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What is Syntax?

Ch 5 describes words as POS and how they function grammatically in sentences; words are the building blocks necessary for building phrases, clauses, and sentences (studied in Ch 6) Syntax: how words combine systematically in the proper order to form larger sequences (phrases, clauses, sentences) that are meaningful and grammatical (i.e., well-formed) We understand syntax by parsing and diagramming sentences, i.e., breaking them down into POS and seeing how those parts function together grammatically (more in Ch 6) We Know Syntax; Now Lets Describe It We already know syntax intuitively otherwise we couldnt communicate in wellformed sentences We know how words function, and knowing their function helps us order them in sentences that are meaningful and grammatical 1. 2. E.g., slippers, my, fetch E.g., boy, the, at, school, handsome, studies Now lets recognize and describe explicitly what we know implicitly

The Parts of Speech (POS) Parts of Speech, aka lexical categories: words classified according to their form and function/behaviour in a sentence, NOT according to what they mean Members within a given POS function similarly but dont necessarily mean the same As always, there are sometimes exceptions & complications *You can figure out what POS a word is by using 3 criteria: what it means (semantic; simple definition), how it can be formed (morphological; presence or not of inflections), and esp. how it functions in a sequence within a sentence (syntactic; slot it fills) Word Classes: Open and Closed There are two main classes of words: open and closed (today we look at open, on Thur closed); cf. open and closed morphemes in Ch 4 The open class of words can easily and often take new members; these are often content words, not function words

The open class of words includes these 4 parts of speech: N, ADJ, V, ADV Nouns (N) Nouns: persons, places, things, ideas, etc. (meaning); BUT, remember its better to define a part of speech in terms of its form (morphology) and function (syntax) *See Table 5.1 on p. 132, and N test on p. 134 E.g., (form) Can it take a plural? Can it take certain derivational morphemes? E.g., (function) Can it be preceded by a determiner or adjective, or both? Can it be a subject, object, or complement of a sentence? There are various subclasses of nouns: e.g., count and non-count (also common, proper, collective, concrete, abstract, etc.); examples? Adjectives (ADJ) Adjectives: Modify, in various ways, the meaning of nouns (meaning); Can it take certain derivational morphemes? Can it take a comparative or superlative? (form); Can it be used attributively or predicatively? Can it appear before a noun? (function) There are various types of adjective: e.g., attributive (directly modifies N, usually right before) and predicative (indirectly modifies, usually after a linking V) Verbs (V) *Verbs: Doing, action, or being words (meaning); Can it be conjugated for things like tense, aspect, mood? (form); Can it be preceded by an auxiliary verb? Can it appear alone as a sentence? Can it follow a subject? (function) Verbs have 5 important forms: bare infin., 3rd sg., past tense, pres. partic, past partic. *See Table 5.2 on p.137, and V test on p. 140 EN verbs are conjugated for 6 things: person (1,2,3), number (sg, pl), tense (present [non- past], past), aspect (perfect, progressive), voice (active, passive), and mood (indicative, imperative, subjunctive) There are several types of verbs: transitive, Adverbs (ADV) Adverbs: Usually modify verbs, but can also modify adjs, other advs, or even whole clauses or sentences (meaning); Can it take an ly suffix? Can it take a [periphrastic]

comparative or superlative form? (form); Can it appear immediately before or after a verb, or at the beginning or end of a clause? (function) There are various types of adverbs: temporal (specifies when; yesterday), manner (specifies how; quickly), place (specifies where; somewhere), and discourse (indicates stance and modifies sentences; frankly or actually), among others ADV are often a hard POS to recognize, esp. The Closed Word Class: A Reminder Remember there are 2 main classes of words: open and closed The open class readily admits new members and includes content words; open class includes N, ADJ, V, ADV The closed class doesnt usually admit new members and includes function or grammar words The closed class includes 6 parts of speech: PREP, CONJ, PRON, COMPL, DET, AUX Prepositions (PREP) Prepositions: Indicate various kinds of relationship (location, duration, manner, etc.) between their object and some other word often a V; anywhere a mouse can go (meaning); occur before N or noun phrases (the object of the PREP); many can be preceded by right (function) Prepositions do not change their form *Tests for PREP on p. 145 Examples of prepositions include: in, on, behind, around (but also for, of) Conjunctions (CONJ) Conjunctions: connecting words that join words, phrases, clauses, or even entire sentences (function) There are 3 main types of conjunctions: coordinating (join words of the same category [POS, phrase, clause]), subordinating (join a main clause and a subordinate clause), and correlative (paired conjs that join phrases or clauses) Pronouns (PRON)

Pronouns: Stand in for nouns or noun phrases; and accordingly they function like nouns do (function) There are 5 main types of pronoun: personal (indicate person, number, gender, and case of a specific replaced noun), indefinite (indicate a non-specific element in a clause), interrogative (indicate a non-specific element in a clause in order to ask a question), demonstrative (pointing words that indicate something specific already mentioned), relative (are the subject/object of a dependent relative clause and link that clause to a preceding noun phrase); are other types (e.g., reflexive) Determiners (DET) Determiners: introduce noun phrases (sometimes just a N) and indicate various qualities of the noun, e.g., determinacy or number (function); they come before any ADJ that modifies the noun; unlike ADJ they do not form comparatives or superlatives and arent really predicative *Test for DET on p. 149 There are different kinds of determiners that appear in combination in a fixed order; see p. 149 [I wont ask you to label DET so specifically] NB: Some DET can function as PRON when used alone without modifying a noun; e.g., That Auxiliary Verbs (AUX) Auxiliary verbs: Helping verbs that combine with a main (lexical) verb to indicate tense, mood, aspect, emphasis, among other things; add meaning or info to the main verb Major auxiliary verbs in EN are be, have, and do, and modals that indicate possibility or necessity (epistemic), or obligation or permission (deontic) See Table 5.6 on p. 150 *Test for AUX on p. 151 E.g., I am going, I will go, I have studied, I have been studying, I may go out tonight, I do go sometimes A Few Problems

Remember: exceptions and complications; our categories and rules are after the fact Many words can function as more than one POS; so dont merely memorize words as examples of POS (e.g., look up that) Some verbs can be transitive or intransitive (again, look at function) The suffix ing can have several different functions and attach to different POS, e.g., V, N, ADJ (cf. inflectional vs. derivational ing in Ch 4) Thus its crucial to understand how words are functioning grammatically in a sentence, not to memorize examples or focus on meaning Ch 5 Exercises and Problems Go through exercises 5.2, *5.3, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6.2 Practice Paragraph: Determining POS I hope that you are all able to understand how to recognize the different parts of speech in this short paragraph. If we get stuck, we can go back to the morphological and syntactic tests in our fabulous textbook and use them to help us find the answers. But if that does not work we might be in a very tough spot. Do it quick!For Tuesday Study for Ch 5 Quiz (esp. verbs): Contrast morphology and syntax Know what things we conjugate EN Vs for Give e.g. sentences containing V tenses, voices, moods, etc. Label POS in a passage and explain how you answered As further practice for Ch 5, open any book and start identifying the POS in any sentence: do this by considering their form and function; use the textbook and a good dictionary to help you verify