Syntax | grammar | changethru.info
For linguists, grammar is simply the collection of principles defining how to put identified some differences between syntax and morphology, to some extent it is . of labour between morphology and syntax is thus perfect: morphology only operates two components of grammar are ordered in strict sequence, such that the syntax strikingly, these definitions cannot be used to determine the status of . This is a short summary about morphology and syntax created by Edward Syntax: What is syntax: In linguistics.
Further possible questions are at which point conversion emerged as a process of word formation in English or what the origin of the linking element -s in German compounds is. Studying morphological change can provide a window on the human mind from a historical perspective, at least for those who are also interested in cognitive and theoretical aspects of language.
From examples like these we see what speakers do when they are exposed to new data, how they process and produce language which, after all, is the basis for acquiring linguistic competence. What we see again is that borrowing can be seen as being part of morphological change because borrowed items affect the content of the lexicon. We have said that morphology relates to other parts of grammar.
Words have phonological properties, when they are combined they form phrases and sentences, some of their forms reflect their syntactic functions, and often they are composed of smaller meaningful pieces. Further, they form paradigms and are part of lexical families. This is why we can say that the field of morphology is central to linguistics and every linguist has to know about it.
This also applies to changes in morphology. A more theoretical issue is—at least if we believe in the modularity of grammar—where morphology is located.
This aspect is tightly linked with the history and development of linguistic theory. During American structuralism Bloomfield applied this distinction to the study of morphology, and many works published at that time predominantly dealt with the phonology and morphology of a language L. For some reason, in Generative Grammar morphology was deprived of its importance and, if considered at all, was seen as being part of either phonology or syntax. This is the approach taken in this article, and this is why the individual sections deal with the respective interfaces.
More recently, modular approaches discussing constraints on the phonology—morphology, morphology—syntax, and morphology—semantics interface have been proposed. One such model is Ackema and Neelemanp. This model assumes modules for semantics, syntax, and phonology, each of which contains submodules that generate phrasal representations and submodules that generate word-level representations.
The syntax module contains a submodule for word syntax, which is seen as a morphological submodule. Further, the model is a system rich of interaction: By dealing with these interfaces many new insights into the parts of grammar have been gained, and the division of labor between these components has become clearer. Yet there is still much to say, and this especially applies to the study of morphology as an autonomous module and to historical aspects of morphology.
In the same book, Joseph notes that from a synchronic perspective we can define when a phenomenon is part of pure morphology, but from a diachronic perspective we can also trace at which point a phenomenon crosses for example from morphology to syntax.
In the next section we will deal with the causes of morphological change. In Section 3 changes at the interfaces of morphology—phonology, morphology—syntax, and morphology—semantics will be discussed. Section 4 takes a closer look at the internal changes of morphology with a focus on analogy. Section 5 summarizes and concludes. The examples for the types of morphological change given here are predominantly from English, sometimes supported by examples from other languages like German or French.
Generally they are meant to illustrate major patterns of change; examples for minor changes or for other, more exotic languages can be found in the works cited in the article. From this small-scale study it seems that the material undergoing morphological change is already there in the language.
When it comes to the question of what triggers change in the morphology of a language, historical linguists name two causes: Concerning the latter, we know that a large number of loan words came into English at several stages in its history, but a remarkable part of the derivational morphology is the result of lexical borrowing.
The question of what can be borrowed on the level of morphology is still debatable see, e. The locus of morphological change can be seen in the process of transmission of a grammar from one generation to the next, under the assumption that aspects of grammar are generally underspecified by the data speakers are exposed to. In this scenario speakers of a new generation may interpret data differently from the speakers of a previous generation, with the result that their grammar will ultimately differ from the grammar of their models.
Often opacity plays a crucial role in this process see Anderson, Surface forms of linguistic entities that are totally transparent for some speakers at some point in time may become less transparent in the course of time. The structural regularities underlying these entities are no longer unambiguously recoverable for speakers, but since these surface forms are the basis on which speakers construct their grammars, a different grammar may be the result.
This type of change was labeled abductive change by Andersen In Section 3 we will see that dephonologization, desynctactization, and the rise of suffixes involve reanalysis that can be interpreted along these lines. Other types of morphological change can be explained by the loss of idiosyncrasy or exceptionality of forms that then develop regularity.
Already existing regular forms can also be extended to other individual forms or even spread across patterns or paradigms.
These types are subsumed under the term analogy and will be discussed in Section 4. Fido ate the bone. The dog ate the bone. The big yellow dog ate the bone. Our dog that we raised from a puppy ate the bone. Elements with syntactic equivalence all belong to the same type of syntactic atom NP, VP A language also contains specific rules for properly connecting syntactic atoms to form sentences--these are called phrase structure rules look at problem 5 on page The string of words: It is often not even possible to assign any meaning to a syntactically ill-formed utterance.
This is why the syntactic rules of a language can be followed perfectly to produce illogical or semantically highly improbable sentences: The bone ate the big yellow dog. Since a new context could be imagined to render such a statement at least fictionally logical, it is fortunate that our language has a ready made means of expressing it.Grammar of Words: Morphemes & Allomorphs (Lesson 1 of 7)
The fact that syntactic structures are not restricted in the meanings they may express is one reason why we can so easily produce novel sentences never before heard. The semantic independence of the phrase structure rules is one of the main factors that provides for the infinite creativity of human language.
Animal systems don't have any structural units that are meaningful yet totally independent of meaning. Syntactic Relations and phrase structure rules Let's examine syntactic relations within English sentences.
One approach is to divide the words of a sentence into phrases defined as words closely associated with one another syntactically. This technique is know as parsing. The most fundamental division is between subject and predicate.
Phrases containing different parts of speech can serve one and the same function. Each of these sentences consists of a subject and a predicate. But in each sentence different syntactic types of words or combinations of words constitute subject and predicate. Different combinations of parts of speech fulfilling the same syntactic function are said to be syntactically equivalent. It is possible to write rules describing syntactic equivalence.
These rules are called phrase structure rules. These rules use special symbols designed exclusively for syntactic descriptions. Grammatical terms or graphic notation devices devised to describe language structure are examples of meta-language, defined roughly as language about language.
The syntactic metalanguage used in writing phrase structure rules involves mainly abbreviations from English words for parts of speech. These correspond to subject and predicate. Phrase structure rules are said to be recursive. That is, identical elements in the structure of a phrase can repeat. These repeating elements are sometimes known as parallel items in a series: Compare John came and Bill came which is a compound sentence each part of which has a simple subject.
Caesar came, saw, and conquered. I came and Bill came and Mary came and Multiple subordinate clauses in a complex sentence: I know an old lady who swallowed a fly which was chased by her cat who had been bored because there was nothing to do in the house that Jack built when he.
Difference Between Morphology and Syntax
Remember the ability of syntactic elements to occur in multiples is known as recursion. It is possible to write an entire book consisting of just one single recursive complex sentence. The property of recursion means that it is impossible to propose limits on the length of sentences. No one will ever be able to state with certainty what the longest possible sentence can be. There are a limited number of words in each language, but a potentially infinite number of sentences.
This realization prompted 19th century German linguist Wilhelm von Humboldt to say: Let's take a closer look at verb phrases, which are more complex than noun phrases.
There are several types of verb-dependent words, known collectively as verbal complements: PP Object noun phrases, prepositional phrases, and adverbs all fulfill the same syntactic function--the verb complement. Yesterday we noted that in language typology the complement is notated as O. The noun phrase complements of action verbs are called direct objects: He kicked the ball.
Verbs that can take a direct object are called transitive verbs. Some transitive verbs are obligatorily transitive: Other transitive verbs may omit the object: I write a letter. Verbs that cannot take a direct object at all are called intransitive.
For instance, the verb sleep cannot take a direct object complement: The complements of linking verbs are called predicate nominals, which may be either nouns or adjectives: Sometimes the same verb can have two different meanings, one requiring a direct object, the other a predicate nominal: We smelled the roses. The chef made created a good salad. The roses smelled good. He made became a good chef. The study of what grammatical form may or may not be used after a verb is called verb government.
It is also known as lexical subcategorization, the point being that it is not enough to know the meaning of a word and what part of speech the word belongs to. One must also know additional requirements about how the word may or must combine with other words in a phrase. Mention that in polysynthetic languages this is part of morphology.
There is no clear division between morphology and syntax that can be drawn across all languages. The division between syntax and morphology varies across languages. Phrases and heads Since they cannot be defined as having specific meanings, syntactic atoms single words or whole phrases are defined by how they interact with syntactic rules.
The bone, he ate it. This also applies to morphologically ill formed words: I like its flavor.
Here is coffee and here is a coffeepot I like its pot. The head of a syntactic atom can sometimes be a zero morpheme: Notice that noun phrases often have internal rules. English noun phrases observe a strict word order: Noun phrase structure rules differ from language to language: In French, Hawaiian, and many other language the adjectives come after the noun. In many languages the form of articles or adjectives changes to reflect the gender of the noun.
When words in a phrase change grammatically to accommodate one another the process is called concord or agreement. French is a good example: In such cases we say that the noun is the head of the phrase, since it causes other words to change and yet remains unaffected by whatever adjective or article is added to it.
Difference Between Morphology and Syntax | Learn English Grammar Online
In English, the head of the syntactic unit called the sentence is the subject NP, since the verb agrees with it and not the other way around. Each syntactic atom has its head.
Diagramming sentences, how to deal with ambiguity Let's now turn to instances of ambiguity in syntax. Sometimes a sentence or phrase allows for two different syntactic interpretations. Parsing using parentheses to show syntactic relations can disambiguate such a phrase as: Sometimes the words that belong to the same syntactic unit are separated by other words: The book that was lying under all the other books is the most interesting.
Tree diagrams can be used to show such "long distance" grammatical relations. Consider also the sentence The fish is too old to eat. Here, parsing and even tree diagramming cannot separate out the two potential meanings.
In such cases of semantic ambiguity, paraphrases can be used to express two meanings hidden in a single linear form: The fish is too old for the fish to eat. The fish is too old to be eaten. Noam Chomsky, a linguist at MIT, became interested in the phenomenon of syntactic ambiguity.
He noticed that languages contain systematic ways of paraphrasing sentences: Active sentences can regularly be turned into passives: The boy kicked the ball. Statements can be regularly turned into questions: To study and describe such deep structures, he devised the theory of transformational grammar.
The three main tenets of this theory are: