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35 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Ambiguity
A sentence, phrase or word has more than one meaning. This may be related either to hierarchical structure or to silent syntax.
Lexical ambiguity
Word that has more than one meaning
Syntactic ambiguity
A clause or phrae has more than one meaning because it has more than one syntactic structure.
Hierarchical structure
Property of phrase structure whereby one phrase is contained inside another; one phrase dominates another phrase.
Subordination
Demonstrated when a clause contains other clauses. Eg: I think that Wiley claimed that Joachim believed that Daria said that Isabelle detests clams.
Recursion
Property that allows phrase structure rules to generate phrases of infinite length.
Linguistic competence
Humans' unconscious knowledge of language, including recursive rules.
Linguistic performance
Humans' actual language use in a given situation.
Complement
A phrase that combines with a head to form a larger phrase.
Silent syntax
Unpronounced, yet understood, syntactic material in sentences. Eg: "The crab is to hot to eat." = The crab is too hot for (someone) to eat (the crab). OR The crab is too hot for (the crab) to eat (something).
Substitution
Process by which we replace a phrase with a pronoun or other proform.
Constituent
A syntactic unit.
Proform
Word that substitutes for a phrase (AP, PP or even a clause). Egs: 'do so' can replace a VP, 'so' can replace an AP, 'there' can replace a PP.
Antecedent
Phrase to which a proform refers; antecedents can be linguistic (spoken, written or signed) or pragmatic (interpreted from context).
Pronoun reference
Process that relates a pronoun to its antecedent, the phrase to which the pronoun refers.
Impersonal pronouns
Pronouns that refer to no one in particular, as in "They say it will rain all week." or "In the future, we'll have cars that run on alternative energy."
Coordination
Joining phrases (of the same category, usually) with a conjunction (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so). Phrases of any category can be coordinated, as can clauses.
Parallelism
Constraint on coordinating like categories (eg. NP and NP, VP and VP, etc). Coordination that violates parallelism sounds odd, if not ungrammatical.
Hypotaxis
Subordinate clause structure. ("Wiley is a vegetarian because he is allergic to meat.")
Parataxis
Coordinate clause structure. ("Wiley is a vegetarian and he is allergic to meat.")
Movement
Syntactic operation by which phrases can be rearranged in a sentence underspecific conditions or constraints. An example is SAI (subject-auxiliary inversion) in which the auxiliary verb moves to the sentence-initial position to form a question. The question is derived from the statement (or base order). This is considered to be evidence for Chomsky's theory of generative grammar . . . children learn the SAI rule, not an infinite number of questions.
Deep structure
Clause in its base word order (in English, SVO) before syntactic rules such as movement or deletion apply.
Surface structure
Clause in its derived order after movement and deletion rules have been applied. DEEP STRUCTURE → Application of rules → SURFACE STRUCTURE
Deletion
Process by which constituents are deleted in a sentence under certain syntactic conditions. Where Δ indicates the (silent) deletion: "Sally said she would get a llama and she did Δ (get a llama)."
VP deletion
Syntactic operation in which a verb phrase is deleted by understood as referring to an antecedent verb phrase. Eg: "I don't jog, but Olivia does." The antcedent phrase does not necessarily have to be in the same sentence, as in:
Speaker A: "Did Sally buy a llama?"
Speaker B: "She did (Δ = buy a llama)." (deletion is in different utterance than the antecedent).
Gapping
Deletion operation that applies in coordinate clauses Eg: "Sam likes halibut,and Cary (Δ=likes) salmon."
Constraints on VP deletion
Can operatie in either a subordinate clause introduced by a phrase such as "even though" or a coordinate clause preceded by "and".
Gapping
Deletion operation that applies in coordinate clauses.
Eg: "Sam likes halibut, and Cary (Δ = likes) salmon."
Constraints on gapping
Cannot occur in a subordinate clause, only in a coordinate clause.
Eg of no gapping in a subordinate clause: *Ziggy bought a Harley even though Alfie (Δ) a Yamaha."
Eg of gapphing in a coordinate clause: "Ziggy bouth a Harley, and Alfie (Δ = bought) a Yamaha."
Passive
Syntactic operation in which an active sentence ("Beowulf killed Grendel.") is reordered: the object moves to the subject position, and the subject occurs in a prepositional phrase ("Grendel was killed by Beowulf."). The active sentence is the deep structure.
Constraints on passive formation
Can only apply in clauses with certain verbs. It is possible in clauses with active verbs (meet, discuss), but impossible in clauses with stative verbs such as resembled, become and remain.
Movement rules
1. SAI inversion to form questions.
2. Formation of the passive
3. Wh- movement
Constraints on passive formation
Only possible in clauses with active verbs (meet, discuss); impossible in clauses with stative verbs (resembled, become, remain). Eg: "The child became an adult." cannot change to *"An adult was become by the child."
Constraints on SAI conversion
Can only apply freely in main clauses, not in subordinate clauses. Eg: "I think Minerva is singing the aria." cannot become *"I think is Minerva singing the aria?"
Wh- movement
Movement rule in which an interrogative phrase is moved to sentence-initial position Eg: "Who did Mary meet yesterday?" This operates in two steps:
DEEP STRUCTURE: "You talked to Bill."
Rule 1: Substitute a wh- phrase: "You talked to whom?"
Rule 2: Move the wh- phrase to the sentence-initial position to form the SURFACE STRUCTURE; "To whom did you talk?" or "Whom did you talk to?"