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  • 1. ENGL2004 English Syntax Dirk No ël
  • 2. Today’s agenda
    • what is the course about?
      • relevant textbook chapter:
      • introduction (sections 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.7.)
    • why do this course?
    • what are we going to do in this course?
    • how will you be assessed?
    • entry quiz
  • 3. what is the course about? i.e. what is syntax?
  • 4.  
  • 5. “ I love grammar”
  • 6. does everyone like grammar?
    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9_kahA_wQo
      • what’s the contextual difference between the “I like grammar” adverts and the “Grammar Police” video?
      • are the examples in the video well chosen?
  • 7. Collins Dictionary s.v. grammar
    • 1. the branch of linguistics that deals with syntax and morphology, sometimes also phonology and semantics.
    • 2. the abstract system of rules in terms of which a person’s mastery of his native language can be described.
    • 3. a systematic description of the grammatical facts of a language.
    • 4. a book containing an account of the grammatical facts of a language or recommendations as to the rules for the proper use of a language .
    • 5. the use of language with regard to its correctness or social propriety, esp. in syntax: the teacher told him to watch his grammar
  • 8. What is syntax?
    • Syntax has to do with how words are put together to build phrases, with how phrases are put together to build clauses or bigger phrases, and with how clauses are put together to build sentences.
      • Miller, Jim (2001) An Introduction to English Syntax. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. [p. xii]
  • 9. What is syntax?
    • Syntax is traditionally the name given to the study of the form, positioning, and grouping, of the elements that go to make up sentences. In a word, it is about the structure of sentences.
      • Burton-Roberts, Noel (1997) Analysing Sentences: An Introduction to English Syntax. 2nd Edition. London: Longman. [p. 3]
  • 10. What is syntax?
    • syntax ( n. ) A traditional term for the study of the rules governing the way words are combined to form sentences in a language. In this use, syntax is opposed to morphology, the study of word structure. An alternative definition (avoiding the concept of ‘word’) is the study of the interrelationships between elements of sentence structure, and of the rules governing the arrangement of sentences in sequences.
      • Crystal, David (2003) A Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics . 5th Edition. Oxford: Blackwell
  • 11. What is syntax?
    • syntax n. The branch of grammar dealing with the organization of words into larger structures, particularly into sentences; equivalently, the study of sentence structure.
      • Trask, R. L. (1993) A Dictionary of Grammatical Terms in Linguistics. London: Routledge.
  • 12. What is syntax?
    • syntax n. The branch of grammar dealing with the organization of words into larger structures, particularly into sentences; equivalently, the study of sentence structure.
      • Trask, R. L. (1993) A Dictionary of Grammatical Terms in Linguistics. London: Routledge.
  • 13. What is grammar ? (Trask)
    • grammar n.
    • The system by which the words and morphemes of a language are organized into larger units, particularly into sentences, perceived as existing independently of any attempt at describing it.
    • A particular description of such a system, as embodied in a set of rules.
    • The branch of linguistics dealing with the construction of such descriptions and with the investigation of their properties, conventionally divided into morphology and syntax .
  • 14. What is grammar? (Crystal)
    • In a restricted sense (the traditional sense in linguistics, and the usual popular interpretation of the term), grammar refers to a level of structural organization which can be studied independently of phonology and semantics, and generally divided into the branches of syntax and morphology. In this sense, grammar is the study of the way words, and their component parts, combine to form sentences. It is to be contrasted with a general conception of the subject, where grammar is seen as the entire system of structural relationships in a language, as in such titles as stratificational grammar, systemic grammar and (especially) generative grammar. Here, ‘grammar’ subsumes phonology and semantics as well as syntax, traditionally regarded as separate linguistic levels.
  • 15. What is grammar? (Collins)
    • 1. the branch of linguistics that deals with syntax and morphology, sometimes also phonology and semantics.
    • 2. the abstract system of rules in terms of which a person’s mastery of his native language can be described.
    • 3. a systematic description of the grammatical facts of a language.
    • 4. a book containing an account of the grammatical facts of a language or recommendations as to the rules for the proper use of a language.
    • 5. the use of language with regard to its correctness or social propriety, esp. in syntax: the teacher told him to watch his grammar
  • 16. What is grammar? (B&B)
    • This book is meant as an introduction to the sentence structure of English. [p. xi]
    • […] grammar is not a very clear term, since some people use it to mean the same as ‘syntax’, and others take it to refer both to syntax and morphology. There are those who even use grammar to mean the whole system of language — namely, all the sounds, words and possible sentences. It is therefore more accurate to say that this book is about the syntax of English. It is, however, virtually impossible to study syntax without also considering at least morphology and semantics; so these fields will also play some part in the book. [p. 14]
      • Börjars, Kersti & Kate Burridge (2001) Introducing English Grammar . London: Arnold.
  • 17. syntax is about sentence structure
    • Syntax […] is about the structure of sentences . (Burton-Roberts)
    • syntax n. The branch of grammar dealing with the organization of words into larger structures, particularly into sentences; equivalently, the study of sentence structure . (Trask)
    • This book [about the syntax of English] is meant as an introduction to the sentence structure of English. (Börjars & Burridge)
  • 18. what is structure? any thoughts?
  • 19. What is structure?
    • The concept of structure is fundamental to the study of syntax. But it is a very general concept that can be applied to any complex thing, whether it be a bicycle, a commercial company, or a carbon molecule. When we say of a thing that it is complex we mean, not that it is complicated (though of course it may be), but that
      • it is divisible into parts (called constituents),
      • there are different kinds of parts (different categories of constituents),
      • the constituents are arranged in a specifiable way,
      • that each constituent has a certain specifiable function in the structure of the thing as a whole.
        • Burton-Roberts (1997:7)
  • 20. What is structure? (cont.)
    • When anything can be analysed in this way, we say that it has structure. And in considering structure it is important to note that, more often than not, the constituents of a complex thing are themselves complex. In other words, the parts themselves consist of parts which may in turn consist of further parts. When this is so we may speak of a hierarchical structure.
      • Burton-Roberts, Noel (1997) Analysing Sentences: An Introduction to English Syntax. 2nd Edition. London: Longman. (p. 7)
  • 21. This course is about
    • sentences (not bicycles)
    • the parts they consist of
    • the different kinds of parts we can distinguish
    • the way these parts are arranged
    • the relationships existing between them (the functions they fulfil in the sentence)