Exercise YesNo 1a black 2a black cat 3the rather 4rather large 5the rather large couch 6quickly scratched 7quickly scratched the rather large couch

18  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 2. Replacement test for constituency

19  E.g.  The big fat cat with black and white fur demanded attention  Calvin demanded attention Examples

20  Replace 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. Exercise

21  If a string of words can be displaced (i. e. moved) as a unit, then it is a constituent  a 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 3. The displacement or movement test

22  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 Example

23  Try clefting the underlined string to see if they are constituents:  Calvin brought a really expensive ring. Cleft:  I was going to the store Cleft:  Pangur ate his tuna very quickly Cleft:  Pangur ate his tuna very quickly Cleft: Exercise


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