Language and Cognition Colombo, June 2011 Day 1 Introduction to Linguistic Theory, Part 2 Plan Identifying syntactic categories Words and morphemes Browns stages of morphosyntactic development MLU (mean length of utterance) Nouns can have a plural s inflection cannot take any of the following inflectional and derivational
affixes: present tense ing comparative er negating un- or inadverbializing ly nominalizing ness can be premodified by adjectives or a determiner can complete a sentence like We have no ----- Semantic information: mass nouns vs. count nouns Verbs can have a present tense ing inflection some can take an un- or in- negating prefix (e.g. untie, invalidate) cannot take any of the following inflectional or derivational affixes:
plural s comparative er adverbializing ly nominalizing ness can occur after infinitival to can complete a sentence like They / it can -----can be modified by an adverb can be transitive, intransitive or ditransitive Adjectives
can take the following derivational affixes: comparative er negating prefixes un- or inadverbializing suffix ly nominalizing suffix ness cannot take the following inflectional affixes: plural s present tense ing can occur after very (if gradable) can be stacked can occur in structures like She is very ------ Adverbs
tend to end in ly can take the following derivational affixes: comparative er negating un- or innominalizing ness cannot take the following inflectional and derivational affixes: plural s present tense ing adverbializing ly can occur after very (if gradable) can appear in structures like She ran very ----cannot appear in structures like She is very ---can postmodify the verb in structures like
She behaved ---He treats her ---- Determiners premodify nouns, and determine the referential or quantificational properties of the noun expressions that follow them determiners come in two main types, defined semantically: referential determiners tell us about referential properties of the noun articles : the, a possessives: my, your, his demonstratives: this, that, these, those some other things e.g. both, either quantificational determiners tell us about quantificational
properties of the noun some, many, most, every, all Determiners determiners cannot be stacked ( so are not like adjectives) sometimes two determiners can appear together, but such constructions are very restricted and seem to be limited to the co-occurrence of a quantifier and another Det the many books, all my children
determiners (apart from possessives and the) seem to have individual restrictions as to the kinds of noun they can modify again, this shows that Det are not like Adj: a modifies a singular count noun much modifies a mass noun several modifies a plural count noun more modifies a plural count noun or a mass noun demonstratives agree for number Pronouns the most familiar kind is personal pronouns: these do not = people they encode the grammatical properties of PERSON and NUMBER, and they also
vary with regard to GENDER and CASE PERSON NUMBER 1 1 2 3 3 3 3 Singular Plural Sing / Pl Singular
her it them Pronouns so pronouns do not pick out an entity in the world, like nouns do; they encode bundles of grammatical features some words belong to the class of both determiners and pronouns; because most of these do not change their form depending on their use, we have to use substitution to decide which class they belong to in a particular sentence Some children were ill / Some were ill
Both cats were sick / Both were sick I prefer this book / I prefer this I dont have any cigarettes / I dont have any No student failed the test / None failed the test Its my teddy / Its mine Auxiliaries can only be followed by another verb mark grammatical properties of the following verb: tense aspect
voice mood can undergo inversion to form yes/no questions can be directly negated by a following not can appear in sentence-final tag questions Infinitival to infinitival to is like an Aux as well: Chomsky compared it to the auxiliary should they appear in the same positions in a clause they both take an infinitival verb as a complement they both allow ellipsis of their complement infinitival to is not like a preposition: it takes a verb phrase as its complement (P takes a nominal element), and it cant be
modified by right or straight infinitival to and Aux are both labelled I, or INFL (for INFLECTIONAL ELEMENT) Complementizers are grammatical markers that indicate a complement clause The report that war had broken out I dont know whether she smokes I am anxious for you to do well they indicate whether the clause they introduce is tensed or not they mark illocutionary force of the complement clause i.e. its semantic / pragmatic function: declarative
interrogative resultative Complementizers not like prepositions: they take a whole clause as a complement (prepositions take a nominal complement) I am hoping for a pay rise =P I am hoping for you to enjoy this class = C not like determiners: phonological evidence Im not sure that you did it right I want that book
Prepositions note that prepositions fall in many ways between the lexical vs functional divide many prepositions do have antonyms, and therefore could be thought of as having descriptive content (e.g. under/over, to/from, with/without, in/out, up/down) but many prepositions do not have antonyms, and do not seem to pick out any particular spatial or temporal relationship; they perform a function, such as case assignment (e.g. of, by, for..) prepositions are a closed class Prepositions do not vary their form, so cannot take any of the
following inflectional and derivational affixes: plural s present tense ing comparative er negating prefixes un- or inadverbializing ly nominalizing ness can often be intensified by a word like right or straight can be transitive or intransitive Substitution When youre not sure what kind of phrase or word an item is, use substitution This just means taking a word or phrase you are sure
of, and inserting it in place If you end up with a grammatical sentence, you know the category of the item youre working with If not, try something else (morphosyntactic evidence, semantic or phonological information, educated guesswork) Exercise Identify the word class of each of the italicized words in the following sentences. Give reasons for your analysis and identify any problems. 1. This hedgehog is eating a beetle. 2. The car came round the corner. 3. The moon is round tonight. 4. The exams have come round again.
5. I gave you a book for her. 6. Fred asked if he should explain things to her. 7. He is anxious for her to do well. 8. He must really squirm. 9. Have you got any idea what that was about? 10. Karen said that she hadnt got any. Change of pace Were starting to have some background and a vocabulary that allows us to discuss problems of language in a relatively technical way Before we continue to develop those tools, were going to lay some foundations for putting all this information into perspective On to some background/revision about child
language acquisition, especially with reference to morphology and syntax Roger Brown Studied Adam, Eve and Sarah Wrote: A First Language (1973) MLU 14 grammatical morphemes Trained ~90% of the top language
acquisition researchers Divided the language development into 5 stages (mainly focused on I, II) Browns five stages I: 1.0 -- 2.0 MLU II: 2.0 -- 2.5 MLU
III: 2.5 3.0 MLU IV: 3.0 3.5 MLU V: 3.5 4.0 MLU One-word speech FIrst utterances are single words plus occasional unanalyzed phrases Look-at-that Open-the-door rarely use words simply for naming objects Often expresses relations and predicates (aboutness) Daddy = Daddys slippers When using language in everyday speech we do
not simply name things, but we say things about them. Semantic Relations in 1-word stage POSSESSION: Daddy (=slippers) IMPERATIVE Open = open the jar blow = blow my nose NEGATIVE no = negate actions LOCATION down = getting down from high chair RECURRENCE more DISAPPEARANCE allgone
Stage 1 MLU = 1.75 : First Word Combinations Productive use of combinations Lack of inflection MLU (morphemes) = MLU (Words) Lack of function words Assignment: Calculate MLU for one of the Adam files in CLASSWEB Stage 2 MLU = 2.25 : Development of inflections MLU (morphemes) > MLU (words)
Telegraphic Telegraphic Speech Tends to be missing the functors (= closed class words = grammatical morphemes) Redundant Have very little semantic content Children focus on meaning (?) only use content words 2-Word Combinations want daddy want that want here want more
Daddy go truck go that up mommy up Acquisition Order for Grammatical Morphemes (Brown, 1973) Order 1 2-3 4 5 6 7
Articles Regular past tense 3rd person present tense, reg 3rd preson present tense, irreg Uncontractible auxilliary Contractible copula Contractible auxiliary Example I driving in, on balls broke, fell Daddy's chair This is hot
a, the She walked He works She does Ross is winning He's a clown She's drinking 14 Grammatical Morphemes Development of the closed class - Browns 14 morphemes. 90% obligatory contexts consistency Parental frequency - not correlated semantic & syntactic complexity - yes
90% Obligatory Contexts Calculating MLU MLU is based on the average length of a childs sentences The length is determined by morphemes rather than by words What does addition of a morpheme indicate? MLU calculation procedure:
Transcribe childrens conversation Divide the conversation into utterances Divide the utterances into morphemes Count the number of morphemes in the first 100 utterances, then divide the total by 100 MLU calculations Speech sample: Mommy, want cookie. No dinner! Drink juice. How many utterances? How many morphemes? What is the MLU?
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