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Syntax & Stylistics 1

Syntax & Stylistics 1






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    Syntax & Stylistics 1 Syntax & Stylistics 1 Presentation Transcript

    • Syntax & Stylistics Revealing the Bones of Language
    • Intuitions about Words Belonging Together My cat eats ate really fancy restaurants [[my cat ][ eats [ at [[ really fancy ] restaurants ]]]]
      • There seems to be a closer relationship between “really” and “fancy” than btw. “eats” and “at.”
      • Syntax is the way capture these intuitions.
    • Constituent Structure
      • Sentences are not just a linear string of words. We can use a tree structure to represent these relationships:
      My cat eats at really fancy restaurants
    • Using Introspective Data Syntax is fun!
    • Intuitions about Language
      • You’re going to be making judgments about sentences you’ve never seen before.
      • What criteria are we using?
        • Is the sentence well-formed?
        • Does it conform to your dialect?
      • We’re not talking about meaning.
        • Syntax is different from Semantics
    • Form vs. Meaning
      • Some famous sentences:
        • Colorless green ideas sleep furiously. (?)
        • Revolutionary new ideas occur infrequently. (√)
        • ?I’m going to visit that country last year. (?)
        • I’m going to visit that country next year. (√)
      • Meaning may broken, but syntax is still good.
    • Introspective Judgments
      • We’re using acceptability and ambiguity as a window on our own grammar.
      • The grammar we create may generate sentences we wouldn’t find acceptable.
        • Infinitely long
        • Center embedded
        • Silly meanings
    • Constituents
      • Further approximation:
        • Rather than being linear strings of words, sentences contain constituents.
        • Constituents are groups of words that function as a unit with respect to grammatical processes.
        • Constituents can be grouped into larger constituents.
        • The hierarchical organization of sentences represents the structure of constituents.
    • Constituent Tests
      • It was X that Y.
        • The greedy mouse devoured the cheese in the cupboard .
          • It was the greedy mouse that devoured the cheese in the cupboard .
          • It was the cheese in the cupboard that the greedy mouse devoured .
    • Constituent Tests
      • Answer to a Question:
        • What did the greedy mouse do?
          • “ devoured the cheese in the cupboard.”
        • Where did the greedy mouse devour the cheese?
          • “ in the cupboard.”
    • Constituent Tests
      • Replacement with a proform (pronoun, proverb, proadjective, propreposition).
        • Kozo loves eating at really fancy restaurants , and Dori loves to too . (proverb)
        • The compulsive mouse ate the cheese but he did not eat the tuna. (pronoun)
        • Kozo is quite thoroughly independent minded , but Dori is less so . (proadjective)
    • Constituent Test
      • Deletion
        • My dog likes to eat at really fancy restaurants.
        • My dog likes to eat at restaurants.
    • What’s a Constituent?
      • Are the underlined strings of words constituents or not?
        • Humpty Dumpty washed himself with soapy water .
        • The greedy mouse devoured the cheese in the tower.
        • The Cheshire Cat dislikes grey mice with pink tails .
        • The Mad Hatter will give some herbal tea to Alice.
        • Humpty Dumpty and the Cheshire Cat never eat together
    • Constituent Tests
      • It was X that Y
      • Replacement with a proform
      • Answer to a question
      • Deletion
    • Ambiguity
      • Some sentences have multiple meanings:
        • “ Wanted: Man to take care of cow that does not smoke or drink.”
      • Ambiguity provides evidence about the structure.
        • Frege: The meaning of a sentence is composed of the meanings of the parts and their mode of combination.
    • A Richer Hierarchical Structure The dog that is chasing the ball is limping
    • Ambiguity
      • “ The harbor pilot saw the ship’s captain with the telescope.”
        • One sentence, two meanings.
          • Meaning 1: The harbor pilot had the telescope.
          • Meaning 2: The ship’s captain had the telescope.
      • The only way for the same string of unambiguous words to have two meanings is for the structures (mode of combination) to be different.
    • Ambiguity The harbor pilot saw the ship’s captain with a telescope The harbor pilot saw the ship’s captain with a telescope Each meaning is associated with a different structure:
    • Find the Ambiguity
      • Describe the two meanings in each of the following ambiguous sentences:
        • Wanted: Man to take care of cow that does not drink or smoke.
        • The old cat and dog sat on the porch.
        • Tibetan history teacher to visit the college.
        • More intelligent administrators are required to solve this problem.
    • Ambiguity
      • Make up four more sentences that are ambiguous in the same way as “The pilot saw the captain with a telescope.” Use words such as to, from under, without and on .
    • Concatenation
      • First approximation: Constituent structure as simple concatenation.
        • As in mathematics: addition.
        • Phrase structure corresponds to the order of words from the beginning to the end:
        • Kozo ate Dori’s dinner.
        • Kozo + ate + Dori’s + dinner
    • Concatenation as Addition
      • Addition is commutative:
        • 2 + 4 = 4 + 2
        • Order doesn’t matter.
      • Language is not commutative:
      • Boy loves girl ≠ Girl loves boy.
      • (Hence, the entire history of Western literature.)
      • Dori ate Kozo’s dinner ≠ Kozo ate Dori’s dinner
    • Structured Concatenation
      • What if we combine the first two elements to create a new object, then combine the new object with the next word to the right…
        • Kozo & ate
        • (Kozo & ate) & Dori’s
        • ((Kozo & ate) & Dori’s) & dinner
      • Solves part of the problem:
        • (Kozo & ate) ≠ (Dori & ate)
    • Problems
      • Structured concatenation doesn’t capture the intuitions we have about language.
      • “ Dori’s” is structurally closer to “ate” than to “dinner.”
      • ( 1 ( 2 ( 3 Kozo & ate ) 3 & Dori’s ) 2 & dinner) 1
      • “ Dori’s” belongs to the set enclosed by ( 2 … ) 2 , excluding “dinner.”
      • Our intuitions tell us that this isn’t right.
    • Reverse Order?
      • What if we collect things into constituents from R to L?
        • Dori’s & dinner
        • ate & (Dori’s & dinner)
        • Kozo & (ate & (Dori’s & dinner))
      • Resulting in this structure:
      • ( 1 Kozo & ( 2 ate & ( 3 Dori’s & dinner) 3 ) 2 ) 1
    • Reverse Order Kozo ate Dori’s dinner
    • Problems ( 1 the & ( 2 cat & ( 3 ate & ( 4 Dori’s & dinner) 4 ) 3 ) 2 ) 1 The cat ate Dori’s dinner
      • Still doesn’t capture our intuitions about the relatedness of phrases, e.g., “the cat”
    • Regular (Markov) Grammars Also called “Finite State Automata.” Each dot represents a state, the words are functions from state to state. man men comes came The old ● ● ● ● ● ● very
    • Regular (Markov) Grammar What sentences can you generate with this grammar? dog dogs snores snore The old ● ● ● ● ● ● very
    • Grammaticality?
      • Are the following sentences grammatical according to this grammar?
        • The old dog snores.
        • The very old dog snores.
        • The very old dogs snore.
        • The really old dogs snore.
        • The very old cats snore.
        • The very, very, very, old dogs sleep.
    • Problems
      • Regular grammars have no “memory.”
        • They only know what happened on the last node.
      • We know that human languages do have a memory.
        • Missile
        • Anti missile missile
        • Anti anti missile missile missile
        • Etc.
    • Mirror Languages
      • In this language, we have a pattern where the number of times the word “missile” occurs is exactly one more than the number of times the word “anti” occurs (a n b n+1 ).
      • Regular grammars can’t do this, b/c they can’t count the number of times a particular node was passed.
    • No Memory anti missile ● ●
      • There is a dialect of Swiss German that has this property.
      • Consider also:
        • “ Jon, Stephen, and Bill like cats, dogs, and fish, respectively.”
    • Question Formation
      • Subject-Aux Inversion
        • Kozo has eaten.
        • Has Kozo eaten?
      • First hypothesis: invert the first two words in the sentence.
        • The cat has eaten.
        • *Cat the has eaten?
        • * = unacceptable
    • Question Formation
      • Second hypothesis: move the first auxiliary verb to the beginning of the sentence:
        • Kozo the wonder dog has eaten.
        • Has Kozo the wonder dog eaten?
      • Problem: what about two aux verbs?
        • The dog that was chasing the ball is limping.
        • *Was the dog chasing the ball is limping?
    • Grammatical, but not Acceptable
      • Consider the following sentences:
        • Colorless green ideas sleep furiously (rejected for semantic reasons).
        • The mouse the cat the dog chased ate died
        • The mouse the cat the dog chased ate died
      We might reject this sentence because it is just to complex to understand, even though it conforms to the rules of the grammar.