PDF The Structure of Language: An Introduction to Grammatical Analysis

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Minimalist approaches to phrase structure have resulted in "Bare Phrase Structure," an attempt to eliminate X-bar theory. In , Chomsky suggested that derivations proceed in phases. The distinction of Deep Structure v. Surface Structure is not present in Minimalist theories of syntax, and the most recent phase-based theories also eliminate LF and PF as unitary levels of representation.

Returning to the more general mathematical notion of a grammar, an important feature of all transformational grammars is that they are more powerful than context-free grammars. Chomsky argued that it is impossible to describe the structure of natural languages by using context-free grammars. The usual usage of the term 'transformation' in linguistics refers to a rule that takes an input, typically called the Deep Structure in the Standard Theory or D-structure in the extended standard theory or government and binding theory , and changes it in some restricted way to result in a Surface Structure or S-structure.

In TGG, Deep structures are generated by a set of phrase structure rules. That rule takes as its input a declarative sentence with an auxiliary: "John has eaten all the heirloom tomatoes. In the s, by the time of the Extended Standard Theory, following the work of Joseph Emonds on structure preservation, transformations came to be viewed as holding over trees.


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By the end of government and binding theory, in the late s, transformations are no longer structure changing operations at all; instead, they add information to already existing trees by copying constituents. The earliest conceptions of transformations were that they were construction-specific devices. For example, there was a transformation that turned active sentences into passive ones. A different transformation raised embedded subjects into main clause subject position in sentences such as "John seems to have gone", and still a third reordered arguments in the dative alternation.

With the shift from rules to principles and constraints that was found in the s, those construction-specific transformations morphed into general rules all the examples just mentioned are instances of NP movement , which eventually changed into the single general rule of move alpha or Move. Transformations actually come in two types: i the post-Deep structure kind mentioned above, which are string or structure changing, and ii Generalized Transformations GTs.

Generalized transformations were originally proposed in the earliest forms of generative grammar such as in Chomsky They take small structures, either atomic or those generated by other rules, and combine them. For example, the generalized transformation of embedding would take the kernel "Dave said X" and the kernel "Dan likes smoking" and combine them into "Dave said Dan likes smoking.

L In the Extended Standard Theory and government and binding theory , GTs were abandoned in favor of recursive phrase structure rules. However, they are still present in tree-adjoining grammar as the Substitution and Adjunction operations, and they have recently re-emerged in mainstream generative grammar in Minimalism, as the operations Merge and Move.

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In generative phonology , another form of transformation is the phonological rule , which describes a mapping between an underlying representation the phoneme and the surface form that is articulated during natural speech. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Outline History Index. Grammatical theories. Main article: Deep structure and surface structure. It is not to be confused with E language or E programming language. Further information: Grammaticality.

The Structure of Language: An introduction to grammatical analysis

Aspects of the Theory of Syntax. MIT Press. Language and Mind. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. The major syntactic structures of English. Holt, Rinehart and Winston. Instead, structures are created by combining elements drawn from the lexicon, and there is no stage in the process at which we can stop and say: this is D-Structure.


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Semantic Interpretation in Generative Grammar. The Grammar of Quantification. MIT Phd Dissertation. Supervised by Noam Chomsky, this dissertation introduced the idea of "logical form.

Simply Psychology. Retrieved 21 February Archived PDF from the original on January 16, Retrieved 7 September Knowledge of Language. New York:Praeger. In Michael Kenstowicz ed.

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Ken Hale: A Life in Language. Pages See p. Linguistic Theory in America Second Edition. Academic Press. The Minimalist Program. Ritchie Information Sciences. Archived from the original PDF on Linguistics and Philosophy. The major commonality is that the form developers have attempted to provide a comprehensive and representative survey of important developmental phenomena in their language.

Even more so than many parts of the CDI, responses to individual word form and grammatical complexity items should be interpreted with caution.

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Definition and Examples of Generative Grammar

Such items have not been validated as extensively as other parts of the CDI. This last point goes double for word forms, which are often highly variable within individuals Marcus et al. Keeping these caveats in mind, to analyze lexical and morphosyntactic development, we derive several measures. We compute all of these quantities as proportions to make the scales comparable across languages. Note that different analyses often incorporate different amounts of data due to the presence or absence of specific sections or data from those sections in particular language datasets.

We present four sets of results.

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Second, we analyze the relations between vocabulary size and the Word Form and Complexity items. Finally, we investigate the degree to which the age-related pattern is found in individual items. Figure As can be seen, across 8 languages, there is some consistency in the chronological trajectories for this item.

Transformational grammar

Vocabulary-related trajectories are more variable, however. In general, children who were marked as combining had vocabularies larger than around words. There are several notable exceptions, however. Thus, Beijing Mandarin-learning children appear to be combining words only after producing substantially more words than children learning other languages. To investigate the quantitative relationship between word combination as measured with this item , age, and vocabulary, we fit a logistic mixed effects model predicting whether a child combines as a function of their vocabulary as proportion of items , age, and interaction between vocabulary and age.

We also included a random effect of language, with a random intercept and random slopes for vocabulary and for age. Coefficient estimates from this model are shown in Figure These effects mean that, for example, a month-old learning American English with a vocabulary size of 50 words has a At the same age of 16 months, a child is more likely to combine by about a factor of 2 if she has a vocabulary size of words at Conversely, at the same vocabulary size of 50 words, a child is more likely to combine by about a factor of 2 if she is 28 months old at This result parallels others reported below suggesting that there are age-related components in grammatical performance, at least for production of word combinations, that are unaccounted for by vocabulary alone.


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  • We next examine the correlation between the proportion of Word Form items and Complexity items completed and the proportion of vocabulary items completed. First reported by Bates et al. We fit generalized linear regressions predicting Word Form score or Complexity score as a function of linear, quadratic, cubic, and quartic terms of productive vocabulary size subtracting the intercept to ensure that the function passed through the origin, because a vocabulary size of 0 necessarily implies scores of 0.

    Complexity items show the same relationship Figure Some ceiling effects are observed. Overall, these data add strong cross-linguistic support to the claim of Bates et al.