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The Robot Analogy // How do we form sentences

Grammar=rules= linguistic competence= syntactic competence Both humans and the robot have a set of rules. Robots follow systems and they can not be creative using the language.

Np+ Vp (the robot can generate other sentences using this structure)

Knowledge = rules for syntactic structures + skill Sentence in English consists of NP + VP Macro-thinking skills (comparingsynthesizing- critical analysis forming and using figurative language

Universal grammar
According to Chomskys theory, humans are born with cognitive competence for language and for structures Universal grammar= the common features among all languages (it includes the process of language acquisition and the language itself)

Which of the following terms are finite and which are non-finite?
Brain cells Linguistic competence (syntactic competence Language (sentence structures) Grammar rules Sentences in a language Semantic competence

Projection( parts of sentences to the grammatical; category that we have to form different sentence structures) obligatory in composing structures Merging (dividing parts of sentences into smaller constituents) obligatory in forming structures of a language. Adjunctions (adjectives and adverbs ) optional

The students are writing and the teacher is explaining

S1 Np1 VP1
s coordinator

S2 NP2 VP2

Identify the projections, mergings and adjunctions in the following sentences The foreign language teaching profession today is faced with a shortage of qualified teachers. Pesola suggests that foreign language teachers today are outstanding. Cultural understanding is a very important factor in the teachers methodological competence and variations in learning strategies comprise the second factor.

The foreign language teaching profession today is faced with a shortage of qualified teachers.

Shortage of qualified teachers (proj 1) faces (proj 2) the foreign language teaching profession (proj 3) today. Simple sentence shortage merg 1 Of merg 2 Qualified merg 3 Teachers merg 4

Pesola suggests that foreign language teachers today are outstanding

Pesola (proj 1) Suggests (proj 2) That foreign language teachers are outstanding today (proj 3) That Foreign language teachers (proj 3 A) Foreign merg 1 Language merg 2 Teachers merg 3

Are (proj 3 B) Outstanding (proj 3 C)

She wants a piece of cake

Np Pron

V IP I: pres. want


Children want a piece of cake


NP VP IP I: plurality Child

Pesola suggests that foreign language teachers today are outstanding

s vp v N. Clause sub Np VP adj adj N v adj


Pesola suggests that for, lang. teach today are outstanding

Lexical categories and functional categories. Bottom up theory of grammar Top-down theory of grammar Language macro-skills Language micro-skills

Top down theory of syntax

Language acquisition level (humans learn the sentence structures first, then they learn words) Syntactic level ( hierarchy starts with the independent clause then the dependent clause, then the phrase, then the word)

Merging of phrases Merging of dependent clauses Inflectional merging

How can we explain the deletion of that in some structures and the obligatory existence of that in other structures? S Np Vp N v N.Clause sub. Np vp Peter said that Kate left

Restriction on the deletion of that

S vp v N. Clause Adv. sub. Np vp

Np N (prep p.)

Peter said

yesterday that Kate left

Peter said in a very pleasant and motivating way yesterday morning that Kate left. The solutions that are offered are not suitable.

Np + vp + np + adverbial modifier The students are studying linguistics now When are the students studying linguistics? Questions Passive and active Direct and indirect Orders/ imperatives Adverbs Exclamations Clause contractions using the infinitive and the gerunds

1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7)

Clause contractions: deleting parts of the dependent clause and adding a gerund or an infinitive form, or sometimes without any additions

I like Mohamed who applies advanced technological techniques I like Mohamed applying I came early because I have to finish my work. The t-shirt which was unfolded by Abou Treka is a sign of sympathy with the Palestinians.

Heavy determiner phrase movement

I introduced all the students from Brazil to Mary (all the students from Brazil) I introduced all the multi-cultural amazingly intelligent students from Brazil to Mary I introduced to Mary all the multi-cultural amazingly intelligent students from Brazil . I gave the huge multi-coloured amazingly manufactured pen to Mohamed I gave Mohamed I gave Mohamed the pen I saw a bird on the twig I saw on the twig a most amazing, multicolored bird.

The binding theory (an account for the function of pronouns and reference )

Kim loves her mother Kim expected she would win Kim expected her to win Kim loves her. How can we identify the reference of these pronouns when we have lack of stimulus (context) ?

The binding theory accounts for understanding reference

Humans have an elaborate subconscious knowledge which is not acquired through instructions. Chomsky proposed the following three principles in his binding theory: 1. Principle A: Anaphors are coindexed with the subject of their Domain. 2. Principle B: pronouns are not coindexed with the subject of their domain. 3. Principle C: names are not coindexed with the subject of any clause.

Illustrations for the binding theory

Kims mother washed herself. Kims mother washed her. Kims mother said that the doctor washed her Kims mother washed Jim.

Kim said that the doctor washed Kim.

Functional x formal syntax

Functional Focuses on the use of the structure Functionalist theory explains reference in terms of context Continuous / discontinuous reference Zero anaphor Stressed/ unstressed pronouns Formal/ structural/ Traditional Focuses on the building of the structure itself Binding theory explains reference on the sentence level Zero anaphors= fragments

Semantic (conceptual) x Speakers meaning (situational

Semantic meaning Literal meaning Dictionaries Speakers meaning = situation or context of use + semantic meaning

Let's talk business.

List the semantic relations mentioned in Introduction to Language and Linguistics. Synonymy Antonymy Hyponymy Polysemy Entailment Homonymy

Thematic x lexical roles

Thematic roles 1) Agents (doer of actions) 2) Patients (objects or people upon which action is done) 3) <agent, patient> thematic grid 4) Theme = action 5) Location= the place where something happens 6) Source=a place from which movement occurs 7) goal-= location to which movement occurs

Thematic roles
8) Experience = someone who experiences something 9) Instrument = something used by the agent to make something happen 10)cause= something that causes something else to happen 11)Stimulus= something that causes an experience

The binding theory

What does he mean by the lack of stimulus? What does he mean by nominal domains? What is a bound nominal within its domain? What is the information deciphered by the human brain when encountering a pronoun?

Syntactic differences between Arabic and English

English Nominal sentences Arabic Nominal and verbal sentences