You are on page 1of 14

Syntax My Details

Level 5—2014/2015 Dr. Axiotis (Akis) Kechagias


Dr Akis Kechagias
Maxwell, Room 841.

a.kechagias@salford.ac.uk

Office hours: Monday 16.00-17.00 & Thursday 13.00-14.30


I can see students even outside my official "drop-in" hours. Either way, remember to make an appointment by email first! 


Week 3
SYNTAX 2015 SYNTAX 2015

1 2

Module Overview Recap Week 2


Week Date Content Core Reading*
Week 1
Week 1
Week 2
Week 2
12 FEB
FEB
9 FEB
8 FEB
Preliminaries & Introduction
What is morphology?
Constituency, Phrase Structure Rules & Trees (i)
A word & its parts: types of morphemes
Carnie Ch. 1 & 2
L 1-21
Carnie Ch 3*
CM 16-27
• Sentences are not just linear stings of words;
Week 3
Week 3
16 FEB
15 FEB
Constituency, Phrase Structure Rules & Trees (ii)
Lexeme Formation 1 [derivation]
Carnie Ch. 3 & 4
CMCarnie
44-57165-198
& 71-75
rather, they also exhibit some internal
organisation (constituents). We can discover
Week 4 23 FEB X-bar theory (i)
Week
Week 54 22 FEB
2 MAR Lexeme Formation 2 [compounding]
X-bar theory (ii) CM 59-69
Carnie & 76-84
207-221*

Week
Week 65 19 MAR
MAR Inflection
The Lexicon: θ-theory CM 28-43
Carnie 227-241
constituent through appropriate tests.
.

Week 76
Week 816MAR
MAR Head-to-Head Movement
Subordination Carnie174-182
H&P 289-312

Week 7
20 MAR
15 MAR
*Coursework 1* (weeks 1-6)
Relative Clauses H&P 183-194 Constituency & hierarchical structure is
captured by phrase structure rules (PSRs)
Week 8 23 MAR DP-movement Carnie 323-346
Week 8 22 MAR Grade and Comparison H&P 195-203
Week 9 20 APR Wh-Movement (i) Carnie 357-369


Week 9 19 APR Coordination H&P 225-237
PSRs generate PS Trees that also capture
Week 10 27 APR Wh-movement (ii) Carnie 369-383
Week 10
Week 11 26 APR
4 MAY Constituency
REVISION Tallerman 141-167
Week 11 315MAY
MAY REVISION 2*
*Coursework linear order, constituency and relations.
Note that minor changes may occur in the order & content of the lectures as well as
the assigned readings.Therefore it is essential that you attend on a weekly basis.

SYNTAX 2015 SYNTAX 2014

3 4
PSRs + means
PSRs for major constituent
you can
have as
types in English
many as
XP à (YP) X (ZP+)
you need

elements in • VP ➝(AdvP+) V (NP)({NP/CP}) (AdvP+) (PP+) (AdvP+)


the name
of the elements without
parentheses
are optional
• NP ➝ (D) (AdjP+) N (PP+) (CP)
constituent parentheses are
obligatory
• PP ➝ P (NP)

“consists of” • AdjP ➝ (AdvP) Adj

elements inside of constituent IN ORDER from Left to Right • AdvP ➝ (AdvP) Adv

X, Y, Z are variables representing any category (e.g., N, V, A, P, etc.)


SYNTAX 2014

5 6

Today: Overview

1. Phrase Structure Rules & Trees (ii)



1. PS Rules & Trees (ii)
2. Structural Ambiguity 
 A formal hypothesis for representing constituency

3. Structural Relations


+ Appendix: Tree Drawing Tips

SYNTAX
SYNTAX 2014 2014 Syntax 2014

7 8
TPs (clauses) TPs (clauses)
• Sentences may have an optional auxiliary or
• Sentences consist of a subject (NP) and a predicate modal verb (of the Category T)
(VP). In English, neither is optional (although in
other languages the subject may be omitted) • TP → NP (T) VP

• TP → NP VP
TP
TP


NP T VP

NP VP might

N V NP

N V NP
 Traci eat

Traci ate 
 D N

D N
 the pizza
the pizza
SYNTAX 2014 SYNTAX 2014

9 10

CPs (subordinate clauses) CPs (subordinate clauses)

• Sometimes clauses can function as the subject


or object of other clauses.
• I asked [if Maria would eat the spaghetti]
• VP→(AP+) V (NP) ({NP/CP}) (AP+)(PP+) (AP+)
• I think [that Maria decked the Janitor]
• [That Maria decked the Janitor] is obvious • TP →{NP/CP} (T) VP
• Words like “that” and “if” are called
complementisers. (=subordinate conjunctions)
• CP→(C) TP

SYNTAX 2014 SYNTAX 2014

11 12
CPs (subordinate clauses) Common mistakes
TP
• So with the following rules, you can draw only certain
trees
NP T VP
didn’t • VP→ V (CP) Bill said that Mary left
D N V CP
• TP →NP (T) VP TP
the syntactician think
• CP → (C) TP
NP VP
C TP V CP
that N
Bill said
NP VP C TP
VP is only ever a mother to CP that
(never TP), and CP is only ever a NP VP
D N V NP
the phonologist said mother to C and TP (never NP
N V
nor VP)
D N Mary left
the sentence
SYNTAX 2014 SYNTAX 2014

13 14

Common mistakes A common mistake


• Note that the rules require BOTH the CP and TP even if • Note that the rules require BOTH the CP and TP even if
there is no complementiser there is no complementiser
• VP→ V (CP) • VP→ V (CP)
• TP →NP (T) VP Bill said Mary left • TP →NP (T) VP
Bill said Mary left
• CP → (C) TP • CP → (C) TP

TP * TP TP * TP
NP VP NP VP NP VP NP VP
V CP N V CP V CP N V TP
N said said N said said
Bill TP Bill Bill TP Bill
NP VP NP VP
NP VP N V NP VP N V
V Mary left V Mary left
N N
Mary left No rule says *CP→ NP VP Mary left No rule says *VP→ V TP
SYNTAX 2014 SYNTAX 2014

15 16
PSRs of English Recursion
to be significantly revised!!
• CP ➝ (C) TP • Language is infinite: you can say sentences that
have never been said before.
• TP ➝ {NP/CP} (T) VP
• NP → N PP
NP
N PP
• VP ➝(AdvP+) V (NP)({NP/CP}) (AdvP+) (PP+) (AdvP+) • PP → P NP
P NP
• NP ➝ (D) (AdjP+) N (PP+) (CP) N PP
• PP ➝ P (NP) P NP
etc!!!!
• AdjP ➝ (AdvP) Adj
This property is called
• AdvP ➝ (AdvP) Adv Recursion
SYNTAX 2014 SYNTAX 2014

17 18

Ambiguity

• Ambiguity: when a sentence has two meanings



2. Structural Ambiguity Paraphrase: A restatement of the meaning of a sentence,
used to disambiguate ambiguous sentences.
• John went to the bank.
• Paraphrase 1: John went to the financial institution
• Paraphrase 2: John went to the side of the river

Syntax 2014 SYNTAX 2014

19 20
Lexically Ambiguous
Ambiguity
Headlines
• Two kinds:
• Lexical ambiguity uses words with more than • Safety Experts Say School Bus Passengers Should Be Belted

one meaning.
• Structural ambiguity ambiguous due to the • Prostitutes Appeal to Pope

structure of the tree.
• Man Struck by Lightning Faces Battery Charge

SYNTAX 2014 SYNTAX 2014

21 22

Structurally Ambiguous Ambiguity in Structure


Headlines

• Two Sisters Reunited after18 Years in Checkout


Counter. • I killed the king with the knife
• Enraged Cow Injures Farmer With Ax. • easy reading: “used a knife for the killing”
• Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors. • harder reading: “king holding a knife”

SYNTAX 2014 SYNTAX 2014

23 24
I killed the king with a knife
The Principle of Modification
 “killed using a knife” “king holding a knife”
“The Golden Rule” TP TP

NP VP NP VP
• If an XP modifies a head Y then XP must be Y’s
N V NP
sister (be the daughter of YP) N V NP PP
I killed I killed
YP YP D N PP
D N P NP
XP Y Y XP the king with the king
D N P NP
a knife with
sisters sisters D N
a knife
SYNTAX 2014 SYNTAX 2014

25 26

Ambiguity in Structure
VP VP
The man put the book in the box on the table
V NP PP
 V NP PP

• Meaning 1: put the book (currently in the box) on the
table. The box isn’t on the table put put

D N PP P NP
 D N P NP

• Meaning 2: put the book into the box. The box the book in 

is on the table. the book on

P NP D N D N PP

in the table the box

D N
 P NP

the box on D N

the table
SYNTAX 2014 SYNTAX 2014

27 28
Summary

• Structurally vs. Lexically ambiguous.


• Structurally ambiguous 3. Structural Relations
• different meanings have different trees. The mathematical properties of phrase structure trees
• relies on the principle of modification!

• A paraphrase is a restatement of meaning. Don’t


draw trees for the paraphrase -- draw them for
the actual sentence.

SYNTAX 2014 ©2012 Andrew Carnie

29 30

Structural Relations Some basic terms


M Root node
Branches
• Structural relations: the formal relationships
N O
Non-terminal nodes
between items of a tree
• Why should we care? We want to be able to
talk about specific relationships in terms of
structures.
D E F G H J
Labels: M,N,O,D,E,F,G,H,J Terminal nodes
Node: Any point with a label
©2012 Andrew Carnie ©2012 Andrew Carnie

31 32
Domination Domination
• Intuitively: this is containment. If a node contains another,
then it dominates it:

A dominates B,C,D,E,F,G A [A B C [D E F G]] • A slightly more formal definition:

contained inside [A ]
• Domination: Node A dominates node B if and
only if A is higher up in the tree than B and if
you can trace a line from A to B going only
B C D
downwards.
D dominates E,F,G
E F G

©2012 Andrew Carnie ©2012 Andrew Carnie

33 34

Immediate Domination Exhaustive Domination


• Node A immediately dominates node B if there
is no intervening node G which is dominated • Node A exhaustively dominates a SET of
by A, but dominates B. (in other words, A is the TERMINAL nodes {B,C,…,D},
first node that dominates B)
C • provided it dominates all the members of the
set (so that there is no member of the set that
is not dominated by A)
D E F • AND there is no terminal node G dominated
by A that is not a member of the set.
C dominates D, E, F, H, I, J H I J
but C immediately dominates only D, E, F
©2012 Andrew Carnie ©2012 Andrew Carnie

35 36
A formal definition of
Exhaustive Domination
constituency
F Constituent: The set of nodes exhaustively
dominated by a single node
A G
F {E, H} are NOT a
constituent
B C D E H I A G
A exhaustively dominates the set {B,C,D,E}
A does NOT exhaustively dominate the set {B,C,D} B C D E H I
A does NOT exhaustively dominate the set {B,C,D,E,H}
©2012 Andrew Carnie ©2012 Andrew Carnie

37 38

Some Informal Terms Root and Terminal Nodes


• Root node: A node with no mother

• Mother: the node that immediately dominates • Terminal node: A node with no daughters
another.
Root Node
• Daughter: the node that is immediately
TP
dominated by another (is an immediate
constituent of another).
NP VP
• Sisters: two nodes that share the same mother.

D N V Terminal Nodes
the platypus laughed
©2012 Andrew Carnie ©2012 Andrew Carnie

39 40
C-command C-command
• Intuitively: The relationship between a node
and its sister, and all the structure the sister
dominates.
• Node A c-commands node B if
• every node dominating A also dominates B,
M A c-commands C,D,E,F,G,H • and A does not itself dominate B.
A C Sisterhood &
Aunthood…
D E F you can’t command something you
dominate
G H
Note: D does NOT c–command A
©2012 Andrew Carnie ©2012 Andrew Carnie

41 42

Symmetric C-command Asymmetric C-command


• A symmetrically c-commands B, if A c-commands B AND B
• A asymmetrically c-commands B, if A c-commands B
c-commands A
but B does NOT c-command A.
• SAME THING AS SISTERHOOD
• (intuitively -- A is B’s aunt)
M A & B symmetrically c-command one another M
A B A does NOT symmetrically c-command D A C
D E F B E F
G H G H
©2012 Andrew Carnie ©2012 Andrew Carnie

43 44
Grammatical Relations Grammatical Relations
TP TP TP
Subject NP VP NP VP NP VP
N V NP N V NP NP N V NP PP
Object
N PP N N N P NP
P NP Indirect Object Direct Object Direct Object N
N Indirect Object
Object of a Preposition
I gave Adam the book I gave the book to Adam
©2012 Andrew Carnie ©2012 Andrew Carnie

45 46

Grammatical Relations
• Subject: NP/CP daughter of TP
• Object of a Preposition: NP daughter of PP
• Direct Object: the NP or CP daughter of VP Appendix: Tree Drawing Tips 

• Indirect Object: This is the 1st object indicating the goal of a (Please read)
verb of transfer (a ditransitive) or the PP of the same kind of
verb:
• the PP daughter of VP immediately preceded by an NP daughter of
VP.
• the NP daughter of VP immediately preceded by V (i.e. the first NP
daughter of VP)

©2012 Andrew Carnie ©2012 Andrew Carnie

47 48
Drawing trees
Drawing trees
Step 1: Identify the parts of speech for all the words in the sentence
Step 2: try to figure out what words "go together in phrases" (i.e. figure out
what the constituents are)
Step 3: apply the rules backwards (bottom up) to build the tree. •Important:
Start with AdvP & AdjPs •Nothing can be left dangling in space.
Next do NPs, then PPs, then VPs
•Everything has to be attached to something higher up.
Generally, start at the RIGHT edge of the tree and work leftwards
•Lines can't cross one another.
apply the TP rule last. •Phrases never hang off of words, only off of other phrases
Step 4: now check your tree against your rules. Start at the top, and check
that each set of lines can be generated by the rules.

SYNTAX 2014 SYNTAX 2014

49 50

Some trees
Some trees TP
TP VP

VP NP
NP NP
PP PP
AdjP
NP NP AdjP AdjP NP
AdvP
D Adv Adj N V D N P D N D Adj Adj N V D N P N
The very big man gave the marble to his son The big lazy dog bit a mouthful of food

SYNTAX 2014 SYNTAX 2014

51 52
Some trees
TP
A Personal Pet-peeve
VP
• The line in a tree represents the application of a
PSR, so there is no line between a word and its
NP
category:
NP PP
NP NP
NP ✓
N N
N T V D N P N Peanuts
I will finish an assignment about trees Peanuts

SYNTAX 2014 SYNTAX 2014

53 54

Summary

• Tree drawing
• practice, practice, practice
• Apply rules from bottom up, start with AdjPs, AdvPs,
NPs, PPs first. Start from right edge.
• Make sure everything is connected, no crossing lines.
• CHECK your trees against the phrase structure
rules.

SYNTAX 2014

55