PUCESISYNTAX - PUCESI  Monik Vinueza
• What is syntax?• Syntax as a (cognitive) science• Rules• prescriptivism vs. descriptivism• Language as an instinct      ...
   The scientific study of sentence structure   Perspective: The psychological (or cognitive)    organization of sentenc...
   A hierarchically organized structure of words that    maps sound to meaning and vice versa.           sounds    sente...
   Study of syntax is a science.   Uses the scientific method      Observe some data      Make some generalizations   ...
Anaphor: A noun that refers back to a previously mentioned noun: “self” nouns.                   1) John loves himself    ...
   A group of rules are called a Grammar.   Grammar is a scary word. But it doesn‟t mean what    you think it does. A gr...
We are always told to never split infinitives.Who(m) did you give the book to?Hopefully, we‟ll never learn the rules      ...
   Prescriptive rules prescribe how we should    speak   Descriptive rules describe how we actually    speakWhich one is...
   These are made up by so called language mavensThese are made up by so called language mavens!    Who are they to tell ...
   The rules we will use are said to generate the    sentences of the languages we are looking at.    They actually build...
   Corpora of Spoken & Written Language    ◦ Collections of recorded real world speech    ◦ Telephone recordings (LDC)   ...
   *Where do you wonder if he lives?    – How do you know this is ungrammatical?    – Have you ever heard this sentence u...
   Corpora are not sufficient. They don’t contain    negative information (such as what sentences are    ungrammatical), ...
   A special experimental technique for tapping our    syntactic knowledge.   This   technique   is   called      the   ...
   Unfortunately,       sometimes              acceptability    judgements are called intuitions.   The   term       „in...
   Performance refers to what we do   Competence refers to what we know about    the language   Our scientific concern:...
   Learning     involves    conscious            gaining   of    knowledge   Acquisition involves subconscious gaining o...
   Are we instructed by our parents?   Do we mimic our parents?NOPE!1) Language is infinite: We produce sentences  we’ve...
   Despite what they may think, parents don’t teach    their children to speak!They correct content not form:(from Marcus...
   You know things about your language that    you‟ve never been taught:Who(m) did you think            Shawn hit ?Who(m)...
   Noam ChomskyThe ability of humans to use language is innate (an instinct). We are prewired to use language!           ...
How can language be an instinct if languages differ?Proposal: Languages differ primarily in terms of what words are used, ...
A particular language is not innate (it is acquired), but the basic tools that any given language uses are built in.We‟ll ...
   The innate principles that govern sentence structure   The different ways in which languages implement    these innat...
   Interest in English language construction    ◦ How language works    ◦ Learn about English grammar    ◦ How learners d...
   Language    ◦ Grammar: Invisible concept    ◦ Function: communicate meanings    ◦ Forms: substance out of which meanin...
◦ Grammar levels  Sentence  Clause  Phrase  Word  Morpheme                   SYNTAX - PUCESI                     Moni...
   We speak in sentences not in words. It is    necessary to study the structure of sentences.   We will also learn to a...
SYNTAX - PUCESI  Monik Vinueza
SYNTAX - PUCESI  Monik Vinueza
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Syntax pucesi

  1. 1. PUCESISYNTAX - PUCESI Monik Vinueza
  2. 2. • What is syntax?• Syntax as a (cognitive) science• Rules• prescriptivism vs. descriptivism• Language as an instinct SYNTAX - PUCESI Monik Vinueza
  3. 3.  The scientific study of sentence structure Perspective: The psychological (or cognitive) organization of sentence structure in the mind. Syntax analyzes how words combine to form sentences. SYNTAX - PUCESI Monik Vinueza
  4. 4.  A hierarchically organized structure of words that maps sound to meaning and vice versa. sounds  sentences  meaning Sentences are made up of smaller units, called phrases (which in turn are made up of words). SYNTAX - PUCESI Monik Vinueza
  5. 5.  Study of syntax is a science. Uses the scientific method  Observe some data  Make some generalizations  Develop a hypothesis  Test against more data SYNTAX - PUCESI Monik Vinueza
  6. 6. Anaphor: A noun that refers back to a previously mentioned noun: “self” nouns. 1) John loves himself 2) Mary loves herself 3) John and Mary love themselvesGeneralization: The form of the “Xself” seems to be dependent upon the gender/number of the noun they refer to.Hypothesis: Anaphors (Xself) agree with the noun they refer to in number and gender.4) The boy loves himself/*herself/*themselves SYNTAX - PUCESI Monik Vinueza
  7. 7.  A group of rules are called a Grammar. Grammar is a scary word. But it doesn‟t mean what you think it does. A grammar in the linguistic sense is a cognitive structure. It is the part of the mind that generates and understands language. SYNTAX - PUCESI Monik Vinueza
  8. 8. We are always told to never split infinitives.Who(m) did you give the book to?Hopefully, we‟ll never learn the rules of grammar! SYNTAX - PUCESI Monik Vinueza
  9. 9.  Prescriptive rules prescribe how we should speak Descriptive rules describe how we actually speakWhich one is more scientific? SYNTAX - PUCESI Monik Vinueza
  10. 10.  These are made up by so called language mavensThese are made up by so called language mavens! Who are they to tell you how to speak?!?Prescriptive rules are often based on the rules of Latin or “logic”. Who says Latin is so great? Why should language be logical? SYNTAX - PUCESI Monik Vinueza
  11. 11.  The rules we will use are said to generate the sentences of the languages we are looking at. They actually build the sentences we produce. They are sentence building rules. The kind of grammar we are looking at is called generative grammar (=group of rules that generate the sentences of a language) SYNTAX - PUCESI Monik Vinueza
  12. 12.  Corpora of Spoken & Written Language ◦ Collections of recorded real world speech ◦ Telephone recordings (LDC) ◦ Newspapers, Books, Magazines ◦ Folk tales etc recorded in the field. SYNTAX - PUCESI Monik Vinueza
  13. 13.  *Where do you wonder if he lives? – How do you know this is ungrammatical? – Have you ever heard this sentence uttered? – Will the fact that this sentence is ungrammatical appear in any corpus? Every day, you produce grammatical sentences that have never been uttered before. SYNTAX - PUCESI Monik Vinueza
  14. 14.  Corpora are not sufficient. They don’t contain negative information (such as what sentences are ungrammatical), and they can never contain all the sentences of a language. We need to access our mental knowledge (also called “competence”) about sentences. SYNTAX - PUCESI Monik Vinueza
  15. 15.  A special experimental technique for tapping our syntactic knowledge. This technique is called the acceptability judgement. In the psychology literature, this is sometimes also called magnitude estimation SYNTAX - PUCESI Monik Vinueza
  16. 16.  Unfortunately, sometimes acceptability judgements are called intuitions. The term „intuition‟ has a negative connotation: makes us think of fortune tellers and psychics. However, acceptability judgements are both experimentally valid and statistically sound. SYNTAX - PUCESI Monik Vinueza
  17. 17.  Performance refers to what we do Competence refers to what we know about the language Our scientific concern: Both Our focus in this course: Competence SYNTAX - PUCESI Monik Vinueza
  18. 18.  Learning involves conscious gaining of knowledge Acquisition involves subconscious gaining of knowledge Chemistry is learned. Languages are acquired SYNTAX - PUCESI Monik Vinueza
  19. 19.  Are we instructed by our parents? Do we mimic our parents?NOPE!1) Language is infinite: We produce sentences we’ve never heard before2) We know things about our language that we’ve never been exposed to. SYNTAX - PUCESI Monik Vinueza
  20. 20.  Despite what they may think, parents don’t teach their children to speak!They correct content not form:(from Marcus et al. 1992)Adult: Where is that big piece of paper I gave you yesterday?Child: Remember? I writed on it.Adult: Oh that’s right, don’t you have any paper down here, buddy? SYNTAX - PUCESI Monik Vinueza
  21. 21.  You know things about your language that you‟ve never been taught:Who(m) did you think Shawn hit ?Who(m) did you think that Shawn hit?Who did you think hit Bill*Who did you think that hit Bill SYNTAX - PUCESI Monik Vinueza
  22. 22.  Noam ChomskyThe ability of humans to use language is innate (an instinct). We are prewired to use language! SYNTAX - PUCESI Monik Vinueza
  23. 23. How can language be an instinct if languages differ?Proposal: Languages differ primarily in terms of what words are used, and in a set number of “parameters”These things are learned but the rest (the basic architecture of the grammar) is innate. SYNTAX - PUCESI Monik Vinueza
  24. 24. A particular language is not innate (it is acquired), but the basic tools that any given language uses are built in.We‟ll be looking at these tools. Both within languages, and crosslinguistically to see what is universal (innate) and what varies among languages. SYNTAX - PUCESI Monik Vinueza
  25. 25.  The innate principles that govern sentence structure The different ways in which languages implement these innate principles. The building blocks that all languages use to construct the sentences of their languages. All languages use the same basic hardwired tools. It is the particular implementation of these tools that varies between languages. SYNTAX - PUCESI Monik Vinueza
  26. 26.  Interest in English language construction ◦ How language works ◦ Learn about English grammar ◦ How learners develop grammar ◦ Understanding layers of meaning Capacity to make language ◦ Biological condition ◦ Language in the inside and outside SYNTAX - PUCESI Monik Vinueza
  27. 27.  Language ◦ Grammar: Invisible concept ◦ Function: communicate meanings ◦ Forms: substance out of which meanings are expressed ◦ Productivity ◦ Language levels:  Sound/vision /touch  Grammar  Meaning SYNTAX - PUCESI Monik Vinueza
  28. 28. ◦ Grammar levels  Sentence  Clause  Phrase  Word  Morpheme SYNTAX - PUCESI Monik Vinueza
  29. 29.  We speak in sentences not in words. It is necessary to study the structure of sentences. We will also learn to analyze sentence meaning. The study of syntax includes the study of the function of words within a phrase and sentence. SYNTAX - PUCESI Monik Vinueza
  30. 30. SYNTAX - PUCESI Monik Vinueza
  31. 31. SYNTAX - PUCESI Monik Vinueza
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