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英语语言学纲要课件文档(5)Chapter 5 Syntax

2008年12月08日  所属:英语语言学  来源:完美学社  作者:英语语言学纲要

英语语言学纲要课堂课件、笔记文档(5):Chapter 5 Syntax。

Chapter 5 Syntax
 What is syntax?

 The term syntax is from the ancient Greek word syntaxis, which literally means “arrangement” or “setting out together”.
 Traditionally, it refers to the branch of grammar dealing with the ways in which words, with or without appropriate inflexions, are arranged to show connexions of meaning within the sentence.
 Syntax is a branch of linguistics that analyzes the structure of sentences.

 What is a sentence?

 Syntax is the analysis of sentence structure. A sentence is a sequence of words arranged in a certain order in accordance with grammatical rules.
 A sequence can be either well-formed or ill-formed. Native speakers of a language know intuitively what strings of words are grammatical and what are ungrammatical.

 Knowledge of sentence structure

 Structural ambiguity
 Structural ambiguity is one or more string(s) of words has/have more than one meaning. For example, the sentence Tom said he would come yesterday can be interpreted in different ways.
 Word order
 Different arrangements of the same words have different meanings. For example, with the words Tom, love and Mary, we may say Tom loves Mary or Mary loves Tom.
 Grammatical relations
 Native speakers know what element relates to what other element directly or indirectly. For example, in The boats are not big enough and We don’t have enough boats, the word enough is related to different words in the two sentences.
 Recursion
 The same rule can be used repeatedly to create infinite sentences. For example, I know that you are happy. He knows that I know that you are happy. She knows that he knows that I know that you are happy.
 Sentence relatedness
 Sentences may be structurally variant but semantically related.
 Syntactic categories
 A syntactic category is a class of words or phrases that can substitute for one another without loss of grammaticality. For example, consider the following sentences:
 The child found the knife.
 A policeman found the knife.
 The man who just left here found the knife.
 He found the knife.
 All the italicized parts belong to the same syntactic category called noun phrase (NP). The noun phrases in these sentences function as subject. The knife, also a noun phrase, functions as object.

 Traditional grammar

 In traditional grammar, a sentence is considered a sequence of words which are classified into parts of speech.
 Sentences are analyzed in terms of grammatical functions of words: subjects, objects, verbs (predicates), predicatives, …
 Compulsory elements of a sentence: subject, verb, object, complement, adverbial…
 Nouns: number, case, gender…
 Verbs: tense, aspect, voice…
 Adjectives and adverbs: comparative and superlative degrees
 Agreement in number/person/gender
 Parsing: trying to make detailed analysis in structure

 Structural grammar

 Structural grammar arose out of an attempt to deviate from traditional grammar. It deals with the inter-relationships of different grammatical units. In the concern of structural grammar, words are not just independent grammatical units, but are inter-related to one another.
 Form class
 Form class is a wider concept than part of speech in traditional grammar.
 Linguistic units which can appear in the same slot are said to be in the same form class. For example, a(n), the, my, that, every, etc. can be placed before nouns in English sentences. These words fall into one form class.
 These linguistic units are observed to have the same distribution.
 Immediate constituent (IC) analysis
 Structural grammar is characterized by a top-down process of analysis.
 A sentence is seen as a constituent structure. All the components of the sentences are its constituents. A sentence can be cut into sections. Each section is its immediate constituent. Then each section can be further cut into constituents. This on-going cutting is termed immediate constituent analysis.
 Examples:
 Old men and women: old | men and women, old || men | and women
 The ||| little || girl | speaks || French.
 In this way, sentence structure is analyzed not only horizontally but also vertically. In other words, IC analysis can account for the linearity and the hierarchy of sentence structure.
 I will suggest | that this || in itself reflects ||| a particular ideology |||| about gender ||||| that deserves to be re-examined.
 Two advantages of IC analysis:
 It can analyze some ambiguities.
 It shows linearity and hierarchy of one sentence.

 Transformational-generative (TG) grammar

 Background and the goal of TG grammar
 Chomsky (1957) – grammar is the knowledge of native speakers.
 Adequacy of observation
 Adequacy of description
 Adequacy of explanation
 Writing a TG grammar means working out two sets of rules – phrase structure rules and transformation rules – which are followed by speakers of the language.
 TG grammar must account for all and only grammatical sentences.
 Syntactic categories
 Noun Phrase (NP)
 Verb Phrase (VP)
 Sentence (S)
 Determiner (Det)
 Adjective (Adj)
 Pronoun (Pro)
 Verb (V)
 Auxiliary Verb (Aux)
 Prepositional Phrase (PP)
 Adverb (Adv)
 Phrase structure (PS) rules
 S → NP VP
(Det) (Adj) N
 NP →{
Pro
 VP → (Aux) V (NP) (PP)
 PP → P NP
 Tree diagrams (omit)
 Recursion and the infinitude of language
 S contains NP and VP and that S may be a constituent of NP and VP. NP and PP can be mutually inclusive. If phrasal categories appear on both sides of the arrow in phrase structure rules, the rules are recursive. Recursive rules can be applied again and again, and the phrase structure can grow endlessly.
 Sub-categorization of the lexicon.
 The process of putting words of the same lexical category into smaller classes according to their syntactic characteristics is called sub-categorization.
 Transformational rules (T-rules)
 Particle movement T-rule
 John turned the machine off. John turned off the machine.
 Replacement T-rule
 John beat Tom. He beat Tom.
 The house needs repairing (to be repaired).
 Insertion T-rule
 A fish is swimming in the pond. There is a fish swimming in the pond.
 Deletion T-rule
 They came in and (they) sat down.
 Copying T-rule
 He is coming, isn’t he?
 He has finished his homework, hasn’t he?
 Reflexivization T-rule
 I wash me (myself).
 TG grammar accounts for the mental process of our speaking.

 Systematic-functional grammar

 Background and the goal of systemic-functional grammar
 M. A. K. Halliday
 Language is a system of meaning potential and a network of meaning as choices.
 Meaning determines form, not vice versa. Meaning is realized through forms.
 The goal of systemic-functional grammar is to see how function and meaning are realized through forms.
 The three meta-functions of language
 Ideational function
 Interpersonal function
 Textual function
 The transitivity system of language
 Elements
 Process
 Participants
 Circumstances
 Categorization of reality
 Doing – material process
 Processes involving physical actions: walking, running, throwing, kicking, wrapping, etc.
 Actor, goal and circumstance
 Being – relational process
 Processes representing a relation being set up between two separate entities.
 Be (identifying), have (attributive)
 Carrier/possessor and attribute/possessed
 Sensing – mental process
 Processes of sensing, including feeling, thinking, perceiving, imagining, wanting, liking, etc.
 Senser and phenomenon
 Less central types of linguistic process
 Verbal processes – saying something
 Sayer and receiver
 Behavioural processes – active conscious processes
 Behaver and range
 Existential processes – existence of an entity
 Existent
 Mood and modality
 Mood expresses the speaker’s attitude and serves for interpersonal function. It is a syntactic constituent made up of the subject and the finite.
 Modality is the degree of certainty or frequency expressed by the grammatical forms of finite. It can be categorized by modalization and modulation.
 Theme and rheme
 Theme is the given information, while rheme is the new information.
 Examples:
 John | is my friend.
 He | should have replied to my letter.


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