CHAPTER 5 || Structure of Sentences: Syntax Flashcards Preview

ENG 211-O1 INTRO TO LINGUISTICS > CHAPTER 5 || Structure of Sentences: Syntax > Flashcards

Flashcards in CHAPTER 5 || Structure of Sentences: Syntax Deck (22):
1

OPENNESS OF SYNTAX

The study of the formation of sentences in a language.

Syntax provides additional means of "opening" the grammatical system for the expression of new meanings, nuances of meanings, precision in meaning and links between ideas.

It provides means for speakers to go beyond the limitations of morphology and lexicon.

Syntax enhances the creativity of expression in language. 

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GRAMMATICALITY

A sequence of words that is formed according to the grammatical patterns of a language.

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ACTOR

The grammatical role of a noun phrase the referent of which performs the action or engages in the state designated by the clause.

Ex. The farmer in The farmer kills the duckling and The farmer is sitting in his favorite chair.

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ADJECTIVAL PHRASE

(AdjP)

A grammatical or syntactic unit made up of an adjective and possibly an accompanying modifier, that occurs within a clause or noun phrase indicating a quality of some object.

Ex. Most difficult in The most difficult problem.

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CLAUSE

A syntactic unit that is like a minimal or reduced sentence, typically consisting of one main verb and accompanying noun phrases and other items.

Ex. The farmer kills the duckling with an axe.

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CONSTITUENT ANALYSIS

Hierarchical analysis of a syntactic construction into units. Two main types are Immediate Constituent Analysis and String Constituent Analysis.

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EMBEDDING

Inclusion of a unit in another of the same type, such as an NP (Noun Phrase) in an NP (Noun Phrase).

Embedding of phrases within other phrases is quite common in English and many other languages.

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EXPERIENTIAL ROLE

Grammatical roles that encode experiential or representational meaning.

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EVENT

Term for the grammatical role of a verb phrase in a clause.

Ex. This role of kills in The farmer kills the duckling.

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GRAMMATICAL RELATION

Any function that a linguistic unit can serve in the syntax of a language.

Ex. A noun phrase can serve in grammatical relations such as Subject, Actor, and Theme.

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HIERARCHICAL STRUCTURE

The group and subgrouping of the units that make up a sentence.

Ex. The hierarchical structuring of The duckling waddled is: 

[[[the] [[duck][ling]]] [[waddle][d]]]

The square brackets enclose units.

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INTERPERSONAL

A type of meaning that concerns the establishment and maintenance of social relations.

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NOMINAL PHRASE

A noun phrase or nominal phrase (abbreviated NP) is a phrase which has a noun (or indefinite pronoun) as its head word, or which performs the same grammatical function as such a phrase.

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OBJECT

The grammatical relation traditionally associated with the Undergoer (or patent) of an action, as in The farmer kills the duckling.

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POSTPOSITIONAL PHRASE

A phrase consisting of a noun phrase (NP) followed by a preposition.

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PREPOSITIONAL PHRASE

A phrase consisting of a noun phrase preceded by a preposition.

Ex. To the woodshed.

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SENTENCE

The largest unit of syntax. Anything larger shows no grammatical structure  (although it can be structured in other ways).

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SUBJECT

The grammatical relation traditionally associated with the doer or performer of an action, as in The farmer in The farmer kills the duckling.

According to some linguists, subject is a meaningless category.

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TEXTURAL

The type of meaning that provides texture to an utterance, linking the component parts together.

A grammatical relation that expresses this type of meaning.

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THEME

A textural relation.

The theme of a clause anchors its message down, serving as a fixed point from which the message can be explained. Usually, the theme indicates what the clause is about.

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UNDERGOER

Also called the object.

The grammatical role of  noun phrase the referent of which suffers the action designated by a transitive clause.

Ex. The farmer kills the duckling.

 

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VERB PHRASE

(VP)

A syntactic unit consisting of a verb together with syntagmatically related words (such as adverbials and auxiliary verbs) that typically serves in the grammatical relation event.

Ex. was eating

Ex. might have been watching closely

The term verb phrase in formal grammar is usually a larger unit containing also the object and other noun phrases and prepositional phrases with the exception of the subject.