What is a sentence? A string of random words? If it is a sentence, does it have to be meaningful?
Grammaticality Grammatical vs. ungrammatical well formed vs. ill formed words must conform to specific patterns determined by the syntactic rules of the language based on syntactic rules NOT based on what is taught in school whether it is meaningful whether you have heard the sentences before.
Phrase structure (PS) rules What are PS rules? How words of different parts of speech are connected. Different languages have different PS rules English An adjective is placed before a noun. A beautiful woman French An adjective is placed either before or after a noun. Une belle femme ‘a beautiful woman’ Une femme fatale ‘an attractive woman’
Writing PS Rules Books NP->N Read: An NP is composed of a noun. A book NP -> Det N John’s book NP -> Pos N Good books; a good book NP -> Det Adj N NP -> Adj N NP -> (Det) (adj) N Books on the table NP -> N (PP) The PS rule of an NP NP -> (Det) (adj) N (PP)
Phrase structure (PS) rules in English NP -> (Det) (adj) N (PP) NP -> Pronoun VP -> ? AP -> ? PP -> ? CP -> COMP (that) S COMP: complementizer=that, if, unless S -> ?
Phrase structure (PS) rules in English NP -> (Det) (adj) N (PP)NP -> pronounVP -> V (NP) (PP) (CP)AP -> Adj (PP)PP -> P NPCP -> COMP (that) S COMP: complementizer=that, if, unless S -> NP (Aux) VP
A Tree Diagram NP NPP Det Theboyfrom Taiwan VP NP V N knew answer S P N Det the
What does a tree diagram show? Speakers’ syntactic knowledge of sentence structure the linear order of the words the categorization of words into particular syntactic categories (i.e. constituents) the hierarchical structure of the syntactic categories
Grow your own trees. The sun melted the ice. The boy put the toy in the box. The reporter realized that the senator lied. A fast car with twin cams sped by the children on the grassy lane. A stranger whispered to the Soviet agent that a dangerous spy from the CIA loved coffee.
What can tree diagrams explain? Structural ambiguity
A sentence may have two interpretations due to different structural compositions of constituents. Example : The boy left Mary with a broken heart.
Structural ambiguity NP NDet Theboya broken heart VP NP V N left S Mary PP P NP with
Structural ambiguity (2) NP NDet Theboy a broken heart VP NPV N left Mary PP P NP with S