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IMMEDIATE CONSTITUENT (IC) ANALYSIS

Immediate constituent (IC) analysis is one of the easiest methods of analyzing a sentence linguistically. This process is about the ultimate constituents of sentence and their relationship with one another. It deals with the immediate binary division of a sentence. Each part is again divided into two, and this division of componential parts of the sentence is continued to the ultimate indivisible morphemes. In the sentence, The old man ran away’ the first division into immediate constituents would be between the old man and ran away. The immediate constituents of ‘the old man’ are the and old man. !t the ne"t level old man’ is divided into old and man. IC analysis was first mentioned by #eonard $loomfield and developed further by %ulon &ells. The process reached a full blown strategy for analyzing sentence structure in the early wor's of (oam Choms'y. The practice is now widespread. )ost tree structures employed to represent the syntactic structure of sentences are products of some form of IC*analysis. &hen linguists use this techni+ue to evaluate te"t or speech, the words and phrases are often displayed in a visual tree, with diagonal lines referencing connections between them. The ‘tree diagram’ and ‘branching’ have become technical terms in this 'ind of analysis. , ! beautiful girl with a heavy bag of boo's was moving fast on a bicycle

! beautiful girl

with a heavy bag of boo's

!

beautiful girl

with

a heavy bag of boo's

beautiful

girl

a

heavy bag of boo's

heavy

bag of boo's

bag

of boo's

of A beautiful girl with a heavy bag of books , was moving fast was moving was move moving ing was moving fast on a bicycle fast on a on a bicycle

boo's

a bicycle bicycle

,uch type of a linear structure of a sentence in a +uic' binary division up to the indivisible morphemes is called the immediate constituent analysis. ,imple tree diagrams do not show the nature and functions of the constituents. This inade+uacy of the model was removed by introducing the notion of labelling. Trees with labeled nodes give us an insight into the syntactic function of the ultimate and immediate constituents of sentences. &e will ta'e a sentence (The linguist will analyze a sentence) to illustrate this model. This sentence is represented by the symbol (,). It is composed of a noun phrase (the linguist) which is composed of an article (!) and a noun ((), and a verb phrase (will analyze a sentence) which is composed of a verb (-) and noun phrase ((.)/ the verb (will analyze) is composed of an au"iliary (!u".) and the main verb ()-)/ and the noun phrase (a sentence) is composed of an article (!) and a noun ((). !long with tree diagrams, brac'eting and Chinese bo"es are also used in IC!. ! representation in the form of a tree diagram or labeled brac'ets of the constituent structure of a sentence is also 'nown as Phrase Marker. ! tree diagram is in fact a picture of a phrase structure of a particular sentence. , (. ! ( !u". The linguist will )analyze ! a -. (. ( sentence

0ere (. 1 -. represents the initial string and (The 1 linguist 1 will 1 analyze 1 a 1 sentence) the terminal string. The labels (., -., !, (, -, !u", )-2.. show that the constituents represent different classes or categories. These labels are categorical functions. The two noun phrases in the sentence perform two different grammatical functions. The (oun .hrase (the linguist) functions as the sub3ect4 of the sentence. !nd the (oun .hrase (a sentence) functions as the ob3ect4 of the -erb .hrase (or the )ain -erb). Each constituent in a construction has a positionally defined grammatical function. The functions are5 ,ub3ect, 6b3ect, Complement, !d3unct, and .redicator. !ny single class7category may serve several function, e.g. a (oun .hrase may function as the sub3ect of a sentence as the ob3ect of the )ain -erb. In a tree*diagram representation the lines that lead down from one point to the ne"t lower point are called branches; and the point between which the lines run are called nodes. (odes refer to the places at which classes branch into sub*classes. ranching means analysis of a category into a se+uence of categories.

!ltimate "onstituent Analysis
The ultimate constituent analysis of a sentence considers morphemes as the ultimate constituent than the words. )orphemes rather than words are the elementary building bloc's of a language in its grammatical aspects. #oo' at the analytical representations of the following sentence5 The boys played with the girls.

The

boy

#lural

#lay

#ast

with

the

girl

#lural

The

boy

$s

#lay

$ed

with

the

girl

$s

8ltimate Constituent !nalysis &e may analyze the above sentence through a tree diagram as under5 ,

The

boy

$s

#lay

$ed

with

the

girl

$s

The above sentence is made up of nine morphemes. These morphemes are the ultimate constituents of the sentence. The e"pression ultimate constituents’ implies that these elements are not further analyzable at the syntactic level. If we further analyze them we will enter the realm of phonology.
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