Syntax & Stylistics 2
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Syntax & Stylistics 2 Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Knowledge of Syntax
    Phrase Structure Grammars
  • 2. Intuitions About Grammaticality
    Syntax
    a system whose primitive terms are non-semantic and non-discourse derived and whose principles of combination make no reference to system external factors.
  • 3. Autonomy of Syntax
    Syntax and Semantics are independent.
    The structure of language is autonomous from the meaning.
    “Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.”
    Compare:
    “Furiously sleep ideas green colorless.”
    “Revolutionary new ideas occur infrequently.”
  • 4. Autonomy of Syntax
    He is likely going to be late.
    He is probably going to be late.
    He is likely to be late
    *He is probably to be late.
    He allowed the rope to go slack.
    *He let the rope to go slack.
    He isn’t sufficiently tall.
    *He isn’t enough tall.
  • 5. Autonomy of Syntax
    We all share a strong sense as speakers of English that these sentences are ill formed, but that they are also clearly interpretable. So whatever it is that lets us know that they are structurally flawed is autonomous from whatever it is that let's us understand their intended meaning.
  • 6. Autonomy of Syntax
    Sometimes sentences have two meanings, leading us to believe that they must have two structures.
    Ambiguous sentences:
    Kate saw the man with the telescope
    Visiting relatives can be tedious.
    The President gave the Chinese dolls.
  • 7. Trees in Syntax
    M
    N
    O
    D
    E
    F
    H
    I
    J
    The lines in the trees are branches.
    The end of any branch is a node.
    M is the root node (no branches above it)
    N is the mother of D, E, and F.
    D, E, F, H, I, and J are terminal nodes (no branches below them).
  • 8. Trees in Syntax
    Syntactic trees are just a graphical variant of labeled brackets.
    N
    [N D E F ]N
    =
    D
    E
    F
    Dominance is another way of expressing inclusion in a set.
  • 9. Phrasal Structure
    Consider: Kate saw the man with the telescope.
    It’s pretty intuitive that the telescope is a linguistic unit:
    NP
    noun
    art
    What did Kate see the man with?
    the telescope
  • 10. Phrasal Structure
    The basic idea is that the is classified as an article, and telescope is a noun, and the entire thing is a Noun Phrase.
    This is a constituent
    NP
    noun
    art
    the telescope
  • 11. Phrasal Structure
    Let’s take a slightly larger unit:
    This is a Prepositional Phrase (PP), with the preposition with (P). The constituent the telescope is contained within the PP.
    PP
    NP
    N
    P
    art
    the telescope
    with
    How did Kate see the man?
  • 12. Phrasal Structure
    Continuing to build up the structure:
    NP
    Who did Kate see?
    PP
    NP
    NP
    N
    P
    art
    N
    art
    the telescope
    with
    man
    the
  • 13. Phrasal Structure
    Continuing up:
    VP
    What did Kate do?
    NP
    PP
    NP
    NP
    N
    P
    art
    N
    art
    V
    the telescope
    with
    man
    saw
    the
  • 14. Phrasal Structure
    S
    VP
    Constituent
    NP
    PP
    NP
    NP
    NP
    N
    P
    art
    N
    art
    V
    N
    the telescope
    Kate
    with
    man
    saw
    the
    “Kate saw the man carrying a telescope.”
  • 15. Phrasal Structure
    S
    No constituent that dominates only the man with the telescope.
    VP
    PP
    NP
    NP
    NP
    N
    P
    art
    N
    art
    V
    N
    the telescope
    Kate
    with
    man
    saw
    the
    “Kate used a telescope to see the man.”
  • 16. Memory
    I said that Markov Grammars have no ability to explain dependencies that are non-local:
    The dog sleeps.
    The dogs sleep.
    Subject-verb agreement. But what about:
    The dog in the kennel sleeps.
  • 17. Phrasal Structure
    S
    VPsing
    NPsing
    PP
    NP
    NP
    N
    P
    V
    art
    N
    art
    sleeps
    the kennel
    in
    dog
    the
  • 18. Phrasal Structure
    S
    VPpl
    NPpl
    PP
    NP
    NP
    N
    P
    V
    art
    N
    art
    sleep
    the kennel
    in
    dogs
    the
  • 19. Phrase Structure Rules
    The sentence (clause):
    S NP VP
    • This rule says that every sentence consists of a noun phrase (NP) and a verb phrase (VP).
    • 20. Rule (1) corresponds to the traditional notion of subject and predicate.
  • Exercise
    • Divide these short sentences into NP and VP:
    This is a novel.
    He feels empty.
    So that was that.
    Unfair’s unfair.
    Nat was Nat.
    Work was his life.
    Creators are workaholics.
    Music was my refuge.
    Space was the real problem.
    I was all humility.
    Tufte, pp. 10-13
  • 21. This is a novel.
    S
    NP
    VP
    NP
    N
    art
    N
    V
    is
    This
    a novel
  • 22. He feels empty.
    S
    NP
    VP
    AP
    Adj
    N
    V
    feels
    He
    empty
  • 23. Creators are workaholics.
    S
    NP
    VP
    NP
    N
    N
    V
    are
    Creators
    workaholics
  • 24. Exercise
    Draw trees for the following sentences:
    Nat was Nat.
    Work was his life.
    Music was my refuge.
    I was all humility.
  • 25. A Question
    Why do we group the V with the second NP in the sentence? What’s the evidence for that?
    Constituency tests: NP V never acts as a unit.
    What did he do? Feel empty. (Question)
    What did empty? *He feel.
    It was feel empty that he was. (Cleft)
    *It was he feel that (was) empty.
  • 26. Productivity
    We are able to make infinitely long sentences.
    Markov Grammars gave us a way to do that:
    very

    snores
    dog
    old
    The




    dogs
    snore

  • 27. Productivity
    Different kinds of productivity:
    The very, very, very, …, old dog snores.
    The dog that chased the cat that ate the rat…
    I believe that you know that she thinks that they doubt…
    The apple on the table in the house on the street in the town by the lake in the country on the planet…
  • 28. Trees and Rules
    NP
    =
    art N
    N
    N
    art
  • 29. Trees and Rules
    We’ve seen trees that represent the following set of rules:
    S  NP VP
    N  art N
    VP  V NP
    VP  V AdjP
    AdjP  Adj
    VP  V NP PP
    PP  P NP
  • 30. Exercise
    Draw the Phrase Structure tree that is defined by the PS rules below:
    S  NP VP
    NP  Art N
    VP  V NP PP
    NP  Art N
    PP  P NP
    NP  Art N
    • Be sure to apply the rules in order (1-6).
  • Lexicon
    The terminal nodes can be replaced with lexical items:
    Nouns = cat, dog, ice cream, bananas, avocados
    Verbs = like(s), eat(s),
    Art = a, the, my, this, that, one, all
    P = in, on, at, under, with
    Add lexical items to your tree structure.
  • 31. Exercise
    Consider the following sentences:
    Space was the real problem.
    War remains the decisive human failure.
    The myth of war creates a new, artificial reality.
    What rule are we missing to account for these sentences?
  • 32. NP  Art Adj N
    S
    NP
    VP
    NP
    Art
    N
    Adj
    N
    V
    real
    the
    problem
    was
    Space
  • 33. Phrase Structure Rules
    Productivity in a PS grammar comes from the ability of rules to combine into an infinite sequence:
    NP  NP PP
    PP  P NP
    NP
    NP
    PP
    NP
    P
    NP
    PP
    NP
    P

  • 34. Phrase Structure Rules
    This can apply to different types of rules:
    S  NP VP
    VP  V S
    S
    NP
    VP
    S
    V
    NP
    VP
    S
    V

  • 35. Exercise
    What rules would you use to account for this type of productivity?
    The dog that chased the cat that ate the rat…
  • 36. More Ambiguities
    Draw phrase structure trees for the following ambiguous sentences:
    Visiting relatives can be tedious.
    The President gave the Chinese dolls.
    The hungry bear fishes.