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Flashcards in Syntax Deck (54)
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1

Universal Grammar

hypothesized system of categories, operations + principles shared by all languages

2

Lexicon

mental dictionary provide list of words along with info on pronunciation, category + meaning

3

Computational system

combining + arranging words in right way

4

Merge

combines elements to create phrases + sentence

5

Move

transports element to a new position within the sentence

6

Syntactic categories

Type of meaning, affixes they take, structures they can occur

7

Categories of Words

•Noun, verb, adjective, preposition, adverb=lexical categories
•Functional categories: determiner (det), auxiliary verb (aux): modal/non modal, conjunction (con), degree word (deg), harder to define + paraphrase
•Some items can belong to more than 1 lexical category (comb)

8

Degree Word

too, so, very, more, quite
specifier of A or P

9

Aux

modal: will, would, can, could, may, must, should
non modal: be, have, do

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Conjuntion

and, or, but

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Qualifier

specifier of V
never, perhaps, often, always

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Distribution

•Type of elements (functional categories) with which can co-occur
•Nouns can appear with determiner (a car), verb with auxiliary (has gone), adjectives with degree (very rich)

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Phrase Structure

•The doctor arrived quickly/those students ride bicycles
•The doctor/those students=subject
•Arrived quickly/ride bicycles=predicate

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transitive vs. intransitive

transitive: takes direct object (devour)
intransitive: no direct object (arrive)

15

The Blueprint

Head to complement to specifier
1. All phrases have 2 level structure (X, X’, XP)
2. All phrases contain a head (X)
3. If there is a complement, it is attached at intermediate X’ level, as sister of head
4. If there is a specifier, attached to XP level

16

Heads

•obligatory nucleus (nous, verbs, adjectives + preposition), may form phrase by itself

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Specifiers

•determiner for N, qualifier for V, degree for A/P
•mark phrase boundary, occur at beginning in English
•make meaning more precise

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Complements

•provide info about entities + locations implied by meaning of head
•in=head [the house]=complement naming location
•possible to have phrases with just head + compliment=bottom heavy structures

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Merge Operation

•combine words in manner compatible with X’ schema
•det (the) + N’ (house) = NP (the house) + preposition (in) = P’ + PP (in the house)

20

Sentences

•largest unit of syntactic analysis
•subject (NP) + VP linked together by I/Infl that indicates tense
•+Pst must contain verb marked for past tense
• IP consists of a subject and a predicate, and of inflectional material that constitutes the ‘glue’ that holds the subject and predicate together

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Constituent

syntactic units

22

Substitution test

phrases can be replaced by they, it/do so
•The children stopped at the corner if they see us do so
•The children stopped at the corner + we stopped there too

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Movement Test

can be moved as single unit
They stopped at the corner= at the corner, they stopped

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Coordination Test

if it can be joined to another group by a conjunction (and, or, but)
•The children stopped at the corner, but didn’t look both ways

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Coordinate structures

patterns built around a conjunction

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Complement Options

•Info about complements included in entry in lexicon
•Subcategorization: info about word’s complement options

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Complement Options for Verbs

•Word can belong to more than 1 subcategory
•Some heads can take more than 1 complement the librarian put [NP the book] [PP on the shelf]

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Complement Options for Other Categories

•Subcategorization ensures particular heads can appear in tree structures only if there is an appropriate type of complement
•Sick with cafeteria food/sick of cafeteria food

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Complement Clauses

•Allow sentence-like constructions/clauses to function as complements
•Complement clause: smaller [that/whether/if the team will win]
•No limit on # of embedded clauses that can occur in a sentence

30

Matrix clause

bigger [the coach knows [that/whether/if the team will win]]