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CelceMurciaTGBch5y6

CelceMurciaTGBch5y6

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Published by: Laura Valentina Basso on Jun 11, 2011
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03/05/2013

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Chapter
INTRODUCTIONTO
PHRASE
STRUCTURE
WORDORDERINENGLISHANDOTHERLANGUAGES
InEnglish,wordorderwithinsentencesislessflexiblethanitisinmanyotherlanguages,orthanitwasinEnglish1,000yearsago.Onerea'IonforthisisthatEnglishhaslostmostofitsoriginalCermanicsystemofinflections.'This
\V'dS
a
system
of(1)suffixesonnounsandadieo-tivesthatreflectedthegendel~number,andcaseofeverynouninasentenceand(2)suffixesonverbsthatreflectedpa<;torpresenttenseaswellasthepersonandnumberofthesubjectnoun.Withoutrecoursetothisfullrangeofinflectionstomarksubjects(andobjectsofvariouskinds),Englishcametorelyonamorefixedwordordertodistinguishsubjectsfromobjects.ThebasicunderlyingwordorderinanEnglishsentenceissubiectverb-obiect(s-V-O):Example:Joe
S
writes
V
poetry.
o
Thisratherfixedwordorderoperatesinconjunctionwithprepositions,whichhelptoindicatethesemanticfunctionsofcertainobjectsthatarenotdirectobjects,Forexample.inthefollowingsentencethepreposition
with
signalsthatits
object
noun
Sarah
isinsomesensethesource
of'joe's
agreement:Example:JoeSagreeswithSarah.
VPrep0
ThuswesaythatEnglishisanS-V-Olanguage.likeFrench,Spanish.andmanyotherlanguages.However,amajordifferenceexistsbetweenEnglishandFrench,ontheonehand,andSpanish,ontheother:bothEnglishandFrenchrequirethatasubjectnounofsomesortappearinallbutcertainimperativesentences,whereasSpanishdoesnothavethisrequirementforsentenceswithpronominalsubjects.Forexample:IspeakEnglish.Jeparlefran~ais.(IspeakFrench.)(Yo)habloespafiol,(IspeakSpanish.)InfactthemostfrequentversionoftheSpanishexampleomitsthefirstpersonsubjectpronoun.
yo.
Spanishcandeletepronominalsubjectsbecauseithasa
rich
systemofverbinflectionsthatunambiguouslyindicatethepersonandnumberofthe
subject.
IfyouhavestudiedonlylanguageslikeEnglish,Spanish,andFrench,youmightassumethatalllanguagesmoreorlessfollowS-V-()wordorder;in
fact,
severallanguagesunrelatedtoEnglish.Spanish,andFrench.suchasCantoneseandcolloquialEgyptianArabic.arealsoS-V-Olanguages.
I
 
80.~
THE
GRAMMARBOOK
However,S-V-Oisonlyoneofthreemajorordersforsentenceconstituentsinthelanguagesoftheworld,S-O-VandV-S-ObeingthetwoalternativestoS-V-O.
2
SomemajorlanguagesthatfollowtheS-O-VpatternareJapanese,Korean,Turkish,andFarsi(Persian).SomelanguagesthatusetheV-S-QpatternaretheclassicalversionsofSemiticlanguagessuchasHebrewandArabic,andCelticlanguageslike
Irish,
Welsh,andBreton.Inadditiontothesesentence-levelorderingdifferences,therealsoseemtobecross-linguisticdifferencesinwordorderatthephrasalleveldependingonwhethertheobjectnounprecedesorfollowstheverb(Jacobs,1995:36
ff.).
JacobspointsoutthatinlanguageslikeEnglish,wheretheverbprecedesthe
object,
auxiliaryverbsnormallyprecedeverbs.prepositionsprecedetheirobjects,andrelativeclausesfollowthenounstheymodify.Incontrast,inlanguageslikeJapaneseandKorean,whereobjectsprecedeverbs,auxiliaryverbsnormallyfollowmainverbs(intheformofinflections),postpositionsfollowt.heirobjects,andrelativeclausesprecedethenounstheymodify.Suchphrase-levelorderingdifferencescanalsocauseproblemsforlearners;wediscussthemfurtherinthefollowingchapterswhererelevant.
PHRASESTRUCTURERULES
Inthischapterandthenext,wewillintroduceasetofphrasestructurerulesforEnglish.Theserulesdescribethesentence-levelandsub-sentence-levelstructuresofthelanguage.Weagree
with
Jacobs(1995:34
ff.)
thatphrasestructurerulesprovideuswithaparsingdevicetomakeexplicitthreeimportantbasicpropertiesofsentencegrammar:linearity,hierarchy.andcategoriality.ThepropertyoflinearityaccountsforthefactthatthewordsandmorphemesofanyEnglishsentenceneedtobeproducedinsomesortofsequencesincetheycannotallbeproducedatonce.ThebasicS-V-OwordorderforEnglishisanexampleoflinearity.Thepropertyofrulehierarchyaccountsfor
t11(~
factthatitisnotsufficienttosimplyspecifythewordsandmorphemesofanEnglishsentenceandgivetheirlinearorder;somewordsgrouptogether,andthesegroupsinturncontributetoothergroupsandultimatelytoalargerwhole.Thusinthefollowingsentence.
Thechildatesomecookies.
wecanseethattwo
words-the
andchiltJ.-fullcliontogetherasthesubjectnounphrasewhiletheremainingwords=-aze
somecookies-function
togetherasthepredicate.Withinthepredicatewehavetheverb
ate,
whiletheothertwowords,
some
and
cookies,
formtheobjectnounphrase.Nowwehavesomethingresemblingthefollowingintermsofthehierarchyofoursentence(theexactnamesofthenodesinthehierarchywillbespecifiedlaterintherules):
~
II
~
_________
the
child
ate
I
I
cookies
ome
 
Chapter5:IntroductiontoPhraseStructure
,<:::".>
81
Theremainingproperty,categoriality,accountsforthefactthatsomewordsandgroupsofwordsbehavegrammaticallyinverysimilar
ways
andin
ways
thataredifferentfromotherwordsorgroupsofwords.Wordsmaybesimilarintheirdistribution(i.e.,inthepositiontheycanfillinasentence)orintheinflectionstheycantake.Forexample,acountablenoun,suchas
child
or
cookie,
cantakeapluralinflectionandcanfunctionaseitherasubjectorobject.
A
transitiveverb,suchas
eat,buy,
or
want,
co-occurswithbothasubjectandanobjectandcanbeinflectedforpasttense
(ate,bought,wanted).
Suchnounsandverbsarelexicalcategories(traditionallyreferredtoaspartsofspeech).However,therearealsophrasalcategoriessuchasnounphrases,verbphrases,andprepositionalphrasesthatweaccountforinourrules.Whatisthelargerlexico-grammaticaIsystemwithinwhichthephrasestructurerulesfunction?
Phrasestructurerules
Lexicon
~/
Underlyingstructure(i.e.treediagrams)
l
Rulesofmovement,addition,substitution.anddeletion(Le•mappingrules)
!
orphologicalrules
l
Orthographicorphonologicalrules
l
urfacestructure
Thephrasestructurerulesandthelexiconproducetheunderlyingstructure,ortreediagrams.Theunderlyingstructuresfirstundergomappingrulesofmovement,addition,substitution,anddeletionasmaybeneeded,andthentheresultingstructurestakemorphologicalrulesasneeded.Finally,eitherorthographicorphonologicalrules,whichwedonottreatinanydetailinthisgrammarandthusomitfromourmappings,areneededtoproduceawrittenorspokensurfaceform.Throughaseriesofphrase-structurerules,weanalyzeingreaterdetailthebasicstructureofEnglishsentences.Therulesarearrangedinahierarchysothatthefirstrule
tells
uswhatthelargestunit,thesentence,iscomposedof.Thenextruletakesoneoftheconstituentsofthesentenceandfurtherbreaks
it
downtorevealitscomposition.
Tn
thischapterandthenext,weprovideadescriptiveaccountofmostbasicEnglishsentences.

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