Introduction to Linguistics
  21.12.06 Syntax
 
 

21. 12. 2006 Syntax ( Parts of speech categories and subcategories)



Learner's diary

After a short overview over today's lecture, Prof. Gibbon today explained the meaning of syntax, which is the grammar of a sentence.

Further we were introduced into the main differences between structural relations and semiotic relations. Structural relations consist of syntagmatic and paradigmatic relations while semiotic structure means the realisation and interpretatuin of signs.

Paradigmatic relations are the relations of choice, which means that you can for example choose between different nouns in one sentence and the sentence would still be grammatically correct ( although there is sometimes no sense in it anylonger).

Syntagmatic relations are the relations of glue, which sticks consonants and vowels together as syllables, lexical morphemes and affixes together as words, stems together as compound words, and stems and inflection into words. In syntag nouns and verbs are glued together into sentences.

In the second part of today's lecture we were introduced to the different parts of speech and their subcategories, in the second part we spoke about the different constitutive relations  in a sentence.

We all already knew the different parts of speech, which are determiners. nouns, verbs, adjectives, pronounce, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions and last but not least interjections, but the differentiation between several subcategories was completely new for me and interesting aswell.

The lecture was well structured, the slides helped me to follow the lecture and were also good to revise it at home.  

Syntax

  • In linguistics, syntax is the study of the rules, or "patterned relations", that govern the way words combine to form phrases and phrases combine to form sentences. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syntax , 22.12.06)

  • Syntax allows you to express everything -> infinite number of sentences/ situations



Overview of today's topics

  • structural relations

  • sentence structure



Language Structure

  • structural relations

  • syntagmatic relations: combinatory relations which create larger signs (and their realisations and interpretations) from smaller signs (and their realisations and interpretations)

  • paradigmatic relations: classificatory relations of similarity and difference between signs.

  • Semiotic relations

  • realisation: the visual appearance or acoustic representation of signs (other senses may also be involved).

  • interpretation: the assignment of meaning to a sign.





Structural relations: Paradigmatic Relations

  • relations of “choice”

  • classificatory relations of similarity and difference between signs.

  • similarity and difference of

  • internal structure: simple vs. complex stems

  • external structure: functions in different word orders / positions

  • meaning: synonymy, antonymy, hyponymy, ...

  • appearance: shared and different distinctive features



Task

  • How many items in total in the left, mid, and right sets?

  • How many items in the sentence set shown?

  • How many of these actually exist, and how many do not?



{the, this, that, ...} - {girl, boy, ape, ...} - {swims, walks, ...}

  • left set: finite/ closed/ limited set ( you cannot invent new arcticles, determiners

  • mid set: infinite number ( you can invent new nouns)

  • right set: you can invent new verbs -> infinite number

  • The girl swims (exists)

  • The girl walks (e)

  • The boy swims (e)

  • The boy walks (e)

  • The ape swims (does not exist)

  • The ape walks (exists)

  • This girl swims (e)

  • This girl walks (e)

  • This boy swims (e)

  • This boy walks (e)

  • This ape swims (ne)

  • This ape walks (e)

  • That girl swims (e)

  • That girl walks (e)

  • That boy swims (e)

  • That boy walks (e)

  • That ape swims (ne)

  • That ape walks (e)

Grammatically, all these sentences would be correct but as apes cannot swim ( as far as I know), the sentence does not exist





Syntagmatic relations

  • linguistic “glue”: combinatory relations: create larger signs (& their realisations & interpretations) from smaller signs (& their realisations & interpretations)

  • Examples:

  • Phonology:

  • Consonants and Vowels are glued together as core and periphery of syllables.

  • Morphology:

  • lexical morphemes & affixes are glued together into derived stems.

  • stems are glued together into compound stems.

  • stems and inflections are glued together into words.

  • Syntax:

  • nouns and verbs are glued together as the subjects and predicates of sentences.





Pradigmatic relations in Syntax

Syntactic Categories

Lexical

categories

Glue

categories

Nominals

Verbals

Pre

po

si

tion



Con

junc

tion

inter

jec

tion

Nouns

Adjec

tives

Deter

min

ers

Pro

noun

s

Main verbs

Aux

ili

ary verb

s







Syntagmatic relations in syntax

sentence

Subject

Predicate

Verbal

Object

The

Loud

Smoker

Is

Being

A

nuisance







Words, context, external structure

  • Parsing: the analysis of sentences into parts



Task:

  • Identify the part of speech of each word in this text

  • Group the words into larger units


Inquests into the deaths of four women who were killed in Suffolk have been

opened and adjourned. The hearing at Ipswich Coroner's Court found no

clear cause of death for Tania Nicol and Annette Nicholls. Anneli Alderton

was asphyxiated and Paula Clennell died from compression of the neck,

coroner Dr Peter Dean said.The inquest into the death of another victim,

Gemma Adams, was opened last week.

Police are continuing to question two men about the murders. The first

suspect, Tom Stephens, 37, was arrested on Monday. A second man being

held has been named locally as 48-year-old Stephen Wright. Both are

suspected of killing all five women.


Noun

categories

Verb

cate

gories

Glue

categories

De

ter

min

ers

Ad

jec

ti

ves

Nou

ns

Pro
nou

ns

Verb

Ad

verb

Pre

po

si

ti

ons

Co

n

jun

c

tio

ns

in

ter

jec

tio

ns

the

clear

In-ques-ts

her

Were killed

local-ly

into

And



Four

dea-ths


Have

been open

ed


of




no

wo-men


ad-

jour-ned


in




an-oth

er

Suf-

folk


found


At




last

Ips-

wich


Was aphy-xia-

ted


from




two

hea-

ring


died


a-

bout




first

Co-

ro-ner's Cou-rt


Are contin-uing


on




se-cond

Cau

se

of

de

ath


To

ques

tion






All

com-

pres-sions


Was ar

rest-ed






five

neck


be

ing

held







in-quest


Has

be

en nam-ed







week


Are sus-pec-ted







Po-

lice









Men









mur-der









sus-pect









mon-day









Both









kil-

ling









wo-men












Noun categories: nouns


Proper nouns:

  • names:

  • personal

  • place

  • product

  • ...

Common nouns:

  • Countable nouns:

  • knife, fork, spoon

  • Mass nouns (uncountable nouns):

  • bread (a slice of bread)

  • butter (a piece of butter)

  • jam (a spoonful of jam)


Task:

What happens when you count “uncountable” nouns?

  • You get different kinds of bread, tea, ...



Noun categories: pronouns


Personal pronouns:

  • I/me, you, he/him, she/her, we/us, they


Possessive pronouns:

  • mine, yours, his, hers, its, ours, theirs


Demonstrative pronouns

  • proximal: this

  • distal: that, yonder (archaic)

Quantifier pronouns

  • cardinal numerals: one, two, ...

  • existential: some, several, few, many, ...

  • dual: both

  • universal: each, every, all, ...

Relative pronouns

  • more like conjunctions





Verb categories: Verbs


Main verbs

  • finite forms:

  • person (1st, 2nd, 3rd)

  • number (singular, plural)

  • tense (present, past)

non-finite forms

  • infinitive

  • participle:

  • present

  • perfect


Periphrastic verbs (auxiliary verb + non-finite main verb):

  • modal: can, may, will, shall; ought, ...

  • aspectual: be+prespart(continuous), have+pastpart (perfect), passive: be+pastpart



it might have been being repaired

modal perfect continuous passive mainverb



Verb categories: adverbs

Deictic:

  • here, there; now, then

Time (when):

  • soon, immediately, yesterday, ...

Place & direction (where):

  • upwards, into, towards

Manner (how):

  • slowly, quickly

  • cleverly, stupidly

  • nicely, nastily

  • well

  • ...

Degree

  • better dealt with in connection with adjectives





Glue categories: prepositions

Basically - make nominal expressions into adverbial

expressions

Pretty much the same categories as adverbs

Except the “all purpose preposition” of


 

Tasks

What is the meaning of “of”?

  • The „Advanced Learner's Dictionary of Current English“, 7th edition, distinguishes between 13 (!) different meanings for the word „of“.

  • belonging to sb „the paintings of Monet“

  • belonging to sth, being part of sth „ the director of the company“

  • coming from a particular background „ the people of Wales“

  • concerning or showing sth/ sb „ a photo of my dog“

  • used to say what sb/ sth is, consists of „ the city of Dublin“

  • used with measurements and expressions of time „2 kilos of potatoes“

  • used to show that sth/ sb belongs to a group „some of his friends“

  • used to show the preposition of sth/ sb in place or time „ just north of Detroit“

  • used after nouns formed from verbs „the arrival of the police“

  • used after some verbs before mentioning sth/ sb in volved in the action „ He was cleared of all blame“

  • used after some adjectives before mentioning sb/ sth that a feeling relates to „to be proud of sth“

  • used to give your on sb' s behaviour „it was kind of you to offer“

  • used when one noun describes a second one „ Where's that idiot of a boy?“


Construct prepositional phrases corresponding to the types of adverbs

  • Deictic ( here, there, now, then): „

  • Time: „ after the match“ ,

  • Place: „above the house“, „a fence around the garden“, „the fox escaped into his hole“

  • Direction: „he hit against his leg“

  • Manner: „ without a trace“ , „like any other day“, „with great enthusiasm“

  • Degree: „the water is warm enough for swimming“





Conjunctions

Co-ordinating conjunctions:

  • and, but

Subordinating conjunctions:

  • conjunction-like relative pronouns:

  • who, which, that

  • make sentences (clauses) into adjective-like noun modifiers

  • i.e. Basically:

  • make sentence (clauses) into adverb-like verb modifiers


Task:

  • find examples of conjunctions of each type and put them into sentences


Co- ordinating conjunctions

  • for, nor, or, yet, so : She did not like rain, so she stayed inside.


Subordinating conjunctions

  • because, if, so that, when, although, while, even though : She stayed inside because she did not like the rain




Glue categories: interjections


Interjections link parts of dialogues together:

  • “Hi!”

  • “er”

  • “huh?”

They may also be expressions of subjective reactions:

  • “Ouch!”

  • “Wow!”


Task:

find examples of 5 different interjections (not the ones listed here)

( 3.1.07 http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Category:English_interjections )

  • ay, aye

  • come on

  • damn

  • gosh

  • oh dear


Phrasal Categories

Noun Phrases – definitions

The Noun Categories form larger units:

  • Adjective Phrase = (DegreeAdverb)* Adjective

  • Nominal Phrase = (Adjective Phrase)* Noun

  • Noun Phrase = (Determiner) Nominal Phrase (Relative Clause)

Frankly speaking, I was a bit bored because I already knew all details of today's lecture from my „How to make a dictionary“ class. In my opinion it is also not very useful to define the part of speech of 25 or even more words, one example of each might be enough as we all already know the different parts of speech.

References

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