English Grammar

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  1. Prescriptivism
    • How language should be
    • Prescribing rules for the use of language: what you allegedly should or should not do
  2. Descriptivism
    • How language is
    • Describing how language is actually used
    • What you find in practice
  3. Morphology
    Structure of words
  4. Syntax
    Structure of sentences and phrases
  5. Semantics
    Meaning of words and sentences
  6. Pragmatics
    Meaning in context
  7. Morphemes
    • Words can often be divided into smaller units of meaning.
    • A morpheme is the smallest unit of meaning.
  8. What are the 2 types of morphemes?
    • Bound morphemes: cannot exist on their own
    • Free morphemes: can exist in isolation
  9. Free morphemes
    • Stems (or roots) to which bound morphemes can attach
    • e.g: help

    Often express lexical meaning
  10. Bound morphemes
    • Affixes, prefixes, suffixes and infixes
    • e.g: un, ful

    Often express grammatical meaning
  11. Inflectional word-building
    Adding bound inflectional morphemes to a free morpheme ddoes not change the category
  12. Derivational word-building
    Adding morphemes together derivationally has a more dramatic effect on the category of meaning on the word

    There are two types, affixation and compounding
  13. Derivational word-building... Affixation
    • Words can be built by adding bound morphemes to free morphemes.
    • Affixation modifies the meaning of the element to which it is attached, and almost always changes the category.
  14. Derivational word-building...Compounding
    Words can be built by adding a free morpheme to another free morpheme

    Compounding is always derivational, always changes the meaning and sometimes changes the category. 
  15. Constituents
    • Groups of words which go together within a sentence
    • Can form a new, larger constituent by combining with other elements.
  16. Structural ambiguity
    • When a sentence has more than one meaning
    • Each meaning is associated with a different grouping of words, i.e. a structure
  17. Substitution constituent test
    If the string under test can be replaced by a single word (and the overall structure is preserved) it is probably a constituent.

    • Nobody gets up [so long before breakfast]
    • Nobody gets up [then]
  18. Unit of Sense constituent test
    • Semantic test-assumes a syntactic until will usually be a semantic unit (and unit of sense)
    • Sentence fragment test- based on whether you can ask a grammatical question which contains everything in the sentence apart from the string being tested, and where the string itself forms a sensible answer.
  19. Movement constituent test
    • If the string under investigation can be moved to another position in the sentence, we know that it is a constituent.
    • ....if the string can be moved to the beginning of the sentence

    • The lecturer presented [strange examples] to the students
    • [Strange examples] the lecturer presented to the students
  20. Co-ordination constituent test
    • If the string under investigation can be co-ordinated with a string of words of the same category, we know that the string is a constituent
    • Always co-ordinate the string with another string of words from the same category

    • The lecturer presented [strange examples] to the students
    • The lecturer presented [strange examples and interesting tests] to the students
  21. Reduction constituency test
    • Same as substitution, but the word being substituted is already present within the sentence.
    • Can the string be reduced to just one word that is in the string?

    The lecturer presented [strange examples] to the students
  22. Omission constituency test
    If the string can be omitted from the sentence, it is a constituent.

    • Not all constituents can be omitted, however. 
    • Failure of the test doesn't prove a string is not a constituent.

    • Nobody gets up [so long before breakfast]
    • Nobody gets up
  23. Intrusion constituency test
    Phrases can be inserted at the boundaries of larger consituents so they indicate where a constituent begins or ends.

    • Nobody gets up [so long before breakfast]
    • Nobody gets up, if you ask me, [so long before breakfast]
  24. Lexical categories
    • Major: noun, verb, adjective, adverb
    • Minor: prepositionm determiner, conjunction, interjection
  25. Category
    • What words/phrases are
    • A word/constituent belongs to a certain category, e.g. noun (phrase)
  26. Function
    • What words/phrases do
    • A word/constituent plays a certain role within a sentence, e.g. subject
  27. Category membership- morphological behaviour
    Words in the same category will often take the same sorts of affix (e.g. adjectives.... -y)
  28. Category membership- syntactic behaviour
    Words in the same category will fill the same basic positions in a sentence
  29. Noun- morphological features
    • Inflectional morphology:
    • -number: plural -(e)s suffix
    • -case: only in pronoun system  (e.g. he vs. him)

    • Derivational morphology:
    • -ness and -ity make nouns from adjectives
    • -er, -ee, -action, -ment make nouns from verbs
  30. Noun- syntactic behaviour
    Nouns combine with the to give a (noun) phrase
  31. Proper nouns
    • Names of persons, places, organisations
    • Always spelt with a capital
    • Cannot usually be modified
    • Generally no plural
  32. Common nouns
    Combine with the to form a phrase

    • Count nouns:
    • -can occur with indefinite article a/an
    • -can occur with cardinal numbers (e.g. 3 dogs, 8 cats)
    • -can be plural

    • Non-count nouns:
    • -indivisible masses of material e.g. furniture, rubbish, evidence
  33. Pronouns
    Can substitute for an entire noun phrase

    • Personal: i, me, we, us, you, he, she, it, they, them
    • Indefinite: everything, nobody, many, some
    • Reflexive
    • Reciprocal: each other, one another
    • Possessive: my, mine, your, yours, his, hers, its
    • Demonstrative: this, that, these, those
    • Interrogative: who, which, what, where
    • Relative: who, which, what, where, that
  34. Verb-morphological features
    • Inflectional morphology:
    • -base from (no ending) e.g. walk
    • -3rd sg. pres. (-s) e.g. walks
    • -past tense (-ed (regular verbs only)) e.g. walked
    • -past participle (-ed (regular verbs only)) e.g. walked
    • -ing form (-ing) e.g. walking

    • Derivational morphology:
    • -lexical verb + -ee, -er, -ment = noun
    • (employ vs. employer, employee)

    • -lexical verb + -able, -ing = adjective
    • (annoy vs. annoyable, annoying)
  35. Verb- syntactic behaviour
    • Lexical verb is the central part of the sentence (the head of the sentence)
    • The lexical verb decides which other parts are possible or required [Don put the car in the garage]
  36. Adjective- morphological features
    Often able to add -ly to an adjective to form an adverb, e.g. generous-generously
  37. Gradable adjectives
    Most adjective inflect for degree

    • Absolute:         tall         kind        good
    • Comparative:   tallER    kindER    better
    • Superlative:      tallEST  kindEST  best
  38. Adjective- syntactic behaviour
    • Attributive:delicious pie, the young boy
    • Predicative: the pie is delicious, the boy is young
  39. Adverb-morphology
    • Inflectional:
    • hardly any, most gradable adverbs take more or most, e.g. more quickly

    • Derivational:
    • large proportion of adverbs have -ly ending, e.g. happily
  40. Prepositions
    Express relationships between things and events (behind, below, near to, opposite)
  41. Prepositions-morphological behaviour
    • Invariable
    • Not any derivational or inflectional morphology by which to identify them
    • Can be simple (e.g. between, by, to) or complex (e.g. next to, infront of)
  42. Prepositions- syntactic behaviour
    • Combine with nouns phrases to form preposition phrases
    • Rarely allow modification
  43. Determiners
    • Function words within NPs (e.g. any, that, the, those)
    • Mark the NP that they are part of as definite or indefinite

    • [That dog] bit me (definite)
    • [A dog] bit me (indefinite)

    • Cannot be modified
    • Obligatory with singular count nouns
  44. Conjunctions
    Link phrases or clauses together
  45. Conjunctions- co-ordinators
    Link units of the same category/type e.g. and, but, or

    • [Mr Jones] and [Dr White]
    • [Slowly] and [steadily]
  46. Conjunctions- subordinators
    Link a clause to some other element

    [If your phone rings], I won't answer it.

    Also known as complementisers.
  47. Interjections
    Express a wide range of emotions 

    (e.g. Surprise... Oh!, Disgust... Ugh!)
  48. Category vs. function
    • Category:
    • what words/constituents ARE
    • a word/constituent belongs to a certain category e.g. noun (phrase)

    • Function:
    • what constituents do
    • a constituent can play a certain role within a sentence, e.g. subject
  49. Category
    Words belong to a certain (lexical) category

    document= noun (common, count)

    Words combine to form phrases. Belong to certain phrasal categories.

    [the document on government policy]

    A phrase can be a constituent of a sentence

    [the document on government policy] caused a row
  50. Function
    Constituents fulfil a certain function within a sentence

    Categories and functions are different: what the item is vs. what it does.
  51. Clause structure: predicate
    (Usually) everything in the sentence except the subject

    e.g. The document of government policy caused a row.

    • Subject: the document on govenment policy
    • Predicate: caused a row

    • Phrasal category is always a VP
    • Verb or verb string is the core, obligatory part of the predicate
  52. Predicative complement features- co-reference
    Predicative complements are co-referential with another phrase in the sentence.

    • My sister is a student (predicative complement)
    • We declared Mary the winner (predicative complement)
  53. Subject complement
    Co-referential with the subject

    My sister is a student
  54. Object complement
    Co-referential with the object

    We declared Mary the winner (object complement)
  55. Predicative complement features- number agreement
    Usually agree in number with the constituent they co-refer with

    • My sister is a student
    • The man called the protesters idiots 
  56. Predicative complement features- phrasal category
    Constituents that function as predicative complements are usually noun phrases of adjective phrases
  57. Predicative complement features- basic positions
    A subject complement usually comes immediately after the verb

    An object complement usually comes immediately after the object.
  58. Adverbial features- optionality
    Constituents functioning as adverbials are usually optional

    Tom often buys a paper in the morning
  59. Adverbial features- flexibility
    The position of constituents which function as adverbials is fairly flexible

    • A couple of days ago that driver was drunk
    • That driver was drunk a couple of days ago
  60. Adverbial features- meaning
    Constituents that function as adverbials typically say something about when, where or how something happened.

    A couple of days ago an old lady fainted at the bank
  61. Adverbial features- stacking
    Unfortunately, yesterday he intentionally complained in a loud voice at the party about his wages for the third time.
  62. Adverbial features- phrasal category
    Constituents that function as adverbials can belong to a variety of phrasal categories: AdvP, PP, NP, clause.
  63. Sub-types of adverbials- adjuncts
    • Optional
    • Circumstantial informations
    • Answer questions such as How? Where? Why? etc
  64. Sub-types of adverbials- disjuncts
    • Attitude markers
    • Provide comment on the whole sentence
    • Typically occur sentence-initially but can also occur in sentence-final position
  65. Sub-types of adverbials- conjuncts
    • Function as connective phrases
    • Connect the clause to what has gone before
    • Increase textual cohesion
    • Often marked off by a comma in writing
  66. Sub-types of adverbials- adverbial complements
    • Obligatory!!
    • Typically express a location or time
  67. Sentence type- interrogative
    Operator precedes subject


    • Yes-no interrogative
    • Alternative interrogative
    • Tag interrogative
    • Wh-interrogative
  68. Sentence type- imperative
    Optional subject (you) with predicate (including base for of verb)

    •               Give me a break!
    • You        be careful!
  69. Sentence type- exclamative
    wh-phrase precedes subject, which precedes the rest of the predicate.

    • What a mistake     that        would be!
    • What a tall man     I             saw!

    • Exclamatives (like interrogatives) start with a wh-phrase.
    • Exclamative (unlike interrogatives) don't have subject-operator inversion.
  70. Sentence type- echo
    • An echo is like an interrogative, but with the wh-phrase left in its original place rather than fronted
    • Usually 'echoes' another utterance

    • He        ate WHAT?
    • You      WHAT?
  71. Sentence use- statement
    • Informative: provides the addressee with the information
    • Typically declaratives
  72. Sentence use- question
    • Used when seeking information
    • Typically interrogatives
  73. Sentence use- directive
    • Used when trying to get someone to do something
    • Typically imperatives
  74. Sentence use- exclamation
    • Used to express a strong emotional reaction
    • Typically exclamative
  75. Summary
    • Declarative      -     Statement
    • Interrogative    -     Question
    • Imperative       -     Directive
    • Exclamative     -     Exclamation
  76. Lexical verb
    Decides what other elements the sentence may, must or must not contain

    • *Charlie hit
    • Charlie hit Joe

    • In a verb string the last verb is always the lexical verb
    • The head of a verb phrase is a lexical verb
  77. Auxillary verb
    • 'Helps' another verb (is semantically dependant)
    • Can function as an operator, but a lexical verb cannot

    Verbs other than last in a verb string are auxiliary verbs
  78. Properties of auxiliary verbs
    Can be distinguished from lexical verbs based on their properties of form and distribution

    Can combine with a VP to form a larger VP

    Modify the meaning of the lexical verb in some way

    Function OPERATOR can only usually be filled by an auxiliary verb
  79. Operators are NICE
    • Negation- they can occur with negation
    • Inversion- they can invert with the subject (subject-operator inversion)
    • Code- the can occur on their own when the lexical verb has been omitted
    • Emphasis- can be used for emphasis
  80. Finiteness
    An operator must be finite

    • Finite V: carries tense so is morphologically marked
    • Finite verb forms in English: Present, past
    • Most verbs have finite (present/past) and non-finite (tenseless) forms
    • Operators do not have non-finite forms
  81. Functions of primary auxillaries
    • Perfect aspect          = have
    • Progressive aspect    = be
    • Passive voice            = be
    • Dummy auxillary       = do
  82. Passivisation
    • Promote the active object to the subject of the passive
    • Insert the auxiliary of the passive
    • Change the form of the following verb to its past participle form

    • The police stopped the car                 [active]
    • The car was stopped (by the police)   [passive]
  83. Properties of modal auxiliary verbs
    • The verb immediately following a modal auxiliary must appear in its bare infinitive
    • Modal auxiliary verbs only have a finite form
    • Modal auxiliary verbs only have one present-tense form
  84. Intransitive lexical verbs
    Do not require of indeed permit any objects or predicative complements

    • He apologised
    • The dog barked

    Some intransitive verbs take a cognate object, which has a meaning closely related to that of the verb and which is lexically related to it. 

    • He sighed a great sigh.
    • I dreamt a very strange dream.
  85. Monotransitive lexical verbs
    Requires one object- a direct object

    • The interviewer interrupted the politician
    • Who can answer the next question?

    Direct object can be a noun phrase, a clause or what looks like a preposition phrase.
  86. Ditransitive lexical verbs
    Requires two objects: an indirect and a direct object (in that order)

    • They offered        him               a job
    • He gave               the man        his ticket.

    In some cases, (usually the indirect object) can be omitted.

    She passed           the chocolate
  87. Intensive lexical verbs
    Requires a subject complement

    He often gets angry

    • Subject complements are co-referential with the subject
    • An adjective phrase, a noun phrase, or a clause can function as a subject complement
  88. Complex transitive lexical verbs
    Require a direct object and an object complement.

    • Most people consider            the film          a classic
    • His constant nagging drove     her                mad
  89. Lexical verbs summary
    • Intransitive            - none
    • Monotransitive      - one phrase or clause functioning as direct object
    • Ditransitive            - two phrases functions as indirect object + direct object
    • Intensive               - one phrase or clause functioning as subject complement
    • Complex transitive - two phrases functioning as direct object + object complement
Card Set:
English Grammar
2013-01-01 12:53:42

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