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Chapter 4 Syntax.

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1 Chapter 4 Syntax

2 The definition of syntax
A subfield of linguistics that studies the sentence structure of language A branch of linguistics that studies how words are combined to form sentences and the rules that govern the formation of sentences. The definition of syntax

3 The basic components of a sentence
Subject Referring expression Predicate comprises finite verb or a verb phrase and says something about the subject The basic components of a sentence

4 Simple sentence: consists of a single clause which contains a subject and a predicate and stands alone as its own sentence. Coordinate (Compound) sentence: contains two clauses joined by a linking word called coordinating conjunctions, such as “and”, “by”, “or”… Types of sentences

5 Complex sentence: contains two, or more, clauses, one of which is incorporated into the other
Embedded clause matrix clause ① subordinator ②functions as a grammatical unit ③ may be complete

6 The linear and hierarchical structures of sentences
When a sentence is uttered or written down, the words of the sentence are produced one after another in a sequence, which suggests the structure of a sentence is linear. But the superficial arrangement of words in a linear sequence does not entail that sentences are simply linearly-structured; sentences are organized with words of the same syntactic category, such as NP or VP, grouped together. The linear and hierarchical structures of sentences

7 Tree diagram of constituent structure
Brackets and subscript labels

8 Category refers to a group of linguistic items which fulfill the same or similar functions in a particular language such as a sentence, a noun phrase or a verb. The most central categories to the syntactic study are the word-level categories (traditionally, parts of speech) Categories

9 Lexical categories: (parts of speech)
Major lexical categories (open categories): N. V. Adj. Adv. Minor lexical categories (closed categories): Det. Aux. Prep. Pron. Conj. Int. Phrasal categories: NP, VP, PP, AP Lexical categories: (parts of speech)

10 The criteria on which categories are determined
Meaning Inflection Distribution Note: The most reliable criterion of determining a word’s category is its distribution. The criteria on which categories are determined

11 Phrase structure rules
The grammatical mechanism that regulates the arrangement of elements that make up a phrase is called a phrase structure rule Phrase structure rules

12 NP VP NP →(Det) + N +(PP)…… e.g. those people, the fish on the plate,
pretty girls. VP → (Qual) + V + (NP)…… e.g. always play games, finish assignments. NP VP

13 AP PP AP → (Deg) + A + (PP)…… very handsome, very pessimistic,
familiar with, very close to PP → (Deg) + P + (NP)…… on the shelf, in the boat, quite near the station. AP PP

14 The XP rule XP Specifier X Complement Head
Specifier X Complement Head The phrase structure rules can be summed up as XP rule shown in the diagram, in which X stands for N, V, A or P. The XP rule

15 Coordination rule Coordinate structures No limit on number
Any category can be coordinated Same type Identical category type Coordination rule

16 Phrase elements Specifier Semantically precise meaning
Syntactically phrase boundary Det.+N. Qualifier+V. Degree+A./P. Phrase elements

17 Phrase elements Complements Subcategorization The XP Rule(revised)
Complementizers Complement clause Complement phrase Matrix clause Phrase elements

18 Modifiers AP for N. Adv.P and PP for V. Phrase elements

19 S rule S→NP VP Sentences

20 Transformation Auxiliary movement Do insertion
D-structure and S-structure Wh movement Move ἀ and constraints on transformations Transformation

21


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