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MORPHOLOGY - morphemes are the building blocks that make up words.

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Presentation on theme: "MORPHOLOGY - morphemes are the building blocks that make up words."— Presentation transcript:


2 MORPHOLOGY - morphemes are the building blocks that make up words.
The study of the structure of sentences is called the SYNTAX of the language.

3 To convince you that there is such a thing as
syntax in your brain, I would like to ask you to make a sentence out of the following sets of words: a)      sleeps, a, baby, newborn b)      in, house, live, green, the, a people c)      the, kicked, boy, ball, a

4 Can you tell me which sentence has a good structure?
(1) House student painted a the. (2) A student painted the house.

5 How do you know how to form grammatical sentences of a language?
We have an unconscious knowledge of the grammatical architecture in each sentence. This architecture is a result of some computation that is going on in our brain. Recall that monkeys can produce sentences consisting of maximally two words and there is no notion of word order in their communication: banana give and give banana is perfectly fine for a monkey.


7 Only human beings have this amazing language faculty in their brains which allows them to compute sentences. It is exactly this computational device which helps you determine which sentences of English or Polish are grammatical and which are not. What is it exactly that enables you to do this ordering?

8 The Human brain is a real-world computing device.
Scientists working in artificial intelligence are trying to program computers to solve the problems that the human brain can solve. - Vision - Motorics - Natural Language Processing It is possible thanks to the findings of linguists who claim that in our brain we have an inborn language faculty which is like a small computer program generating and processing language.

9 Grammar: the entire system of rules and principles that account for our linguisitic behavior.
Linguistics is concerned with the structure of language in our mind, the structure shared by all language speakers all over the world (the Universal Grammar UG) One of the components of the UG is the syntactic component: the rules which tell how the words are to be organized into sentences and what the structures of these sentences are. Syntax: the study of how words are combined to form sentences.

10 QUESTION: What are the basic elements of sentences? What is the system of rules and categories which underlie sentence formation?

11 We will rely on the intuition that:
1) Certain words in a sentence are grouped together into phrases. 2) Phrases form a hierarchical structure which results from the application of certain computational rules.

12 Are you able to change the order of each sentence. How
Are you able to change the order of each sentence? How? Do you change the order of words or the order of some larger units? a)      Has been eating the chocolate cake the old man. b)      The old man the chocolate cake has been eating. c)      Has been eating the old man the chocolate cake.

13 This indicates that words are grouped to form some units which are not necessarily sentences. We call these groupings PHRASES.

14 There are three tests which can be used to identify which groups in a sentence are phrases:
TEST 1: SUBSTITUTION It is possible to substitute phrases with pronouns or auxiliaries: The old man ate the chocolate cake: He ate chocolate cakes. The old man ate the chocolate cake: The old man ate it. The old man ate the chocolate cake: Who ate the chocolate cakes? The old man did. The old man ate the chocolate cake: It is impossible to replace the old man ate with any shorter linguistic form because it is not a phrase in this sentence.

15 Test 2: Movement It is possible to move the whole phases not their parts: The chocolate cake was eaten by the old man. *The chocolate was eaten by the old man cake.

16 Test 3: Phrases do not just form grammatical units but also form units of meaning.
The following phrases have a coherent indentifiable meaning: a)      the old man, the chocolate cake b)      the large evil alligator c)      in a bad mood d)      quite large e)      is reading a book Consider the following groups: a)      the the old b)      cake which the c)      the big d)      in the e)      cake ate 

17 CONCLUSION: Words are grouped together to form phrases and phrases form sentences.
What is the structure of phrases? Words belong to some categories. These are the word-level categories which are the most central to the study of syntax: Lexical categories: Nouns (N), Verbs (V), Adjective (A), Preposition (P), Adevrb (Adv) Functional categories: Determiners (Det) a, the, this, that Degree words (Deg) too, so, very, more, quite Auxiliary (Aux) will, can, should Conjunction (Conj) and, but, or

18 Exercises 1 and 2 We have agreed earlier that sentences are not formed by simply stringing words together like beads on a necklace. Sentences have a hierarchical design in which words are grouped together into successively larger structural units built around categories. These units built around categories are called PHRASES.

19 Nouns allow us to form NOUN PHRASES (NP)
Adjectives allow us to form ADJECTIVE PHRASES (AP) Verbs allow us to form VERB PHRASES (VP) Prepositions allow us to form PREPOSITIONAL PHRASES (PP) Categories are the words around which a given phrase is built. Exercise 3

20 Those words around which phrases are built are called HEADS
Those words around which phrases are built are called HEADS. HEADS are the only obligatory elements of each phrase. In other words, phrases can consist of just one word.


22 Although phrases can consist of just one word, they often contain other elements as well.
For instance: [NP the books] [VP often fly] [AP very beautiful] [PP almost outside]

23 In addition to a head, each phrase includes a second word that has a specific semantic and syntactic role. Such words as determiners, degree words are called SPECIFIERS. Specifiers make the meaning of the head more specific. The determiner THE indicates that the speaker has in mind specific books. The degree words VERY, ALMOST speficy the extent to which a property or location is manifested. In English specifiers occur at the left boundary of phrases, to the left of the head. Heads and their specifiers together form the phrases depicted below:


25 We can encrease the complexity of phrases by adding some linguistic material to their right. Consider the following examples:

26 The element which occurs to the right of the head in English is called a COMPLEMENT.
A relevant question which arises is about the structure of those more complex phrases? There is evidence that we cannot treat the string specifier – head – complement as a trinary structure depicted as follows:


28 First, we have a strong intuition that the verb and its complement form a stronger relationship than the specifier and the head. Second, this intuition about an integrity of the head verb and its complement can be supported by the following observation: Does John read books? In fact, he often does.

29 Does substitutes read books, which suggests that the verb and its complement cooperate with one another separately from the specifier. For this reason we would like to make the specifier on the one hand and the verb+complement combination on the other hand structuraly independent. Therefore, there must be an intermediate level between them. The resulting structure would look as follows:


31 We know now that lexical categories can form larger units called PHRASES.
Lexical categories stand in particular syntactic relationships and they play different grammatical functions such as SUBJECTS, DIRECT OBJECTS, INDIRECT OBJECTS, PREDICATES, ADVERBIALS. Grammatical functions are the roles of particular phrases in sentence structure. Exercises 4 and 5

32 Subjects and objects are obligatory elements of stenentes:
John read a book this morning John read a book *John read *Read a book This element which is not obligatory in a sentence is called an adverbial. There are subtypes of adverbials: Adjuncts - modify a verb or verb phrase e.g. clumsily, angrily, the day after tomorrow Disjuncts – express speaker's or writer's attitude towards sth for instance amazingly, frankly speaking, unfortunately, probably


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