1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. The boy found the ball. The boy found quickly. The boy found in the house. The boy found the ball in the house. Lisa slept the baby. Lisa slept soundly. Sentences are not random strings of words. They must conform to specific patterns. What is the purpose of studying syntax? To investigate word order and sentence structure. To be able to consciously articulate our unconscious knowledge of English. The knowledge of sentences and their structure. Syntactic rules include: ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ The grammaticality of sentences Word order Hierarchical organization of sentences Grammatical relations such as subject and object Whether different structures have different meanings or the same meanings Grammaticality judgments do not depend on having heard the sentence before: Enormous crickets in pink socks danced at the party. Grammaticality judgments do not depend on meaning: Colorless green ideas sleep furiously. *Furiously sleep ideas green colorless Major word classes Nouns Verbs Adjectives Adverbs Sentence with only major word classes: Adjectives ◦ Modify nouns My favorite dog is hungry. Adjectives can have a predicative function or an attributive function. Adverbs Often considered the ‘garbage’ category Unfortunately, some students drive very quickly and create extremely dangerous roads. unfortunately: sentence adverb quickly: manner adverbs very: degree adverbs Phrasal category Form Function NP Headed by a noun Subject of sentence VP Headed by a verb Predicate of sentence VP NP det adj The friendly person NP N V det asked a N question The man with the toupee shocked the woman at the bar. Sentence (S) Subject (NP) Predicate (VP) The man with the toupee shocked the woman at the bar Hierarchical constituent structure Meaning (1)A big sale of stereos Big stereo sale (2) a sale of big stereos Big stereo sale S VP NP NP PP NP NP det The adj tipsy N man V finished det the N drink P in det one N minute Every NP has a grammatical relation to some other element in sentence. NP: ‘the tipsy man’ relationship with ‘finished’= SUBJECT NPs to left of verbs = subject (dominated by S) NP: ‘the drink’ = direct object NPs to right of verbs and dominated directly by VP = direct object Other NP not related directly to verb but to preposition (dominated directly by PP) = object of a preposition Test 1: “stand alone” test If a group can stand alone, they form a constituent Set of word that can answer a question: What did you pass? “the Linguistics class” “passed the” The student passed the Linguistics class. Test 2: “replacement by a pronoun” test ◦ Pronouns can substitute for natural groups. Pronoun that can answer a question: ◦ When did you pass the Linguistic class? “I passed it last trimester” Do can also substitute for the whole predicate passed the Linguistics class. Som passed the Linguistics class and Boss did too. Test 3: “move as a unit” test ◦ If a group of words can be moved, they form a constituent. The student passed the Linguistics class It was the Linguistics class that the student passed. The Linguistics class was passed by the student. S NP VP CP S NP VP NP det The N professor V said C that det the N student V passed det N the exam. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. S = NP = VP = VP = VP = PP = VP = CP = NP + VP Det + N V + NP V V + PP P + NP V + CP C+S The woman laughed. The meaning of language Why does a certain set of words mean something and a similar set mean something very different? When do two different sentences mean the same thing? How can one sentence mean more than one thing? What is meaning? In our society, many people feel that the dictionary definition of a word more accurately represents a word’s meaning than an individual speaker’s understanding of the word. But descriptivists arrive at their definitions by studying the ways speakers of the language use different words. The meaning of a word or expression is not just a definition composed of more words in the same language, since ultimately the meaning of some words would have to be known in order to understand the definitions. Meaning is provided by a community of language speakers, not by some special authority like a dictionary or grammar book. Mental image Reference Sense Synonyms Antonyms Homonyms (homophones) Hyponyms mother PARENT ADULT woman father bachelor boy MALE Incorrect “matching” of the semantic features of different elements of a sentence can result in ungrammatical (but syntactically sound) sentences: The man [-female] was pregnant [+female]. I sawed [+solid] the water [-solid]. The ideas [-living] are sleeping [+living]. The importance of context is concerned with the interpretation of meaning in context. 2 contexts: Linguistic context (discourse) Situational context (anything non-linguistic) It seems that the man loves the woman. Many people think he loves her. When a pronoun is coreferential, it is bound. Could it refer to another person? When a pronoun refers to an object not explicitly mentioned in the discourse, it is free or unbound. What’s the concept of deixis? Presuppositions are implicit assumptions about the world or background belief relating to an utterance. They must be mutually known or assumed by the speaker and addressee for the utterance to be considered appropriate in context Do you want to do it again? ◦ Implies that she has done it before. David wants more beer. ◦ He drank some beer already. The lecturer told the students to stop chatting. ◦ The students were chatting. Quick exercise What are the presuppositions of following utterances. 1. Maria regretted not having accepted Martin’s wedding proposal. 2. Christopher swore to himself that he would pass the exam this time. 3. To quit smoking is so easy! I’ve done it a hundred times. Find the 4 presuppositions that can be inferred from this utterance: John regrets that he stopped doing linguistics before he left MUIC. John stopped doing linguistics before he left MUIC. John was doing linguistics before he left MUIC. John left MUIC. John had been at MUIC. Often speakers infer or conclude based on not only what has been said but on what the speakers intentions are. 1. It’s quite warm in here. (Situation: you are in the classroom.) 2. Can you pass me a tissue? (you are in the canteen) Quick exercise: Each of the sentences has at least one implicature. What is it? Statement Situation It’s getting late. You and your friends are at a night club and it’s 4 a.m. Most of the food is gone. You arrived at a cocktail party late. The restaurants are open until midnight. It’s 10p.m. and you didn’t have dinner yet. If you weren’t so fat this wouldn’t hurt so badly. Someone is standing on your toe. John or Mary made a mistake. You’re their boss and looking at some work they have done. Performative sentences Language can be used to do things. It can be used to make promises, bets, issue warnings, offer congratulations. I I I I I I I I warn you; I have a big brother. bet you that ManU will win. challenge you to a match. fine you 100000Baht for possession of drugs. nominate Abbhisit for a Nobel prize. promise I will improve. resign! pronounce you husband and wife In performative sentences, the speaker is always the subject. Performative sentences are always in present tense. A test to determine if a sentence contains a performative verb is to begin the sentence with I hereby. Only performative sentences sound right when this is done: I hereby declare war on you. *I hereby know you. Quick exercise: Determine which of the following sentences are performative. Use ‘hereby’ 1. I testify that she is innocent. 2. I know that she is innocent. 3. He bet her 1000Baht that the yellow shirt would win. 4. I teach the class. 5. I dismiss the class. 6. I resign from this lousy job. 7. I resigned from this lousy job.