Wilbert A. Soriano                                                        ELT 503 – Contrastive AnalysisM.A. Ed. ELT      ...
Wilbert A. Soriano                                                           ELT 503 – Contrastive AnalysisM.A. Ed. ELT   ...
Wilbert A. Soriano                                                         ELT 503 – Contrastive AnalysisM.A. Ed. ELT     ...
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Syntax

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Syntax

  1. 1. Wilbert A. Soriano ELT 503 – Contrastive AnalysisM.A. Ed. ELT Prof. Irish C. Sioson SYNTAX - it is the study of how words combine to make sentences - the way in which linguistic elements (as words) are put together to form constituents (as phrases or clauses) Syntactic Transfer  positive – if the transfer involves articles and other syntactic structures which are both evident in a NL to TL  negative – the transfer involves a change in order of articles and other syntactic structures from the NL to TL The analysis of Syntactic Transfer has a great deal of evidence both in positive andnegative in studies of word order, relative clauses and negation.Word Order The vast of human languages have either of this basic word order:  VSO (Verb-Subject-Object)  SVO(Subject-Verb-Object)  SOV(Subject-Object-Verb) A word order of a language can be described as “flexible” and “rigid”.The relative rigidity of some word orders of some languages according to Thompson (1978): Language Word Order Rigidity Irish VSO Rigid Biblical Hebrew VSO Flexible English SVO Rigid Russian SVO Flexible Persian SOV Rigid Turkish SOV FlexibleDiscourse Factors in Word Order According to Piennemann (1981) study and others that: “A rigid word order is advantageousbecause it simplifies or at least seems to simplify language processing routines. On the other hand,flexible word order also has advantages but in learners’ use of the second language may at times reflectdiscourse constraints in the native language, but at other times it may reflect discourse signals found inall languages.” The surveys of Ute, Turkish and Serbo-Croatian, all languages with a very flexible order, showthat some of the six possible permutations (i.e. SVO, SOV, VSO, VOS, OSV, OVS) are much more frequentthan others. (Slobin 1982;Givon 1984a). Far from being “free” or random word order in flexiblelanguages seems to reflect constraints imposed by the discourse needs of speakers and listeners.Syntax 1
  2. 2. Wilbert A. Soriano ELT 503 – Contrastive AnalysisM.A. Ed. ELT Prof. Irish C. Sioson The Topic-Comment Patterning - a sensible strategy in establishing a topic with focus - this is very useful in the early stages of acquisition Zero Anaphora - omission of a form signaling a predictable topic. Anaphora repetition for effect: the use of the same word or phrase at the beginning of several successive clauses, sentences, lines, or verses, usually for emphasis or rhetorical effect. "She didnt speak. She didnt stand. She didnt even look up when we came in"Aside from the word order, other syntactic devices play a in the system, as given in this scale: Most continuous topic Zero Anaphora Unstressed pronoun Right dislocation Neutral order Left dislocation Least continuous topicThe basic principle is summarized below: (Givon 1984b:126) Of the topics that are fully expressed as an independent word or pronoun, those thatare most continuous/predictable will display COMMENT-TOPIC (VS,VO) word order; while thosethat are less continuous/predictable will display TOPIC-COMMENT (SV,OV) word order. Transfer in Basic-Word Order Patterns The discourse-based argument suggests that in the early stages of acquisition learners’ word order patterns are “asyntactic” and reflect universal principles of discourse organization. On the other hand, the Universal Grammar argument suggests that innate principle of syntactic organization is available in the second as well as in the first language acquisition.Relative Clauses Kuno (1974) has investigated the tendency in SOV languages for relative clauses to precede thenoun they modify as opposed to the tendency in VSO (and most SVO) languages for relative clauses tofollow the noun. English (SVO) – The cheese that the rat ate was rotten Japanese (SOV) – Nezumi ga tabeta cheese wa kusatte ita rat ate cheese rottenEnglish primarily relies heavily on Right Branching Direction (RBD) while Japanese relies on LeftBranching Direction (LBD) since the head noun together with the modifying clause appears in differentsequence.Embedded and Non-Embedded The dish which fell on the floor broke in half. (with embedded relative clause) The little girl is looking for the cat which ran away. (relative clause is not embedded) Sheldon (1977) found that embedding did not affect children’s ability to interpret relativeclauses in their native languages (English and French) more crucial are sentences having parallel functions. The lion that pushes the horse knocks down the cow. (much more easier to understand) The lion knocks down the cow that pushes the horse. (confusing/ambiguous)Syntax 2
  3. 3. Wilbert A. Soriano ELT 503 – Contrastive AnalysisM.A. Ed. ELT Prof. Irish C. SiosonNegation Fundamentally, this is the semantic notion, whereas word order is a formal arrangement.Forms expressing negation: no (English), nicht (German)Prefixes and suffixes that also express negation: un-, dis-, non-, -less In English, negators may be either words or contracted forms. Alice is not here. Alice isn’t here. English verb phrase negators are often preverbal but not postverbal.But in Spanish and German rules is not simple because they may have multiple negations both preverbaland post verbal. Jean ne voyage pas (John is not travelling) - “ne” and “pas” function together as negatorsWode (1981) studied the use of negation in performance of monolingual and bilingual children in termsof developmental sequences and arrived at three major stages: 1. One-word negation 2. Two-word negation 3. Intra-sentential negationSyntax 3

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