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# Constituency tests, presented by dr. shadia yousef banjar.pptx

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LANE 334, EA-2nd term, 2011.
Dr. Shadia Yousef Banjar.

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### Constituency tests, presented by dr. shadia yousef banjar.pptx

1. 1. LANE 334 -EA: Syntax 2011 – Term 2CONSTITUENCY TESTS 4 By: http://SBANJAR.kau.edu.sa/Dr. Shadia Y. Banjar http://wwwdrshadiabanjar.blogspot.com13/3/2011 Dr. Shadia Yousef Banjar 1
2. 2. What is a constituent?A constituent: is a syntactic unit that combines with other constituentsaccording to a grammatical rule to produce a larger structure.Constituents may be:1. Words: e.g.• snake ( )• killed( )2. Phrases : e.g. NP & [ The snake] [ killed [ the rat ] ]3. Clauses: e.g. S1 &S [S1 I know [S that the snake killed the rat] ]4. Sentences e.g. S & [S She laughed] S [ [ S2 The snake killed the rat ] and [S3 it swallowed it] ] ] 13/3/2011 Dr. Shadia Yousef Banjar 2
3. 3. • Words that go together form aconstituent (or a phrase).We can use square brackets to markconstituents:[ The snake] [ killed [ the rat ] ] 13/3/2011 Dr. Shadia Yousef Banjar 3
4. 4. Constituency tests•In order for a string to be confirmed as aconstituent, it needs to pass one of theconstituency tests.•If one of the tests applies to a string of words,they form a constituent.•If a test fails to apply to a string of words, itdoesn’t show that they do not form aconstituent.13/3/2011 Dr. Shadia Yousef Banjar 4
5. 5. Constituency tests There are Three types of constituency tests: I. Movement Test II. Substitution Test III. Stand Alone Test13/3/2011 Dr. Shadia Yousef Banjar 5
6. 6. One test for a constituent is that, because it is a coherent unit, itcan move from one position to another in the sentence.• To find out whether a string is a constituent or not, we can takethis string and move it to some other position in the sentence.• If the resulting sentence is still grammatical, then the string is aconstituent.• In English, strings cannot be moved at random, or anywhere inthe sentence. Only specific types of movement are permitted solet us look at some examples of possible movement in English: 13/3/2011 Dr. Shadia Yousef Banjar 6
7. 7. Often we can move a constituent to the beginning (toemphasize it, contrast it, etc): I don’t like cheese cakes. Cheese cakes, I don’t like (but chocolate cakes I love!)This cannot be done to items that are not constituents.For example, like cheese above cannot be fronted: * Like cheese, I don’t cakes.Constituents may be fronted as a unit in English: Tasar is produced in a humid and dense belt of tropical forest in India. In a humid and dense belt of tropical forest in India, tasar is produced. 13/3/2011 Dr. Shadia Yousef Banjar 7
8. 8. Salma selected a doughnut filled with strawberry cream from the bakery. From the bakery, Salma selected a doughnut filled with strawberry cream. This student will answer all questions immediately. Immediately, the student will answer all questions. All questions, the student will answer immediately.13/3/2011 Dr. Shadia Yousef Banjar 8
9. 9. A constituent with a patient role undergoes movementfrom the object position to the subject position so activevoice will be changed into passive voice:a. Wild silk moths in countries like India and Japan alsoproduce it.• It is also produced by wild silk moth in countries likeIndia and Japan.b. People cultivate several species.• Several species are cultivated.* Several are cultivated species. 13/3/2011 Dr. Shadia Yousef Banjar 9
10. 10. Passivisation operates as:c. These trucks produce filthy fumes.• [Filthy fumes] are produced by trucks.•Since we can move the unit filthy fumes to adifferent part of the sentence, filthy fumes is aconstituent. 13/3/2011 Dr. Shadia Yousef Banjar 10
11. 11. a. She liked Arabic coffee (normal sentence)• Arabic coffee she liked. (clefted sentence)•* [Arabic ] coffee she liked (ungrammaticalsentence)NOTE: This doesn’t work with VPs (Verb Phrases):•* [like Arabic Coffee ] she did.b. The girls should have taken a taxi. the girls should have taken a taxi. a taxi the girls should have taken.•* should have taken the girls a taxi. 13/3/2011 Dr. Shadia Yousef Banjar 11
12. 12. The operations of fronting a constituent like ‘ from silk worms’and surrounding it by ( ) are part of aprocess known as CLEFTING. If we represent the string fromsilk worms by , we could summarise the process as following: CLAUSE It is X that CLAUSE [with X] [without X]So: c. Most of the silk we see in Britain comes from silk worms.• from silkworms most of the silk we see in Britaincomes. 13/3/2011 Dr. Shadia Yousef Banjar 12
13. 13. A constituent can be focused as a cleft surrounded by it is/was….. that: d.1. Jane gave this book to Bill on Saturday.• on Saturday Jane gave this book to Bill.d.2. Jane gave this book to Bill on Saturday.• to Bill Jane gave this book to Bill on Saturday.d.3. Jane gave this book to Bill on Saturday. this book Jane gave to Bill on Saturday.d.4. Jane gave this book to Bill on Saturday. Jane gave gave this book to Bill on Saturday.d.5. Jane gave this book to Bill on Saturday.•* Jane gave this book to Bill on Saturday. 13/3/2011 Dr. Shadia Yousef Banjar 13
14. 14. A process closely related to clefting is that of pseudo-clefting.A constituent may be focused as a pseudo-cleft using the Thisis a test that works for VPs. a. She liked Arabic coffee. (normal sentence) • she like Arabic coffee. (pseudo-clefted sentence) b. The girls should have taken a taxi. • the girls should have taken a taxi. c.1. Jane gave this book to Bill on Saturday. • Jane give this book to Bill on Saturday. c.2. Jane [gave [this book ]to Bill on Saturday]. • Jane gave to Bill on Saturday this book. • This book Jane gave to Bill on Saturday. 13/3/2011 Dr. Shadia Yousef Banjar 14
15. 15. Another type of constituency test is substitution.• A particular string of words is a constituent if it can besubstituted/replaced by another string: such a stringcould be a single word (e.g. pronoun), a series ofwords, or even by nothing at all.• This won’t really always work for identifying single-wordconstituents.•Just as with movement, English permits only certaintypes of substitution. We will now look at types ofsubstitution in English: 13/3/2011 Dr. Shadia Yousef Banjar 15
16. 16. Only constituents can be replaced by pro-forms.pronouns she, he, it, they, us, her, thatpro-verbs do, bepro-adverbs there, then, herepro-adjectives such, so, thus 13/3/2011 Dr. Shadia Yousef Banjar 16
17. 17. (for NPs)• [My older sister] admires [men who can eat a lot]• admires• *[She] admires [them can eat a lot]• *[My older ] admires [ ]The idea is that pronouns can only substitute forfull constituents, not for parts of constituents.13/3/2011 Dr. Shadia Yousef Banjar 17
18. 18. •Tim waited [at the station]. (Normal sentence)• Tim waited [there]. (there-substituted sentence)• She knows an Italian student of English and I know aSpanish [student of English].• She knows an Italian student of English and I know aSpanish [one]. (for VPs)• He wrote a letter and she [wrote a letter], too.• He wrote a letter and she [did so], too. 13/3/2011 Dr. Shadia Yousef Banjar 18
19. 19. Under coordination constituents can often be substituted by apronoun or more generally ‘pro-form’, such as: • he/she/it etc. for people • there for locations • do so/it/that etc. for some VPs and sentencesA. The girl admires her teacher and the children admire her too.B. David and his brother drove for hours and they got scared by the heavy fog.C. Tom was waiting at the station and Sara was waiting there too.D. I love having my work done on time and Dalia does (so) too.E. I think that the boys found the diamonds and the officer thinks so too. 13/3/2011 Dr. Shadia Yousef Banjar 19
20. 20. •Some words in a sentence are linked more closely together thanothers.•They form grammatical units within the sentence.•These grammatical units (sentence, clause, phrase, words) arethe constituents of the sentence.•There are various processes which can help to identify suchconstituents.•For example , the string ‘at Harvard’ can be identified as aconstituent using some ‘constituency tests’: a) George allegedly cheated at Harvard.a. 1) The string ‘at Harvard’ can be replaced by one word (there): George allegedly cheated at Harvard there 13/3/2011 Dr. Shadia Yousef Banjar 20
21. 21. a. 2) one can ask a question of the following form:Where did George allegedly cheated? The answer will be ‘at Harvard’. Where corresponds to ‘at Harvard’.a. 3) At and Harvard can be moved around together, as the following sentences illustrate:• George allegedly cheated at Harvard.• at Harvard George allegedly cheated.• allegedly George cheated at Harvard.• allegedly at Harvard George cheated.• George at Harvard allegedly cheated.• George at Harvard cheated allegedly13/3/2011 Dr. Shadia Yousef Banjar 21
22. 22. • a. 4) ‘at Harvard’ can be the focus element X in a cleft sentence:• It was at Harvard that George allegedly cheated.• These tests are used to determine the constituent- hood of ‘At Harvard’:• Their applicability may be summed up as follows:• At + HarvardA.Substituted by one word : YesB.Questioned by one word : YesC.Move together : YesD.Can be the focus element X in a cleft sentence : Yes 13/3/2011 Dr. Shadia Yousef Banjar 22
23. 23. 13/3/2011 Dr. Shadia Yousef Banjar 23
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