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Week 2a. Categories CAS LX 522 Syntax I. Describing the grammatical system Our goal is to describe the systematic grammatical knowledge that people have.

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Presentation on theme: "Week 2a. Categories CAS LX 522 Syntax I. Describing the grammatical system Our goal is to describe the systematic grammatical knowledge that people have."— Presentation transcript:

1 Week 2a. Categories CAS LX 522 Syntax I

2 Describing the grammatical system Our goal is to describe the systematic grammatical knowledge that people have. Our goal is to describe the systematic grammatical knowledge that people have. To describe how words can be combined (and how they cannot be combined) into sentences requires classification of words into different groups that each share syntactic properties, the syntactic categories. To describe how words can be combined (and how they cannot be combined) into sentences requires classification of words into different groups that each share syntactic properties, the syntactic categories.

3 Grammatical categories A grammatical category is a class of expressions which share a common set of grammatical properties. A grammatical category is a class of expressions which share a common set of grammatical properties. Some that we know when we see: Some that we know when we see: frog, utensil, liberty: noun frog, utensil, liberty: noun jump, know, donate: verb jump, know, donate: verb smooth, intense, magenta, likely: adjective smooth, intense, magenta, likely: adjective rapidly, halfheartedly, effectively, well: adverb rapidly, halfheartedly, effectively, well: adverb on, under, aboard: preposition on, under, aboard: preposition

4 Nouns Nouns generally are used to refer to something, a person, an object, an abstract idea. Nouns generally are used to refer to something, a person, an object, an abstract idea. Nouns can often have a plural. Nouns can often have a plural. But: sheep, deer But: sheep, deer But: furniture But: furniture But: policy decisions But: policy decisions The distinction between singular and plural is a grammatical distinction. The difference between dog and cat is a difference of content, whereas the difference between dog and dogs is predictable if you know what dog means. Predictable things are part of the grammar. The distinction between singular and plural is a grammatical distinction. The difference between dog and cat is a difference of content, whereas the difference between dog and dogs is predictable if you know what dog means. Predictable things are part of the grammar.

5 Inflectional morphology Morphology like the plural -s in English that marks a grammatical property is inflectional morphology. Morphology like the plural -s in English that marks a grammatical property is inflectional morphology. In a sense, these markings reflect meaning. In a sense, these markings reflect meaning.

6 Verbs Verbs carry inflectional morphology that reflect tense and aspectual properties. Verbs carry inflectional morphology that reflect tense and aspectual properties. BASEPERFPASTPRESPROG sewsewnsewedsewssewing gogonewentgoesgoing speakspokenspokespeaksspeaking seeseensawseesseeing comecamecomescoming waitwaitedwaitswaiting meetmetmeetsmeeting cutcutscutting

7 Derivational morphology Inflectional morphology is distinguished from derivational morphology, which can be seen as changing or adding to meaning. Inflectional morphology is distinguished from derivational morphology, which can be seen as changing or adding to meaning. un: tie, untie. un: tie, untie. iN: possible, impossible, regular, irregular, tolerable, intolerable iN: possible, impossible, regular, irregular, tolerable, intolerable re: retie, rewrite. re: retie, rewrite. This is still at a fairly intuitive level, of course… This is still at a fairly intuitive level, of course…

8 Derivational morphology and category Derivational morphology often seems to be sensitive to category and can change words from one category to another. Derivational morphology often seems to be sensitive to category and can change words from one category to another. noun  adjective: ish, like, esque noun  adjective: ish, like, esque verb  noun: er, verb  noun: er, adjective/adverb  adjective/adverb: iN, un adjective/adverb  adjective/adverb: iN, un adjective  noun: ness adjective  noun: ness … The point is: we need to recognize categories of words to adequately describe/explain language. The point is: we need to recognize categories of words to adequately describe/explain language.

9 Sharing properties There are a number of morphological hints (but they are not completely reliable, due to irregularity): There are a number of morphological hints (but they are not completely reliable, due to irregularity): nouns can have a plural (+s, usually) nouns can have a plural (+s, usually) verbs inflect for 3sg agreement (usually) verbs inflect for 3sg agreement (usually) verbs inflect for tense/aspect: ing, en/ed. verbs inflect for tense/aspect: ing, en/ed. adjectives can often be emphasized with very, as can adverbs. adjectives can often be emphasized with very, as can adverbs. adverbs often end in ly. adverbs often end in ly.

10 Distribution One of the best definitional characteristics of a syntactic category is its distribution. One of the best definitional characteristics of a syntactic category is its distribution. In general, you can substitute something with another thing of the same syntactic category. In general, you can substitute something with another thing of the same syntactic category. Obvious is an adjective. Obvious is an adjective. It is obvious that Pat likes Tracy. It is obvious that Pat likes Tracy. It is likely that Pat likes Tracy. It is likely that Pat likes Tracy. So, likely is also an adjective. So, likely is also an adjective.

11 Distribution They have no noun. They have no noun. They can verb. They can verb. They are adjective. They are adjective. Very adverb, very adjective. Very adverb, very adjective. so long as it makes sense (e.g., with gradable adjectives; #they are very absent) so long as it makes sense (e.g., with gradable adjectives; #they are very absent) Right preposition Right preposition right over the house right over the house

12 Lexical and functional Nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs: These are lexical categories. They carry significant and arbitrary meaning, and they are open-class (new ones can be invented). Nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs: These are lexical categories. They carry significant and arbitrary meaning, and they are open-class (new ones can be invented). But not all words are of this kind (except maybe on telegrams). But not all words are of this kind (except maybe on telegrams). Telegram: Ancient form of instant messaging. Telegram: Ancient form of instant messaging. Sentences are held together by little “function words” as well. These are the functional categories. Sentences are held together by little “function words” as well. These are the functional categories.

13 Lexical and functional Functional categories are more like the syntactic “glue” of a sentence, concerned more with grammatical properties. Functional categories are more like the syntactic “glue” of a sentence, concerned more with grammatical properties. Determiners: the, a(n) Determiners: the, a(n) Quantifiers (determiners): some, every Quantifiers (determiners): some, every Demonstratives: that, this, those Demonstratives: that, this, those Possessive pronouns: my, your Possessive pronouns: my, your Any old pronouns: you, him, they Any old pronouns: you, him, they Infinitival to Infinitival to Auxiliaries/Modals: have, be, do, can, should Auxiliaries/Modals: have, be, do, can, should Complementizers: that, for, if Complementizers: that, for, if

14 Determiners Determiners generally come before a noun, and come in a few different types. Determiners generally come before a noun, and come in a few different types. Articles: the, an. Articles: the, an. Quantificational determiners: some, most Quantificational determiners: some, most Interrogative determiner: which Interrogative determiner: which Demonstratives: that, this Demonstratives: that, this Possessive pronouns: my, your, their Possessive pronouns: my, your, their These types are similar to… and different from… one another. For now, we’ll lump them together. These types are similar to… and different from… one another. For now, we’ll lump them together.

15 Determiners v. adjectives Can we lump determiners together with adjectives? Maybe we could have a simpler theory of categories if we just put determiners and adjectives together. Can we lump determiners together with adjectives? Maybe we could have a simpler theory of categories if we just put determiners and adjectives together. They both come before nouns (in English) They both come before nouns (in English) They both seem to “modify” the noun. They both seem to “modify” the noun. Tall building. Tall building. That building. That building. A building. A building. My building. My building.

16 Determiners v. adjectives The big fluffy pink rabbit The big fluffy pink rabbit The my rabbit The my rabbit The that rabbit The that rabbit Every my rabbit Every my rabbit To properly describe the distribution of these elements, we really need to separate them into two classes. Lumping them together will not give us a simpler descriptive system. To properly describe the distribution of these elements, we really need to separate them into two classes. Lumping them together will not give us a simpler descriptive system. Determiners cannot co-occur with other determiners, and must precede any adjectives. Determiners cannot co-occur with other determiners, and must precede any adjectives. Adjectives can occur with other adjectives. Adjectives can occur with other adjectives.

17 Regarding chairs and furniture Nouns can be broken up into two classes, the mass nouns that refer to “stuff” and the count nouns that refer to things we can count. Furniture is a mass noun, chair is a count noun. Nouns can be broken up into two classes, the mass nouns that refer to “stuff” and the count nouns that refer to things we can count. Furniture is a mass noun, chair is a count noun. The use of determiners is sensitive to this difference. What are you looking for? *Chair, *fancy chair, a chair, that chair, furniture, fancy furniture. The use of determiners is sensitive to this difference. What are you looking for? *Chair, *fancy chair, a chair, that chair, furniture, fancy furniture. It seems that in a fragment response, you need to have a determiner if you’re going to use a count noun. An adjective won’t do, hence adjectives can’t be the same as determiners. It seems that in a fragment response, you need to have a determiner if you’re going to use a count noun. An adjective won’t do, hence adjectives can’t be the same as determiners.

18 Pronouns Pronouns differ from nouns in a couple of ways, and should be considered a functional category. Pronouns differ from nouns in a couple of ways, and should be considered a functional category. The pronouns of English express person, number, and gender (3rd person). The pronouns of English express person, number, and gender (3rd person). 1st person: I, me, we, us 1st person: I, me, we, us 2nd person: you 2nd person: you 3rd person: he, she, him, her, they, them, it 3rd person: he, she, him, her, they, them, it

19 Case Pronouns differ from regular nouns in that they give an indication of their function in the sentence. They are marked for case. Pronouns differ from regular nouns in that they give an indication of their function in the sentence. They are marked for case. Subject: he, she, I, they Subject: he, she, I, they Non-subject: him, her, me, them Non-subject: him, her, me, them You and it do not vary regardless of function, but they could hardly be of a different category that I/me, they/them. You and it do not vary regardless of function, but they could hardly be of a different category that I/me, they/them.

20 Auxiliaries and modals Different from verbs: have, be, do, will, can, might. Different from verbs: have, be, do, will, can, might. In questions, auxiliaries “invert” with the subject, verbs don’t. In questions, auxiliaries “invert” with the subject, verbs don’t. Will you leave? Can you leave? Do you leave often? *Leave you often? Will you leave? Can you leave? Do you leave often? *Leave you often? Auxiliaries occur before not, verbs don’t. Auxiliaries occur before not, verbs don’t. You will not leave. You did not leave. *You left not. You will not leave. You did not leave. *You left not. Notice the extra do: “do-support”. Notice the extra do: “do-support”. Auxiliaries are responsible for things like tense, mood, modality, aspect, voice. Grammatical things. Auxiliaries are responsible for things like tense, mood, modality, aspect, voice. Grammatical things.

21 Infinitival to I like to go to the movies. I like to go to the movies. Kind of looks like a preposition, but it’s not. Prepositions take nouns, to as a P has a kind of contentful meaning (endpoint of a path). Infinitival to takes (bare) verbs only, means nothing (apart from “untensed”). Kind of looks like a preposition, but it’s not. Prepositions take nouns, to as a P has a kind of contentful meaning (endpoint of a path). Infinitival to takes (bare) verbs only, means nothing (apart from “untensed”).

22 Infinitival to like a modal? To and modals (can, might, should) seem to appear in the same place (between the subject and a bare verb form). To and modals (can, might, should) seem to appear in the same place (between the subject and a bare verb form). I like that John can pick up his dry-cleaning. I like that John can pick up his dry-cleaning. I’d like for John to pick up his dry-cleaning. I’d like for John to pick up his dry-cleaning.

23 I (a.k.a. INFL) This whole class of functional elements (modals, to, auxiliaries) seem to be responsible for tense (and subject agreement, as we’ll discuss). This whole class of functional elements (modals, to, auxiliaries) seem to be responsible for tense (and subject agreement, as we’ll discuss). These are the things reflected by the verbal inflectional morphology. These are the things reflected by the verbal inflectional morphology. These elements seem to behave basically alike, so we’ll suppose they are of a single category, I (for Inflection). These elements seem to behave basically alike, so we’ll suppose they are of a single category, I (for Inflection). In many languages, infinitives are marked with a special inflectional ending, not unlike finite verbs. So, we might take to to be marking a special kind of tense: untensed (non-finite). In many languages, infinitives are marked with a special inflectional ending, not unlike finite verbs. So, we might take to to be marking a special kind of tense: untensed (non-finite).

24 Complementizers Pat will leave. Pat will leave. I heard that Pat will leave. I heard that Pat will leave. I wonder if Pat will leave. I wonder if Pat will leave. I am anxious for Pat to leave. I am anxious for Pat to leave. It is perfectly possible to embed a sentence inside another one. When we do this, it is indicated with a complementizer (introducing a complement clause). It is perfectly possible to embed a sentence inside another one. When we do this, it is indicated with a complementizer (introducing a complement clause).

25 The P for v. the C for For is of course a preposition (I looked for you for three hours), but not when it is introducing clauses. For is of course a preposition (I looked for you for three hours), but not when it is introducing clauses. He headed right for the back row. He headed right for the back row. *He’d like right for the class to be over. *He’d like right for the class to be over. *He expressed interest in the class to be over. *He expressed interest in the class to be over. Who would you vote for in the primary? Who would you vote for in the primary? *Who are you anxious for to win the primary? *Who are you anxious for to win the primary?

26 The D that v. the C that Same kind of thing holds for that. Same kind of thing holds for that. I like that movie. I like that movie. I heard that the movie involved guinea pigs. I heard that the movie involved guinea pigs. Sometimes you can replace for clauses with that clauses. Sometimes you can replace for clauses with that clauses. It is important that Pat votes. It is important that Pat votes. It is important for Pat to vote. It is important for Pat to vote.

27 So… Lexical categories: Lexical categories: N: nounA: adjectiveAdv: adverb N: nounA: adjectiveAdv: adverb V: verbP: preposition V: verbP: preposition Functional categories: Functional categories: I: inflection/aux/modalD: determiner I: inflection/aux/modalD: determiner C: complementizerPRN: Pronoun C: complementizerPRN: Pronoun

28 [ A labeled ] [ N brackets ] A common way of indicating the syntactic categories of words is by using labeled brackets, putting [brackets] around the word and marking the first one with a syntactic category label. A common way of indicating the syntactic categories of words is by using labeled brackets, putting [brackets] around the word and marking the first one with a syntactic category label. [ N Pat] [ I is] [ A anxious] [ C for] [ N Tracy] [ I to] [ V win] [ D the] [ N election] [ P in] [ N November] [ Adv decisively]. [ N Pat] [ I is] [ A anxious] [ C for] [ N Tracy] [ I to] [ V win] [ D the] [ N election] [ P in] [ N November] [ Adv decisively].

29                       


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