Cambridge.University.Press.Analyzing.Grammar.An.Introduction.Jun.2005 free pdf download
Overall, there is nothing much to say about this book. It covers most stuff. Neither particularly good, or interesting, or particularly bad or uninteresting, IMO.
Forexample, what is the meaning of the word hello? What information
does it convey? It is a very difﬁcult word to deﬁne, but every speaker of
English knows how to use it: for greeting an acquaintance, answering the
telephone, etc. We might say that hello conveys the information that the
speaker wishes to acknowledge the presence of, or initiate a conversation
with, the hearer. But it would be very strange to answer the phone or greet
your best friend by saying “I wish to acknowledge your presence” or “I
wish to initiate a conversation with you.”What is important about the word
hello is not its information content (if any) but its use in social interaction.
In the Teochew language (a “dialect” of Chinese), there is no word for
‘hello’. The normal way for one friend to greet another is to ask: “Have you
already eaten or not?” The expected reply is: “I have eaten,” even if this is
not in fact true.
In our comparison of English with Teochew, we saw that both languages
employ a special formof sentence for expressing Yes–No questions. In fact,
most, if not all, languages have a special sentence pattern which is used for
asking such questions. This shows that the linguistic form of an utterance
is often closely related to its meaning and its function. On the other hand,
we noted that the grammatical features of a Yes–No question in English
are not the same as in Teochew. Different languages may use very different
grammatical devices to express the same basic concept. So understanding
the meaning and function of an utterance will not tell us everything we need
to know about its form.
interesting for me becus of my work on a logic of questions and answers.
Both of the hypotheses we have reached so far about Lotuko words are
based on the assumption that themeaning of a sentence is composed in some
regular way from the meanings of the individual words. That is, we have
been assuming that sentence meanings are compositional.Of course,
every language includes numerous expressions where this is not the case.
Idioms are one common example. The English phrase kick the bucket can
mean ‘die,’ even though none of the individual words has this meaning.
Nevertheless, the compositionality of meaning is an important aspect of the
structure of all human languages.
for more on compositionality see: plato.stanford.edu/entries/compositionality/
We have discussed three types of reasoning that can be used to
identify the meaningful elements of an utterance (whether parts of a word
or words in a sentence): minimal contrast, recurring partials, and pattern-
matching. In practice, when working on a new body of data, we often use
all three at once, without stopping to think which method we use for which
element. Sometimes, however, it is important to be able to state explicitly
the pattern of reasoning which we use to arrive at certain conclusions. For
example, suppose that one of our early hypotheses about the language is
contradicted by further data. We need to be able to go back and determine
what evidence that hypothesis was based on so that we can re-evaluate
that evidence in the light of additional information. This will help us to
decide whether the hypothesis can be modiﬁed to account for all the facts,
orwhether it needs to be abandoned entirely.Grammatical analysis involves
an endless process of “guess and check” – forming hypotheses, testing them
against further data, andmodifying or abandoning those which do not work.
quite a lot of science works like that. conjecture and refutation, pretty much (Popper)
What do we mean when we say that a certain form, such as Zapotec ka–,
is a “morpheme?” Charles Hockett (1958) gave a deﬁnition of this term
which is often quoted:
Morphemes are the smallest individually meaningful elements in the utter-
ances of a language.
There are two crucial aspects of this deﬁnition. First, a morpheme is mean-
ingful.A morpheme normally involves a consistent association of phono-
logical formwith some aspect ofmeaning, as seen in (7) where the form ˜ nee
was consistently associated with the concept ‘foot.’ However, this associ-
ation of form with meaning can be somewhat ﬂexible. We will see various
ways in which the phonological shape of a morpheme may be altered to
some extent in particular environments, and there are some morphemes
whose meaning may depend partly on context.
obviously does not work for en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cranberry_morpheme
what is the solution to this inconsistency in terminology?
In point (c) above we noted that a word which contains no plural marker
is always singular. The chart in (17) shows that the plural preﬁx is optional,
and that when it is present it indicates plurality; but it doesn’t say anything
about the signiﬁcance of the lack of a preﬁx. One way to tidy up this loose
end is to assume that the grammar of the language includes a default
rule which says something like the following: “a countable noun which
contains no plural preﬁx is interpreted as being singular.”
Another possible way to account for the same fact is to assume that sin-
gular nouns carry an “invisible” (or null) preﬁx which indicates singular
number. That would mean that the number preﬁx is actually obligatory for
this class of noun. Under this approach, our chart would look something
the default theory with en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Markedness is more plausible than positing invisible morphemes.
since the book contiues to use Malay as an ex. including the word <orang> i’m compelled to mention that it is not a coincidence that it is similar to <orangutan>. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orangutan#Etymology
The name “orangutan” (also written orang-utan, orang utan, orangutang, and ourang-outang) is derived from the Malay and Indonesian words orang meaning “person” and hutan meaning “forest”, thus “person of the forest”.Orang Hutan was originally not used to refer to apes, but to forest-dwelling humans. The Malay words used to refer specifically to the ape is maias and mawas, but it is unclear if those words refer to just orangutans, or to all apes in general. The first attestation of the word to name the Asian ape is in Jacobus Bontius‘ 1631 Historiae naturalis et medicae Indiae orientalis – he described that Malaysians had informed him the ape was able to talk, but preferred not to “lest he be compelled to labour”. The word appeared in several German-language descriptions of Indonesian zoology in the 17th century. The likely origin of the word comes specifically from the Banjarese variety of Malay.
The word was first attested in English in 1691 in the form orang-outang, and variants with -ng instead of -n as in the Malay original are found in many languages. This spelling (and pronunciation) has remained in use in English up to the present, but has come to be regarded as incorrect. The loss of “h” in Utan and the shift from n to -ng has been taken to suggest that the term entered English through Portuguese. In 1869, British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace, co-creator of modern evolutionary theory, published his account of Malaysia’s wildlife: The Malay Archipelago: The Land of the Orang-Utan and the Bird of Paradise.
Traditional deﬁnitions for parts of speech are based on “notional”
(i.e. semantic) properties such as the following:
(17) A noun is a word that names a person, place, or thing.
A verb is a word that names an action or event.
An adjective is a word that describes a state.
However, these characterizations fail to identify nouns like destruction,
theft, beauty, heaviness. They cannot distinguish between the verb love and
the adjective fond (of),or between the noun fool and the adjective foolish.
Note that there is very little semantic difference between the two sentences
(18) They are fools.
They are foolish.
it is easy to fix 17a to include abstractions. all his counter-examples are abstractions.
<love> is both a noun and a verb, but 17 definitions, which is right.
the 18 ex. seems weak too. what about the possibility of interpreting 18b as claiming that they are foolish. this does not mean that they are fools. it may be a temporary situation (drunk perhaps), or isolated to specific areas of reality (ex. religion).
not that i’m especially happy about semantic definitions, it’s just that the argumentation above is not convincing.
Third, the head is more likely to be obligatory than the modiﬁers or other
non-head elements. For example, all of the elements of the subject noun
phrase in (22a) can be omitted except the head word pigs.If this word is
deleted, as in (22e), the result is ungrammatical.
(22) a [The three little pigs] eat trufﬂes.
b [The three pigs] eat trufﬂes.
c [The pigs] eat trufﬂes.
d [Pigs] eat trufﬂes.
e *[The three little] eat trufﬂes.
not so quick. if the context makes it clear that they are speaking about pigs, or children, or whatever, 22e is perfectly understandable, since context ‘fiils out’ the missing information, grammatically speaking. but the author is right in that it is incomplete and without context to fill in, one would be forced to ask ”three little what?”. but still, that one will actually respond like this shows that the utterance was understood, at least in part.
Of course, English noun phrases do not always contain a head noun. In
certain contexts a previously mentioned head may be omitted because it is
“understood,” as in (23a). This process is called ellipsis . Moreover, in
English, and in many other languages, adjectives can sometimes be used
without any head noun to name classes of people, as in (23b,c). But, aside
from a few fairly restricted patterns like these, heads of phrases in English
tend to be obligatory.
(23) a [The third little pig] was smarter than [the second ].
b [the good], [the bad] and [the ugly]
c [The rich] get richer and [the poor] get children.
i was going to write the author doesn’t seem to understand the word ”obligatory”, but it another interpretation dawned upon me. i think he means that under must conditions, one cannot leave out the noun in a noun phrase (NP), but sometimes one can. confusing wording.
As we can already see from example (5), different predicates require
different numbers of arguments: hungry and snores require just one, loves
and slapping require two. Some predicates may not require any arguments
at all. For example, in many languages comments about the weather (e.g. It
is raining,or It is dark,or It is hot) could be expressed by a single word, a
bare predicate with no arguments.
it is worth mentioning that there is a name for this: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dummy_pronoun
It is important to remember that arguments can also be optional. For exam-
ple,many transitive verbs allowan optional beneﬁciary argument (18a), and
most transitive verbs of the agent–patient type allow an optional instrument
argument (18b). The crucial fact is that adjuncts are always optional. So
the inference “if obligatory then argument” is valid; but the inference “if
optional then adjunct” is not.
strictly speaking, this is using the terminology incorrectly. conditionals are not inferences. the author should have written ex ”the inference “obligatory, therefore, argument” is valid.”, or alternatively ”the conditional “if obligatory, then argument” is true.”.
confusing inferences with conditionals leads to all kinds of confusions in logic.
Another way of specifying the transitivity of a verb is to ask, how many
term (subject or object) arguments does it take? The number of terms, or
direct arguments, is sometimes referred to as the valence of the verb.
Since most verbs can be said to have a subject, the valence of a verb is
normally one greater than the number of objects it takes: an intransitive
verb has a valence of one, a transitive verb has a valence of two, and a
ditransitive verb has a valence of three.
the author is just talking about how many operands the expressed predicate has. there are also verbs which can express predicates with four operands. consider <transfer>. ex. ”Peter transfers 5USD from Mike to Jim.”. There Peter, subject, agent; 5USD, object, theme, a repicient, Jim, ?; Mike, antirecpient?, ?.
The distinctions between OBJ2 and OBL make little to no sense to me.
It is important to notice that the valence of the verb (in this sense) is not
the same as the number of arguments it takes. For example, the verb donate
takes three semantic arguments, as illustrated in (8).However, donate has70 Analyzing Grammar: An Introduction
avalence of two because it takes only two term arguments, SUBJ and
OBJ. With this predicate, the recipient is always expressed as an oblique
(8) a Michael Jackson donated his sunglasses to the National Museum.
b donate < agent, theme, recipient >
subj obj obl
Some linguists use the term “semantic valence” to refer to the number of
semantic arguments which a predicate takes, and “syntactic valence” to
specify the number of terms which a verb requires. In this book we will use
the term “valence” primarily in the latter (syntactic) sense.
We have already seen that some verbs can be used in more than
one way. In chapter 4, for example, we saw that the verb give occurs in
two different clause patterns, as illustrated in (10).We can now see that
these two uses of the verb involve the same semantic roles but a different
assignment of Grammatical Relations, i.e. different subcategorization. This
difference is represented in (11). The lexical entry for give must allow for
both of these conﬁgurations.3
(10) a John gave Mary his old radio.
b John gave his old radio to Mary.
(11) a give < agent, theme, recipient >
subj obj2 obj
b give < agent, theme, recipient >
subj obj obl
it seems to me that there is something wholly wrong with a theory that treats 10a-b much different. those two sentences mean the same thing, and their structure is similar, and only one word makes the differnece. this word seems to just have the function of allowing for another order of the operands of the verb.
A number of languages have grammatical processes which, in effect,
“change” an oblique argument into an object. The result is a change in
the valence of the verb. This can be illustrated by the sentences in (19).
In (19a), the beneﬁciary argument is expressed as an OBL, but in (19b)
the beneﬁciary is expressed as an OBJ. So (19b) contains one more term
than (19a), and the valence of the verb has increased from two to three;
but there is no change in the number of semantic arguments. Grammatical
operations which increase or decrease the valence of a verb are a topic of
great interest to syntacticians. We will discuss a few of these operations in
(19) a John baked a cake for Mary.
b John baked Mary a cake.
IMO, these two have the exact same number of operands, both have 3. for word <for> allows for a different ordering, i.e., it is a syntax-modifier.
at least, that’s one reading. 19a seems to be a less clear case of my alternative theory. one reading of 19a is that Mary was tasked with baking a cake, but John baked it for her. another reading has the same meaning as 19b.
(20) a #The young sausage likes the white dog.
b #Mary sings a white cake.
c #A small dog gives Mary to the young tree.
(21) a *John likes.
b *Mary gives the young boy.
c *The girl yawns Mary.
The examples in (20) are grammatical but semantically ill-formed –
they don’tmake sense.4
the footnote is: One reason for saying that examples like (20) and (22) are grammatical, even though
they sound so odd, is that it would often be possible to invent a context (e.g. in a fairy
tale or a piece of science ﬁction) in which these sentences would be quite acceptable.
This is not possible for ungrammatical sentences like those in (21).
i can think about several contexts where 21b makes sense. think of a situation where everybody is required to give something/someone to someone. after it is mentioned that several other people give this and that, 21b follows. in that context it makes sense just fine. however, it is because the repicient is implicit, since it is unnecessary (economic principle) to mention the recipient in every single sentence or clause.
21c is interpretable with if one considers ”the girl” an utterance, that Mary utters while yawning.
21a is almost common on Facebook. ”John likes this”, shortened to ”John likes”.
not that i think the author is wrong, i’m just being creative. :)
The famous example in (23) was used by Chomsky (1957) to show how
a sentence can be grammatical without being meaningful. What makes this
sentence so interesting is that it contains so many collocational clashes:
something which is green cannot be colorless; ideas cannot be green,or
any other color, but we cannot call themcolorless either; ideas cannot sleep;
sleeping is not the kind of thing one can do furiously; etc.
(23) #Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.
it is writings such as this that result in so much confusion. clear the different <cannot>’s in the above are not about the same kind of impossibility. let’s consider them:
<something which is green cannot be colorless> this is logical impossibility. these two predicates are logically incompatible, that is, they imply the lack of each other, that is, ∀xGreen(x)→¬Colorless(x). but actually this predicate has an internal negation. we can make it more explicit like this: ∀xGreen(x)→Colorful(x), and ∀xColorful(x)↔¬Colorless(x).
< ideas cannot be green,or any other color, but we cannot call themcolorless either; ideas cannot sleep;
sleeping is not the kind of thing one can do furiously> this is semantic impossibility. it concerns the meaning of the sentence. there is no meaning, and hence nothing expressed that can be true or false. from that it follows that there is nothing that can be impossible, since impossibility implies falsity. hence, if there is something connected with that sentence that is impossible, it has to be something else.
This kind of annotated tree diagramallows us to see at oncewhat iswrong
with the ungrammatical examples in (21) above: (21b) is incomplete, as
demonstrated in (34a), while (21c) is incoherent, as demonstrated in (34b).
a better set of terms are perhaps <undersaturated> and <oversaturated>.
there is nothing inconsistent about the second that isn’t also inconsitent in the first, and hence using that term is misleading. <incomplete> does capture an essential feature, which is that something is missing. the other ex. has something else too much. one could go for <incomplete> and <overcomplete> but it sounds odd. hence my choice of different terms.
The pro-formone can be used to refer to the head nounwhen it is followed
by an adjunct PP, as in (6a),but not when it is followed by a complement
PP as in (6b).
(6) a The [student] with short hair is dating the one with long hair.
b ∗The [student] of Chemistry was older than the one of Physics.
6b seems fine to me.
There is no ﬁxed limit on howmanymodiﬁers can appear in such a sequence.
But in order to represent an arbitrarily long string of alternating adjectives
and intensiﬁers, it is necessary to treat each such pair as a single unit.
The “star” notation used in (15) is one way of representing arbitrarily
long sequences of the same category. For any category X, the symbol “X∗”
stands for “a sequence of any number (zero or more) of Xs.” So the symbol
“AP∗” stands for “a sequence of zero or more APs.” It is easy to mod-
ify the rule in (12b) to account for examples like (14b); this analysis is
shown in (15b). Under the analysis in (12a),wewould need to write a more
complex rule something like (15a).3 Because simplicity tends to be favored
in grammatical systems, (12b) and (15b) provide a better analysis for this
(15) aNP → Det ((Adv) A)
∗ N (PP)
bNP → Det AP∗ N (PP)
for those that are wondering where this use of asterisk comes from, it is from here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regular_expression
In English, a possessor phrase functions as a kind of determiner. We
can see this because possessor phrases do not normally occur together with
other determiners in the same NP:
(19) a the new motorcycle
b Mary’s new motorcycle
c ∗Mary’s the new motorcycle
d ∗the Mary’s new motorcycle
looks more like it is because they are using proper nouns in their example. if one used a common noun, then it works just fine:
19e: The dog’s new bone.
Another kind of evidence comes fromthe fact that predicate complement
NPs cannot appear in certain constructions where direct objects can. For
example, an objectNP can become the subject of a passive sentence (44b) or
of certain adjectives (like hard, easy, etc.) which require a verbal or clausal
complement (44c).However, predicate complement NPs never occur in
these positions, as illustrated in (45).
(44) a Mary tickled an elephant.
b An elephant was tickled (by Mary).
c An elephant is hard (for Mary) to tickle.
(45) a Mary became an actress.
b *An actress was become (by Mary).
c *An actress is hard (for Mary) to become.
45c is grammatical with the optional element in place: An actress is hard for Mary to become. Altho it is ofc archaic in syntax.
mi amamas. ‘I am happy.’
yu amamas. ‘You (sg) are happy.’
em i amamas. ‘He/she is happy.’
yumi amamas. ‘We (incl.) are happy.’
mipela i amamas. ‘We (excl.) are happy.’
yupela i amamas. ‘You (pl) are happy.’
ol i amamas. ‘They are happy.’
it is difficult not to like this system, except for the arbitrary requirement of ”i” some places and not others. its clearly english-inspired. inclusive ”we” is interesting ”youme” :D
This constituent is normally labeled S’or S (pronounced “S-bar”). It con-
tains two daughters: COMP (for “complementizer”) and S (the complement
clause itself). This structure is illustrated in the tree diagram in (15), which
represents a sentence containing a ﬁnite clausal complement.
how to make this fit perfectly with the other use of N-bar terminology. in the case of noun phrases, we have NP on top, then N’ (with DET and adj) and then N at the bottom. it seems that we need to introduce some analogue to NP with S. the only level left is the entire sentence. SP sounds like a contradiction in terms or oxymoron though, ”sentence phrase”.