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Syntax

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English Syntax about Empty Noun Phrases and Anaphors

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Syntax

  1. 1. Empty Noun Phrases and Anaphors
  2. 2. Created by :Ayu Melati 2010.1250.1177Maemunah 2010.1250.1169ass : R4L
  3. 3. Covert Noun Phrases [e] and Their Antecedents AnaphorsSome Possible Counterexamples
  4. 4. Covert Noun Phrases and Their Antecedents Example : The director promised Peter [e] to visit that prison. container clause embedded clause Predicate promised requires the antecedents of covert noun phrase to be the container clause subject. So, convert noun phrase [e] in the sentences refers to the director of prison. The director persuaded Peter [e] to visit that prison. container clause embedded clause Predicate persuaded requires the antecedents of covert noun phrase to be the container clause object. So, convert noun phrase [e] in the sentences refers to Peter. So, covert noun phrases in the subject position of an embedded clause typically have to have antecedent either the subject or the object of their container clause, depending on the container clause predicate.
  5. 5. Covert noun phrase can sometimes refer to someone or something notmentioned elsewhere in the sentence, such as the speaker the addressee , orindefinite form like anyone, anything, someone, or something.For example :It’s unusual [e] to see snow at this time of the yearWe could replace the [e] in the example with anyone without changing thesentence’s propositional content. However, we will need to introduce it withthe complementizer for.It’s unusual for anyone to see snow at this time of the year.
  6. 6. AnaphorsAnaphors is a kind of pronoun that has its antecedet in the same minimal clause ornoun phrase.Here is an anaphors paradigm : Person Reflexive Reciprocal NP- Internal NP-Internal Number Anaphors Anaphors Reflexives Reciprocals Ist sg Myself One another, My own, Our One another, pl Ourselves each other own each other 2nd sg Yourself One another, Your own, One another, pl yourselves each other your own each other 3rd sg Himself, One another, His, her, its One another, pl herself, itself, each other, One’s own each other oneself, One another, Their own themselves each other
  7. 7. Examples :•The cats washed themselves delicately.•Julian and his friend visited each other regularly.•Trudean washes his own hair.Notice that in the acceptable sentences, the reflexive and reciprocalanaphors occur in the same clauses as their antecedents, whereas in thesentences asterisked as ungrammatical, the anaphors and antecedents arein different clauses.Anaphors must be bound by antecedents within their smallest clause,whereas pronouns must be free of any antecedent in their smallest clause.The two groups thus complement each other.
  8. 8. A play that Marlowe wrote about Shakespeare’s treatment of him.The pronominal him could not have as its antecedent the noun phraseShakespeare’s, because they both are in the smallest noun phrase,Shakespeare’s treatment of him. In contrast, Marlowe, which is not in thesame small noun phrase, could be the antecedent.A play that Marlowe wrote about Shakespeare’s treatment of himself.Here the only possible antecedent to bind himself is Shakespeare’s, whichis within the same local domain noun phrase; himself cannot refer toMarlowe. The notion local domain is thus valid for anaphors too.
  9. 9. Some Possibble CounterexamplesExample :Faust persuaded Mephistopheles [e] to untie him. Container clause embedded clause (predicate) (object) (CNP) Predicate persuaded requires the antecedents of covert noun phrase [e] to be the container clause object ,that is Mephistopheles. And also, covert noun phrase [e] as subject in the embedded clause. So, the senteces isn’t really a counterexample because its antecedents would be in the same local domain and personal pronoun him cannot have their antecedent in the same clause.
  10. 10. Helen didn’t try [e] to free herself (container clause) (embedded clause) Subject predicate CNPPredicate try like promised requires the antecedents of covert noun phrase to be the containerclause subject, that is Helen . And also, the antecedents of the reflexive anaphors herself refers toHelen. So. This sentences does not constitute a counterexample because its antecedents wouldbe in the same local domain and have their antecedents in the same clause. The other example :Lauren didn’t promised [e] to free him.This sentences is some possible counterexample because Predicate promised requires theantecedents of covert noun phrase to be the container clause subject, that is Lauren. And him isnot refer to Lauren.So, Counterexample is sentences which antecedents wouldn’t be in same local domain and notin the same clause.
  11. 11. Counterparts in Other Language A w o r d li s t e d a s a m e a n i n g “ sl o hesl” himef r ref i n a d i c ti o n a ry o f a n o t h e r la n g u a g e m a y h a ve s o m e p ro p e rti e s ve ry d i ffe r e n t fr o m t h e
  12. 12. Example :The anaphor himself in the following English sentence can only refer to Wangwu :Zhangsan believed that Lisi knew that Wangwu had no confidence in himself.But in the corresponding Mandarin sentence :Zhangsan xiangxin [Lisi zhiadao [Wangwu dui ziji mei xinxin]].Zhangsan believed [that Lisi knew [that Wangwu had no confidence in self]]. Theanaphor ziji, “self” can refer to Wangwu, Lisi, or Zhangsan.
  13. 13. Conclus n io convert noun phrases in the subject position of an embedded clause typically have to have antecedent either the subject or the object of their container clause, depending on the container clause predicate. Anaphors include reflexives like ourselves and reciprocals like one another. An anaphor must be bound (i.e. have an antecedent) within its local domain; a pronominal must be free within its local domain. Speakers of other languages should find the general reference system of English not too difficult to acquire but would have to get used to different degrees of restrictiveness and differences in the use of pragmatic information.

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