Word-word relations are concepts

Report
Word-word relations are concepts
Introduction to WG syntax
Richard Hudson
Joensuu November 2010
1
The challenge
• How to go beyond single words
– to combinations of words
– to general patterns
• This is the domain of syntax
– the study of how words combine
– including general rules
2
Influences on Word Grammar syntax
• Tesnière (France, 1893-1954)
– dependency structure, not phrase structure
• Halliday (UK, 1925-)
– labeled grammatical functions
• Chomsky (USA, 1928-)
– abstract structures
3
An example
object
subject
[you]
predicative
Try
using
preadjunct
dependency structures!
subject
4
Dependency grammar
• History
–
–
–
–
–
–
Panini (350 BC)
Arabic grammarians (700s+)
Some traditional school grammar (1800s)
Russia (e.g. Mel’cuk)
Germany (e.g. Kunze)
Finland (e.g. Karlsson)
5
Why not phrase structure?
• Basic assumption of PS:
– We cannot relate words directly to each other.
• Why not?
• What about other areas of thought?
– Social relations: we relate people to each other.
– Spatial relations: we relate objects to each
other.
6
My family network
Gretta
John
mother
mother
father
father
brother
me
Colin
daughter
Gaynor
daughter
grandson
Lucy
son
Peter
Alice
7
Relations in WG
• Relations are classified
– ‘mother’, ‘son’, etc.
• Each relation is a concept
– just like entities such as ‘dog’ or ‘running’
– but relations have an ‘argument’ and a ‘value’
• Similarly, we classify dependencies
– ‘subject’, ‘adjunct’, etc.
– Traditional 'grammatical functions'.
8
Generalising in syntax
• Words are classified by word classes
• Dependencies are classified by functions
• Each of these classifications forms a
taxonomy
– a hierarchy of increasingly specific categories
9
The word-class taxonomy
word
noun
verb
common
auxiliary
DOG
CAN
adjective ….
BIG
10
Generalising in a network
• A 'rule' is a property applied by inheritance
– e.g. 'A word has a meaning'
• Rules are more or less general, but combine freely
by inheritance
– A verb has a subject
– TAKE has an object
– So: takes has a subject and an object
• and a meaning
11
The grammatical-function hierarchy
dependent
valent
subject
adjunct
complement
object
predicative
12
Generalising across dependencies
• Again, rules may be more or less general
– a word stands before its dependents
– a verb stands after its subject
– an interrogative auxiliary verb stands before its
subject.
• Thanks to default inheritance, the most
specific rule always wins.
– In other words, rules have exceptions.
13
Abstract relations in syntax
• Syntax is abstract!
• Dependencies are very abstract
– defined by many different properties
• Dependencies can also be complex
– One word may depend on many others.
– Mutual dependency is possible.
14
A complex syntactic network
extractee
What
subject
did
complement
predicative
you
say?
subject
extractee
& object
15
Simple syntax
a book about the idea of a life after death
16
Abstract words in syntax
• Maybe a complete analysis should
recognise abstract, unrealised, words?
• E.g. [you] as the subject of an imperative?
–
–
–
–
Why not, if words are concepts?
We have a concept for 'Superman'
But we also know he doesn't exist
Similarly for the realisation of [you].
17
Researching syntax
Here too, networks are everywhere.
• Inside syntax
– What about constructions?
•
•
•
•
•
Between syntax and morphology
Between syntax and semantics
Between syntax and sociolinguistics
Between syntax and psycholinguistics
Between syntax and education
18
Constructions are dependency
networks
sharer
sharer
comp
subj
What
is
it
extractee
doing
raining?
subj
subj
extractee & obj
19
Researching syntax and morphology
• Syntactic words are realized by
morphological structures
– e.g. 'WALK, past' realized by {{walk}{ed}}
• Words usually have their own morphology.
• But clitics are different
– e.g. for 'YOU' + 'BE, present': {{you}{'re}}
20
French pronouns
Paul
P
{Paul} {
mange
eats
la
the
pomme
apple
{mange}}
{mange}
{la}
{pomme}
21
Researching syntax and semantics
• Each word token inherits a sense
– e.g. 'dog', 'eating', 'in'
• But this sense is modified by the dependents
– e.g. 'big dog', 'eating breakfast', 'in bed'
• Exactly how do dependents modify senses?
22
Simple syntax, complex meaning
me eating breakfast then
then < now
me eating breakfast
eating breakfast
speaker
I
eating
ate
breakfast
breakfast.
23
Researching syntax and
sociolinguistics
• Syntactic patterns may have social meaning
–
–
–
–
–
Professor Hudson ~ Dick ~ Dad ~ Grandpa
he is ~ he's
which I live in ~ in which I live
we were ~ we was
I didn't do anything ~ I didn't do nothing.
• How does syntax relate to social context?
24
Inherent variability
speaker
we
local person
was
BE, past
speaker
we
•
were
•
educated
person
25
Researching syntax and
psycholinguistics
• Syntactic structure influences processing
• Some structures are harder than others
– That Finland has the best schools in the world
is generally agreed.
• Simpler but harder
– It is generally agreed that Finland has the best
schools in the world.
• More complex but easier
26
Extraposition
8 words
That Finland has the best schools in the world is certain.
1 word
It is certain that Finland has the best schools in the world.
27
Researching syntax and education
• Our syntactic knowledge grows all through
life:
– new constructions
• Try as he might, he couldn't open it.
– new details of existing constructions
• possibility of, opportunity to
• Much of this growth happens at school.
28
Subordinate clauses per 100 words:
influence of age and grade
29
Research questions for education
• What causes growth in syntax?
– general cognitive growth, e.g. memory
– growth in the language network
• Can grammatical analysis improve writing?
– Yes!
– recent research by Debra Myhill
• How can teachers help?
30
Kiitos
• This slideshow can be downloaded from
www.phon.ucl.ac.uk/home/dick/talks.htm
• For more on Word Grammar, see
www.phon.ucl.ac.uk/home/dick/wg.htm
• My home page, with email address:
www.phon.ucl.ac.uk/home/dick/home.htm
31

similar documents