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Syntax.ppt

Syntax in Linguistics

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Syntax: Structural Descriptions of Sentences
Why Study Syntax?
Syntax provides
• systematic rules for forming new sentences in a language.
• can be used to verify if a sentence is legitimate in a language.
• a step closer to the “meaning” of a sentence.
– Who did what to whom semantics
Applications
• Improving precision in search applications
– Yankees beat red sox
– Red sox beat yankees
• Paraphrasing
– John loves Mary = Mary is loved by John
• Information Extraction
– Fill in a form by extracting information from a document.
Structure of Words
What are words?
• Orthographic tokens separated by white space.
In some languages the distinction between words and
sentences is less clear.
• Chinese, Japanese: no white space between words
– nowhitespace  no white space/no whites pace/now hit esp ace
• Turkish: words could represent a complete “sentence”
– Eg: uygarlastiramadiklarimizdanmissinizcasina
Morphology: the structure of words
• Basic elements: morphemes
• Morphological Rules: how to combine morphemes.
Syntax: the structure of sentences
• Rules for ordering words in a sentence
• Elementary units: Phrasal and Clauses
Morphology and Syntax
Interplay between syntax and morphology
• How much information does a language allow to be packed in a
word, and how easy is it to unpack.
• More information  less rigid syntax  more free word order
• Hindi: “John likes Mary” – all six orders are possible, due to rich
morphological information.
– John-nom Mary-acc likes
English expresses relations between words through word order.
Morphologically rich languages have freer word order.
• However, some parts have rigid word order.
– Noun groups in Hindi: “one yellow book”
Outline
Constituency
• How does this notion arise?
• Type of constituents
• Representation: Tree Structure
Formal device: Context Free Grammars
• Derived tree and derivation tree
• Grammar Equivalence
– Strong and weak generative capacity
– Chomsky Normal Form
• Other Formal Frameworks (Tree-Adjoining Grammar)
Other topics in syntax
• Dependency
• Spoken language syntax
• Structural Priming
Constituency
Words are grouped into part-of-speech groups
• Similar morphological inflections
• Allows us to create new word forms (“blog”, “xerox”)
• Nouns, Verbs, Determiners, Adjectives etc…
Certain sequences of words in a sentence are grouped as
constituents
• Distributionally similar behavior
• cohesive units (move around in a sentence as a unit)
– In the morning I take a walk
– I take a walk in the morning
• Substrings are typed “Clause”, “Noun Phrase”, “Verb Phrase”
“Preposition Phrase” etc.

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Syntax.ppt

  • 2. Why Study Syntax? Syntax provides • systematic rules for forming new sentences in a language. • can be used to verify if a sentence is legitimate in a language. • a step closer to the “meaning” of a sentence. – Who did what to whom semantics Applications • Improving precision in search applications – Yankees beat red sox – Red sox beat yankees • Paraphrasing – John loves Mary = Mary is loved by John • Information Extraction – Fill in a form by extracting information from a document.
  • 3. Structure of Words What are words? • Orthographic tokens separated by white space. In some languages the distinction between words and sentences is less clear. • Chinese, Japanese: no white space between words – nowhitespace  no white space/no whites pace/now hit esp ace • Turkish: words could represent a complete “sentence” – Eg: uygarlastiramadiklarimizdanmissinizcasina Morphology: the structure of words • Basic elements: morphemes • Morphological Rules: how to combine morphemes. Syntax: the structure of sentences • Rules for ordering words in a sentence • Elementary units: Phrasal and Clauses
  • 4. Morphology and Syntax Interplay between syntax and morphology • How much information does a language allow to be packed in a word, and how easy is it to unpack. • More information  less rigid syntax  more free word order • Hindi: “John likes Mary” – all six orders are possible, due to rich morphological information. – John-nom Mary-acc likes English expresses relations between words through word order. Morphologically rich languages have freer word order. • However, some parts have rigid word order. – Noun groups in Hindi: “one yellow book”
  • 5. Outline Constituency • How does this notion arise? • Type of constituents • Representation: Tree Structure Formal device: Context Free Grammars • Derived tree and derivation tree • Grammar Equivalence – Strong and weak generative capacity – Chomsky Normal Form • Other Formal Frameworks (Tree-Adjoining Grammar) Other topics in syntax • Dependency • Spoken language syntax • Structural Priming
  • 6. Constituency Words are grouped into part-of-speech groups • Similar morphological inflections • Allows us to create new word forms (“blog”, “xerox”) • Nouns, Verbs, Determiners, Adjectives etc… Certain sequences of words in a sentence are grouped as constituents • Distributionally similar behavior • cohesive units (move around in a sentence as a unit) – In the morning I take a walk – I take a walk in the morning • Substrings are typed “Clause”, “Noun Phrase”, “Verb Phrase” “Preposition Phrase” etc.
  • 7. Constituency – contd. Examples of constituents: • Noun phrase: – the dog, two big light blue vans • Preposition phrase: – in the box, under the bridge • Clause: – the dog bit the man, John thought the dog bit the man The type of a constituent is derived from the “head word” of the constituent.
  • 8. Constituent Structure Decomposition of a sentence into its constituents. Attaching constituents to each other to reflect relations among words: Emergence of Tree Structure • John saw the man with the telescope • (S (NP John) saw (NP (NP the man) (PP with (NP the telescope)))) • (S (NP John) saw (NP the man) (PP with (NP the telescope)))) Select a sentence from a newspaper text and provide its constituent structure. Evidence of another constituent – verb phrase (“VP”) • Substring involving a verb move around and can be referred to as a unit. – VP-fronting (and quickly clean the carpet he did! ) – VP-ellipsis (He cleaned the carpets quickly, and so did she ) – Can have adjuncts before and after VP, but not in VP (He often eats beans, *he eats often beans )
  • 9. Relations among Words Types of relations between words • Arguments: subject, object, indirect object, prepositional object • Adjuncts: temporal, locative, causal, manner, … • Function Words Subcategorization: List of arguments of a word (verb) • with features about realization (POS, perhaps case, verb form etc) For English, the argument order: Subject-Object-IndirectObj Example: • like: NP-NP (“John likes Mary”), NP-VP(to-inf) (John likes to watch movies) • think: NP-S (“John thought Mary was going to the party”) • put: NP-NP-PP Adjuncts are optional (typically modifiers of an action) • John put the book on the table at 3pm yesterday There are words with “demands” and words that fill the “demands”. • Demands are typed (NP, VP, PP, S)
  • 10. English Syntax: A Sample Sentence types: • Declarative (John closed the door) • Imperative (close the door!!) • Yes-No-Question (can you close the door?) • Wh-question (who closed the door? What did John close?) Clause types: • Infinitival (to read a book) • Gerundive (reading of a book) • Relative Clause (that has a green cover)
  • 11. English Syntax: A Sample – contd. Noun Phrase: • Before the head noun: – Pre-determiner Determiner Post-determiner (Adjective|Noun) Noun • After the head noun (Modifiers) – Preposition phrases – Relative Clauses (the book that has only one sentence) – Gerundive (the flight arriving after 10pm) Auxiliary Verbs • Modal (could, might, will, should…) < perfect (have) < progressive (be) < passive (be) • “might have been destroyed” Large wide-coverage grammars have been developed/under development • XTAG (www.cis.upenn.edu/~xtag), HPSG, LFG
  • 12. Two Representations of Syntactic Structure Phrase structure: illustrates the constituents and its type. Dependency structure: Relations between words without intervening structure. reads boy book the a boy the reads book a DetP NP NP DetP S Adv slowly slowly adj arg0 arg1 fw fw
  • 13. Context Free-Grammars String Rewriting Systems • Transform one string to another (until termination) G=(V,T,P,S) where V: vocabulary of non-terminals T: vocabulary of terminals S: start symbol P: set of productions of the form a  b where a  V and b  (V U T)* Derivation: Rewrite a non-terminal with the production of the grammar until no non-terminals exist in the string. • Start with “S” Sample Context-Free Grammar, derivation and derived structure.
  • 14. Two Representations String rewriting system: we derive a string (=derived structure) But derivation history represented by phrase-structure tree (=derivation structure)! Grammar Equivalence • Can have different grammars that generate same set of strings (weak equivalence) • Can have different grammars that have same set of derivation trees (strong equivalence) • Strong equivalence implies weak equivalence CFG Normal Forms: • Chomsky Normal Form (a  b g) • Griebarch Normal Form (a  w b) • Convert a grammar into CNF and GNF
  • 15. Penn Treebank (PTB) Syntactically annotated corpus (phrase structure) Contains 1 miilion words of Wall Street Journal sentences marked up with syntactic structure. • Can be converted into a dependency Treebank. – need for head percolation tables • Completely flat structure in NP – brown bag lunch, pink-and-yellow child seat • Represents a particular linguistic theory PropBank • PTB with some grammatical relations made explicit
  • 16. Unification Mechanism needed to pass and check constraints. Constraints, syntactic and semantic: • Subject-verb agreement – S  NP VP – the boy reads / the boys read / * the boys reads • Subject/Auxiliary inversion: (Yes-no-question) – S  AuxVerb NP VP – Do you have flights / * does you have flights • Selectional restrictions: – An apple reads a book Need a mechanism to encode these constraints • Refine the non-terminal set to encode these constraints. • S  3sgAux 3sgNP VP ; 3sgAux  does | has … • S  Non3sgAux Non3sgNP VP; Non3sgAux  do | have | can • We need to split the NP rule into the 3sgNP and Non3sgNP. • Size of the grammar grows; • can we factor these constraints out of the structure of the rules?
  • 17. Unification – contd. Attribute value matrix: boy : Number Person sg 3 Cat N read : Number Person pl 3 Cat V Subj agr NP.number = VP.subj.agr.number NP.person = VP.subj.agr.person S  NP VP reads: Number sg Cat V Subj agr VP  V VP.number = V.subj.agr.number VP.person = V.subj.agr.person Percolate Constraints Check Constraints The boy reads / * the boys reads / the boys read boys : Number Person pl 3 Cat N Number sg Person 1|2
  • 18. Structural Priming Structure of preceding sentences helps/hinders the reading times of subsequent sentences. • Dative alternation – The woman gave her car to the church – The woman gave the church her car • One of these forms is primed depending on what the prime was – V NP NP  gave the church her car – V NP PP  gave her car to the church
  • 19. Spoken Language Syntax Not as “clean”, rampant disfluency. • edits (restarts, repairs) • Filled pauses • Ungrammaticality Sentence  utterance. “Clean up” the utterance first before understanding it.