2 How to determine constituency Semantic Intuitionssometimes, we just know that certain strings of words go together as a unit.Constituency Tests (more reliable)tests that can be applied to string of words in a given sentence to determine if the string is a constituent or not.
3 Three kinds of constituency tests Stand Alone TestSubstitution TestMovement Test
4 Stand Alone TestA constituent can often be replaced by a question expression such as who, what, where, how, why, or do/did what.The replaced constituent can then stand alone as an answer to the question.
5 Stand Alone Test Q: Where did Clarice play the accordion? Clarice played the accordion under the table.Q: Where did Clarice play the accordion?A: under the tableQ: Clarice played what under the table?A: the accordion
6 Substitution Test Only constituents can be replaced by pro-forms. Pro-form examplespronouns she, he, it, they, us, her, thatpro-verbs do, bepro-adverbs there, then, herepro-adjectives such, so, thus
7 Substitution Test Clarice played the accordion under the table. Clarice played the accordion there.Clarice played it under the table.Clarice did. (Who played the accordion under the table?)
8 Movement TestIf a string can be moved to the beginning of a sentence, it is a constituent.Clarice played the accordion under the table.Under the table, Clarice played the accordion.? The accordion Clarice played under the table. (We already know this is a constituent.)* Played the accordion under the table Clarice.(We already know this is a constituent.)Sometimes, constituency tests won’t work for strings that are actually constituents.
9 When applying constituency tests, keep this in mind… The tests are not foolproof. Often a constituent will only pass two of the three tests.Decide whether or not a string is a constituent based on how convincing the test results are.One strong pass is enough to determine constituency in some cases.
10 When applying constituency tests, keep this in mind… We can only say whether or not a string is a constituent relative to a particular sentence.Time flies like an arrow.Fruit flies like a banana.We watched shooting stars all nightThe Milky Way was shooting stars from the galactic center.
11 Phrase Structure Rules Our Grammar Consists of a set of rules acquired in order to form sentencesThey are formed by putting words from different lexical categories togetherPSRs (Phrase Structure Rules) differ from language to language.
12 Lexical category Parts of speech Many words, limited categories What you learned in schoolNounPerson, place or thingVerbAction wordAdjectiveDescribes something
13 But… “bad” “sandwich” “oops, my bad” “to sandwich something between two things”
14 Determiners a, an, the, every, this, that, those, her, his, my, yours ______ (Adj) NDet
18 Prepositions at, up, over, into, above, through right ______ NP ___ NP
19 Phrasal CategoriesPhrasal Categories: A set of constituents that behave the same and share the same function.Phrasal Category is named after its head element:The boy, a girl, girls are NP’s.NP[The boy] VP[hit him]
20 Phrase Structure Rules (PSRs) Make observations about languagesubject and predicate (NP and VP)Make a ruleS NP VP“a sentence consists of an NP and a VP”
21 Noun phrases (NPs) Cats make good pets The book is red NP NThe book is redNP Det NMy friendly neighbor enjoys joggingNP Det Adj N
22 Collapse the rules NP N NP Det N NP Det Adj N
23 English PSRs S NP VP NP (Det) (AP) N VP V (NP) (PP) AdjP (Adv) AdjPP P NP
24 Building treesWords and rulesDifferent waystop-downbottom-up