Introductory course

The organisation of Grammar

The structure of UG
- modular; a sum of subsystems of principles (rules); many of the principles contain parameters wh. are fixed by experience. (empirical research). The parameters show that many rules are interdependent and hold crosslinguistically, they are language universals. e.g. of a parameter: the right-hand head/left-hand head rule, i.e. position of the Head of a grammatical constituent. In the NP these big books the right-handmost word is: N books (the Head). as a rule the H is the only obligatory el. in a constituent.; in a compound: farmhouse - the head is house - the pivotal element from a semantic point of view. In Japanese it is just the reverse.

compounding) Phonology (phonemics) .Organization of the Grammar (1) Nowadays Morphology is regarded as a synchronic discipline focusing on the study of word structure rather than on the evolution of words. derivation. context-sensitive rules selectional restrictions. context-free rules: PSR or subcategorization rules} Move a (Transformational component) . LINGUISTICS LF (semantic level) . forms) Morphological level .meaning of utterances D-Str.sound system These levels are ordered in a hierarchy: D-Structure Lexicon {context-free rules: WFR.S-structure (syntactic expressions. (syntactic level) .word structure (word formation rules: inflection.

The Lexicon is one of the subcomponents of Grammar (together with Syntax. DStructure is that component of G in which 1-to-1 correlations hold between the subcategorization frames (e.The Organisation of the grammar (2) S-Structure The PF component the LF component D-structure is a mapping system of representation of the lexical properties of lexical items. one way of looking at linguistic objects. phonology.g. syntactic. semantic or even pragmatic. The Lexicon is the level of linguistic analysis. morphological. the selectional properties of the verbs. between referential expressions and thematic roles (e. Move a maps the D-S representations to S-S representations (in acc.NP2 – (NP3)] and the categories which fulfill them [e. Morphology is the theory of the Lexicon. and semantics). V]. for instance. or better said. one level of linguistic description. his book. John opens the door). whether phonological. with the Projection Principle). V – [TAKE] – [NP1 . i.g.e. . S-Structure – the level at which positions are linked.g.

g. reads – Mary reads the book. or lexical entries. we learn how it fits into the overall structure of sentences in which it can be used. what do we know when we know a word? What kind of information have we learned when we learn a word? It turns out that the information encoded in a word is fairly complex: each kind of information encompasses in fact each of the subfields of linguistics: phonology. readable – The book is readable .The organisation of grammar This brings us to the following question: the lexicon being a comprehensive list of dictionary formatted words. pragmatics. morphology. For every word we learn. syntactic category. e.

(e. in the actual context of discourse. Hello – no meaning unless used as in a greeting situation). .g. Pragmatics – words in use. Semantics – studies the nature of the meaning of individual words and the meaning of words grouped into phrases and sentences. selectional restrictions).Syntax and semantics Syntax – the subfield of language that studies the internal structure of sentences and the interrelationships among the internal parts (according to the subcategorization rules.

etc. out of which the class features are the most important ([+/-N]. Some of these properties contribute to establishing the distinction between syntactic (i.Morpho-syntax. of the form XP) and lexical categories (N. A. V. a field shared by two subfields The common unit of study in the two subfields is the WORD. each morphological category is decomposable into a set of features and a type. . i.e. A. etc. as well as some general formal properties (as discussed in X-bar theory). for instance. A syntactic category is a bundle of syntactic distinctive features (such as transitivity. that morphological categories are entities that are formally identical in character to syntactic categories. P.).e. +/-V]). V. agreement. The word level categories (X0) or the lexical categories are N. phrases.) indexed by a type or a number of bars of the category.

syntax goes upward.XAffix Morphology deals with the interpretation of words in terms of form and meaning. it is like a bottleneck in the passage of information from the morphological to the syntactic level of language description. into inner constituency of words. whereas Morphology goes downward.The word The word lies at the interface of morphology and syntax.X‟‟ .X‟ word .X0 . . to form larger structures (phrases and sentences). From the word. A gradient of syntactic and morphological categories would run as follows: » .X-1/-2 (stem/root) .

e. The LC is linked to a theoretical frame (generative transformational grammar) based on the X-bar theory (R. the term is built on analogy with the term lexical item and it indicates the Ns. Adv s. Adj s. This theoretical framework is based on empirical data and with it we can identify the lexical categories. etc. i. 1977) and to the phrase structure rules described by Emonds much earlier (1972). to which a lexical item belongs. . from the syntactic information (which is hierarchically organized) we gather functional information. Ps. Vs. Jackendoff. Syntactic Structures) to stand for what traditional grammarians called „parts of speech”.The notion of Lexical Category The term of LC was introduced by Chomsky (1965. The functional information leads us to inflection which gathers the syntactically-driven word-formation rules.

Comparison. such as: case. That is why these inflectional markers are also called relational categories. number. Verbs : tense. and advs. Nouns are characterized (cf. tense. Comparison stands only for adjectives and adverbs. person. Nouns within a sentence undergo case or number alternations. comparison etc. mood. but never do they undergo Tense or Aspect modifications. aspect. number. mood. The term “category” designates the characteristic inflectional variation of a certain part of speech. aspect. There is a correlation between a certain part of speech (LC) and its characteristic inflectional markers (categories). This is why inflectional variation was seen to be of a restrictive nature.Inflectional variation Within a linguistic context a word undergoes changes of form. as it is characterized by the presence of inflectional markers or functional categories. agreement. to be delimiting the lexical categories. Adjs. Pronouns: person. gender. gender. For instance. determination. gender. . number. Aristotle) by the functional categories of: case. .

content words.g. but * compartmentalizedation .Inherent vs. Contextual/Configurational Categories Inflectional Derivational morphology – typically contributes to the creation of new words pertaining to a different class (change of lexical category) and it also adds further elements of meaning: the affixes –er/-or turn verbs into nouns that have the meaning of Agents or instruments (e. Inflectional morphs .infl.paradigmatic sets . compartment+ al+ ized z . kill/killer). element which closes down the word.: donate/donor. The LCs are open classes. they are closure elements: eg.

or defective nouns: trousers/*trouser). nouns. the form of „went‟ is said to be the suppletive form of „go‟. inflectional markers are dependent on a certain LC expressing the morpho-syntactic features of the respective lexical category. abstract) that help us delimit the lexical category of the word to which they attach.Paradigmatic sets Paradigms induce closure upon words. Inflections are formal markers (semantically they are empty. it can lack a form (modal verbs. i. for instance. . they prohibit the further possibility of having a derivational element attached to it. inflectional markers are organised in closed sets. books/books. The elemetns of a paradigmatic set may show the phenomenon of suppletion i. hence they are in complementary distribution. inflected forms alternate – they are organized in paradigms. one of the forms is not phonologically related to other forms: go/went. Since they are organized in paradigms. Although they have no descriptive content.e. occur in parallel sets of two: hat/hats. A paradigm can be defective. that is to say.e. each lexical category (major part of speech) is characterised by specific inflectional markers. they pass on the descriptive content of the category they depend on. etc. so.

The major lexical categories: N. P Study of the major lexical categories in terms of lexical semantics . past tense etc. inflectional morphology and lexical semantics and how certain language-specific restrictions operate at the level of lexical categories. syntax (morpho-syntactic) properties or features (accusative case.relation between functional elements (morphology). A.o. V. Domain to study for this semester: the interface bet.g. or how would a past tense functor have the meaning of present or future time a. how would will be interpreted either as a modal or a way to express futurity in English.s.) and the distribution of these features so as to render a certain meaning: e. .

according to R. Jackendoff. complement and determination are the syntactic distinctive features which delimit a number of 10 (major and minor) LC s. 1977): subject. . object.Inflectional variation as a delimiting factor of LCs Functional vs Lexical category LC s are distinguished in terms of their syntactic properties (distributional criterion.

Uninterpretable features= only regulate the syntactic position of words (Nom. gender (but not in all lang‟s).features (inflectional or functional categories) Definition= a property of words that syntax is sensitive to (relate sound and meaning) Interpretable features= have an effect on semantic interpretation e. person. plurality.g. Acc cases) .

. projected round a head according to a general format. they project round a head. Phrases are endocentric.Phrases/syntactic categories Phrases are larger constituents. It restricts the combinatorial possibilities of words into larger linguistic units. X-bar theory expresses generalizations about the phrase structure of all human languages.

up to lexical items. [It] might have cracked open. What they do not like – is GG. (b) Movement – leaving a trace behind: My students can‟t stand GG/GG my students can stand – The children ran up the hill//Up the hill the children ran (Locative inversion). Cleft and pseudo-clefting: It is GG that they don‟t like . C‟s.. . (examples of movement and focalization) (c) Coordination: Students who like GG and inflectional morphology are rare (Conjoining of the same type of categories.Constituency tests (a). S‟s are organised into C‟s and C‟ are further organised into smaller units. Substitution: [The bottle of water] might have cracked open.

Agr.. The split IP Hypothesis: I _ T/Agr. IP – CP (What is in a CP?) . and Mood. Asp.XP _ (specifier) X – YP (complement) What is in an IP ? A bundle of functional categories associated with the VP: Tense.

Summing up: the structure of simple sentences .

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