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Phrase Structure Rules o o NP => (Det) (Adj) N (PP) PP => P NP
Phrase structure trees NP NP NP N Det N John the boy NP Det Adj N Det N the smart boy the boy PP P in NP Det N the bubble
Recursion o o Some phrasal categories may appear to the left or right of the arrow NP (Det) N (PP) PP P (NP) Recursion: the property of language that allows for the embedding of categories (which can yield infinitely long phrases)
PP P from NP Det N a boy PP P in NP Det N a bubble
VP => V (NP) (PP) (Adv) VP VP V V sang ate VP NP V Det N the cake sang NP Det N PP P NP a song Adv badly in Det N the shower
S NP VP Det N V The dog ate NP N the S NP VP Det bone
S NP Aux Det N The dog will VP V Det N the S NP Aux VP eat NP bone
Ambiguity o The property of having two or more meanings. n n Lexical ambiguity Structural ambiguity
Lexical ambiguity Headlines: n n n o PROSTITUTES APPEAL TO POPE IRAQI HEAD SEEKS ARMS CHILD’S STOOL IS GREAT FOR USE IN GARDEN Lexical ambiguity: when a word has more than one meaning
Structural ambiguity n n “I once shot an elephant in my pajamas. ” “Tonight’s program will discuss sex with Dr. Ruth Westheimer. ” “We will not sell gasoline to anyone in a glass container. ” “This mixing bowl is designed to please any cook with a round bottom for efficient beating. ”
Structural ambiguity o Ambiguity resulting from the structure of the phrase or sentence e. g. [shot [an elephant] [in my pajamas]] [shot [an elephant in my pajamas]] e. g. [discuss [sex with Dr. Ruth Westheimer]] [discuss [sex] [with Dr. Ruth Westheimer]]
Structural ambiguity discuss [sex with Dr. Ruth] VP V discuss [sex] [with Dr. Ruth] VP NP discuss N sex V PP P NP PP discuss sex P NP with Dr. Ruth
Tests for Constituent structure o o Substitution Movement Deletion Coordination
Substitution: NP o Substitute for NPs with pronouns (he, she, it, they, etc. ) e. g. , [Laura] will buy [the new Battlestar Galactica DVD] tomorrow. Rita will buy it Wednesday. She will buy ‘V’ for Vendetta Friday. NP[the new BSG DVD] NP[Laura]
Substitution: VP o Substitute for VPs with do/done so e. g. , Laura has eaten lots of Halloween candy. n n Matt has done so too. Sandy will do so if we don’t stop her. AUX (has, will, etc. ) is outside the VP constituent. S => NP Aux VP
Substitution test o o o “The cow attacked the farmer with the axe. ” The cow attacked him. NP: [the farmer with the axe] The cow attacked him with it. him: NP[the farmer] it: NP[the axe]
Movement o Constituents can move to positions in the sentence other than where they would normally go n n Obligatory: Question formation Optional: Topicalization
Word Order o English is an SVO language: Subject – Verb – Object Harry rides brooms. Ron makes jokes. Trevor eats flies.
Obligatory Movement o Question formation: “Laura will drive her car on the weekend. ” What will Laura drive (her car) on the weekend? When will Laura drive her car (on the weekend)?
Optional Movement o Topicalization: optional movement used to emphasize something n I don’t like peas, but peanuts I like _____. O-S-V n They didn’t think he could win the election, but win the election he did _____.
Movement test “The cow attacked thethe farmer with the axe. ” farmer with the farmer Who did the cow attack ________? Who did the cow attack_____ with the axe?
Deletion o A constituent can be deleted from a phrase when there is an identical constituent in the discourse to supply its meaning
Deletion test o “The cow attacked the farmer with the axe. ” o The cow is attacking the farmer with the axe. The horse is ______, too. o
Conjunctions o Words and phrases of the same category can be combined using conjunctions (e. g. , and, but, or) NP conj NP VP conj VP S S conj S Cats and dogs are furry. He will run and jump. You can run but you can’t hide.
Conjoined phrases NP NP Conj NP Det N the cat NP Conj NP and the dog NP Det N
Conjoined sentences I bought a book, but I returned it. S S I V conj VP NP but S S conj S NP bought a book S S NP VP NP I VP V returned NP it
Ungrammatical coordination o Different categories cannot be conjoined Julia wrote a memo. Julia wrote to the dean. *Julia wrote [a memo] and [to the dean]. NP PP
Coordination test Laura loves linguistics. Laura teaches enthusiastically. Laura loves linguistics and teaches enthusiastically. Conclusion: [loves linguistics] and [teaches enthusiastically] are the same kind of constituent: VP
Coordination test o Reveals information about n n whether a group of words is a constituent what kind of constituent it is