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Post by offline on Tue Jan 11 2011, 09:33

Phonology (Greek phonē = voice/sound and logos = word/speech), is a subfield of linguistics which studies the sound system of a specific language (or languages). Whereas phonetics is about the physical production and perception of the sounds of speech, phonology describes the way sounds function within a given language or across languages.
An important part of phonology is studying which sounds are distinctive units within a language. In English, for example, /p/ and /b/ are distinctive units of sound, (i.e., they are phonemes / the difference is phonemic, or phonematic). This can be seen from minimal pairs such as "pin" and "bin", which mean different things, but differ only in one sound. On the other hand, /p/ is often pronounced differently depending on its position relative to other sounds, yet these different pronunciations are still considered by native speakers to be the same "sound". For example, the /p/ in "pin" is aspirated while the same phoneme in "spin" is not.
In addition to the minimal meaningful sounds (the phonemes), phonology studies how sounds alternate, such as the /p/ in English described above, and topics such as syllable structure, stress, accent, and intonation.
The principles of phonological theory have also been applied to the analysis of sign languages, in which it is argued that the same or a similar phonological system underlies both signed and spoken languages. (Signs are distinguished from gestures in that the latter are non-linguistic or supply extra meaning alongside the linguistic message.)
Phonemic distinctions or allophones
If two similar sounds do not constitute separate phonemes, they are called allophones ,(an allophone is one of several similar phones that belong to the same phoneme. A phone is a sound that has a definite shape as a sound wave, while a phoneme is a basic group of sounds that can distinguish words (i.e. changing one phoneme in a word can produce another word); speakers of a particular language perceive a phoneme as a single distinctive sound in that language. Thus an allophone is a phone considered as a member of one phoneme.
Each allophone is used in a specific phonetic context and many times there is some sort of phonological process. Not all phonemes have significantly different allophones, but there are always minor differences in articulation from one piece of speech to the next.
For example, [pʰ] as in pin and [p] as in cap are allophones for the phoneme /p/ in the English language because they occur in complementary distribution. English speakers generally treat these as the same sound, but they are different; the latter is unaspirated (plain). Plain [p] also occurs as the p in spin [spɪn], or the second p in paper [pʰeɪ.pɚ]. Outside of contexts where plain p appears in English, speakers may hear it as b since English b is typically unaspirated.)
of the same underlying phoneme. For instance, voiceless stops (/p/, /t/, /k/) can be aspirated. In English, voiceless stops at the beginning of a word are aspirated, whereas after /s/ they are not aspirated. (This can be seen by putting your fingers right in front of your lips and notice the difference in breathiness as you say 'pin' and 'spin'.) There is no English word 'pin' that starts with an unaspirated p, therefore in English, aspirated [pʰ] (the [ʰ] means aspirated) and unaspirated [p] are allophones of an underlying phoneme /p/.
Another example of allophones in English is how the /t/ sounds in the words 'tub', 'stub', 'but', and 'butter' are all pronounced differently, yet are all perceived as "the same sound."
Another example: in English, the liquids /l/ and /ɹ/ are two separate phonemes (minimal pair 'life', 'rife'); however, in Korean these two liquids are allophones of the same phoneme, and the general rule is that [ɾ] comes before a vowel, and [l] does not (e.g. Seoul, Korea). A native speaker will tell you that the [l] in Seoul and the [ɾ] in Korean are in fact the same letter. What happens is that a native Korean speaker's brain recognises the underlying phoneme /l/, and, depending on the phonetic context (whether before a vowel or not), expresses it as either [ɾ] or [l]. Another Korean speaker will hear both sounds as the underlying phoneme and think of them as the same sound. This is one reason why most people have an accent when they attempt to speak a language that they did not grow up hearing; their brains sort the sounds they hear in terms of the phonemes of their own native language.

In phonology, minimal pairs are pairs of words or phrases in a particular language, which differ in only one phoneme, toneme or chroneme and have a distinct meaning. They are used to demonstrate that two phones constitute two separate phonemes in the language.
English "let" + "lit" proves that phones [ɛ] and [ɪ] do in fact represent distinct phonemes /ɛ/ and /ɪ/. The phones do not have to be vowels, as the English minimal pair of "pat" + "bat" shows. In fact, this pair differs in voice onset time of the initial consonant as the configuration of the mouth is same for [p] and ; however, there is also a possible difference in duration, which visual analysis using high quality video supports.
Phonemic differentiation may vary between different dialects of a language, so that a particular minimal pair in one accent is a pair of homophones in another. This does not necessarily mean that one of the phonemes is absent in the homonym accent; merely that it is not present in the same range of contexts.
:is a subdiscipline of linguistics that studies word structure. While words are generally accepted as being the smallest units of syntax, it is clear that in most (if not all) languages, words can be related to other words by rules. For example, any English speaker can see that the words dog, dogs and dog-catcher are closely related. English speakers can also recognize that these relations can be formulated as rules that can apply to many, many other pairs of words. Dog is to dogs just as cat is to cats, or encyclopædia is to encyclopædias; dog is to dog-catcher as dish is to dishwasher. The rule in the first case is plural formation; in the second case, a transitive verb and a noun playing the role of its object can form a word. Morphology is the branch of linguistics that studies such rules across and within languages.
Fundamental concepts
Lexemes and word forms
The word "word" is ambiguous in common usage. To take up again the example of dog vs. dogs, there is one sense in which these two are the same "word" (they are both nouns that refer to the same kind of animal, differing only in number), and another sense in which they are different words (they can't generally be used in the same sentences without altering other words to fit; for example, the verbs is and are in The dog is happy and The dogs are happy).
The distinction between these two senses of "word" is probably the most important one in morphology. The first sense of "word," the one in which dog and dogs are "the same word," is called lexeme. The second sense is called word form. We thus say that dog and dogs are different forms of the same lexeme. Dog and dog-catcher, on the other hand, are different lexemes; for example, they refer to two different kinds of entities. The form of a word that is chosen conventionally to represent the canonical form of a word is called a lemma or citation form.
Inflection vs. word-formation
Given the notion of a lexeme, it is possible to distinguish two kinds of morphological rules. Some morphological rules relate different forms of the same lexeme; while other rules relate two different lexemes. Rules of the first kind are called inflectional rules, while those of the second kind are called word-formation. The English plural, as illustrated by dog and dogs, is an inflectional rule; compounds like dog-catcher or dishwasher are an example of a word-formation rule. Informally, word-formation forms "new words" (that is, lexemes), while inflection gives you more forms of the "same" word (lexeme).
There is a further distinction between two kinds of word-formation: derivation and compounding. Compounding is a kind of word-formation which involves combining complete word forms into a compound; dog-catcher is a compound, because both dog and catcher are words. Derivation involves suffixes or prefixes that are not independent words; the word independent is derived from the word dependent by prefixing it with the derivational prefix in-, and dependent itself is derived from the verb depend.
The distinction between inflection and word-formation is not at all clear-cut. There are many examples where linguists fail to agree whether a given rule is inflection or word-formation. However, the next section will clarify this distinction further.

Paradigms and morphosyntax
The notion of a paradigm is closely related to that of inflection. The paradigm of a lexeme is the set of all of its word forms, organized by their grammatical categories. The familiar examples of paradigms are the conjugations of verbs, and the declensions of nouns. The word forms of a lexeme can usually be arranged into tables, by classifying them by shared features such as tense, aspect, mood, number, gender or case. For example, the personal pronouns in English can be organized into tables, using the categories of person, number, gender and case.
The categories used to group word forms into paradigms cannot be chosen arbitrarily; they must be categories that are relevant to stating the syntactic rules of the language. For example, person and number are categories that can be used to define paradigms in English, because English has grammatical agreement rules that require the verb in a sentence to appear in an inflectional form that matches the person and number of the subject. In other words, the syntactic rules of English care about the difference between dog and dogs, because they determine which form of the verb must be used; but in contrast, no syntactic rule of English cares about the difference between dog and dog-catcher, or dependent and independent. The first two are just nouns, and the second two just adjectives, and they generally behave like any other noun or adjective behaves.
The major difference between inflection and word formation is that inflectional forms of lexemes are organized into paradigms, which are defined by the requirements of syntactic rules. The part of morphology that covers the relationship between syntax and morphology is called morphosyntax, and it concerns itself with inflection and paradigms, but not with word-formation or compounding.
Allomorphy and morphophonology
In the exposition above, morphological rules are described as analogies between word forms: dog is to dogs as cat is to cats, and as dish is to dishes. In this case, the analogy applies both to the meaning of the words and to their forms: in each pair, the word in the left always means "one of X" and the one on the right "many of X", and at the distinction is always signaled by having the plural form have an -s at the end, which the singular does not have.
One of the largest sources of complexity in morphology is that this sort of one-to-one correspondence between meaning and form hardly ever holds. In English, we have word form pairs like ox/oxen, goose/geese, and sheep/sheep, where the difference between the singular and the plural is signaled in a different way from the regular pattern, or not signalled at all. Even the case we consider "regular", with the final -s, is not quite that simple; the -s in dogs is not pronounced the same way as the -s in cats, and in a plural like dishes, we have an "extra" vowel before the -s. These cases, where the same distinction is effected by different changes of form for different lexemes, are called allomorphy.
There are several kinds of allomorphy. One is pure allomorphy, where the allomorphs are just arbitrary. The most extreme cases here are called suppletion, where two forms related by a morphological rule are just arbitrarily different: for example, the past of go is went, which is a suppletive form.
On the other hand, other kinds of allomorphy are due to interaction between morphology and phonology. Phonological rules constrain which sounds can appear next to each other in a language, and morphological rules, when applied blindly, would often violate phonological rules, by resulting in impossible sound sequences. For example, if we were to try to form the plural of dish by just putting a -s at the end, we'd get *dishs, which is not permitted by the phonology; to "rescue" the word, we put a vowel sound in between, and get dishes. Similar rules apply to the pronunciation of the -s in dogs and cats: it depends on the quality (voiced vs. unvoiced) of the preceding phoneme.
The study of allomorphy that results from the interaction of morphology and phonology is called morphophonology. Many morphophonological rules fall under the category of sandhi.

Lexical morphology is the branch of morphology that deals with the lexicon, which, morphologically conceived, is the collection of lexemes in a language. As such, it concerns itself primarily with word-formation: derivation and compounding.
Models of morphology
There are three major families of approaches to morphology, which try to capture the distinctions above in different ways. These are:
• Morpheme-based morphology, which makes use of an Item and Arrangement approach.
• Lexeme – based Morphology, which normally makes use of an Item and Process approach.
• Word – based Morphology , which normally makes use Word – and – Paradigm approach.

Morpheme-based morphology
In morpheme-based morphology, word forms are analyzed as sequences of morphemes. A morpheme is defined as the minimal meaningful unit of a language. In a word like independently, we say that the morphemes are in-, depend, -ent, and ly; depend is the root and the other morphemes are, in this case, derivational affixes.In a word like dogs, we say that dog is the root, and that -s is an inflectional morpheme. This way of analyzing word forms as if they were made of morphemes put after each other like beads on a string, is called Item-and-Arrangement.
The morpheme-based approach is the first one that beginners to morphology usually think of, and which laymen tend to find the most obvious. This is so to such an extent that very often beginners think that morphemes are an inevitable, fundamental notion of morphology; and many five-minute explanations of morphology are, in fact, five-minute explanations of morpheme-based morphology. This is, however, not so; the fundamental idea of morphology is that the words of a language are related to each other by different kinds of rules. Analyzing words as sequences of morphemes is a way of describing these relations, but is not the only way. In actual academic linguistics, morpheme-based morphology certainly has many adherents, but is by no means absolutely dominant.
Applying a morpheme-based model strictly quickly leads to complications when one tries to analyze many forms of allomorphy. For example, it's easy to think that in dogs, we have the root dog, followed by the plural morpheme -s; the same sort of analysis is also straightforward for oxen, with the stem ox, and a suppletive plural morpheme -en. But then, how do we "split up" the word geese into root + plural morpheme? How do we do so for sheep?
Theorists who wish to maintain a strict morpheme-based approach often preserve the idea in cases like these by saying that geese is goose followed by a null morpheme (a morpheme that has no phonological content), and that the vowel change in the stem is a morphophonological rule. It is also common for morpheme-based analyses to posit null morphemes even in the absence of any allomorphy. For example, if the plural noun dogs is analyzed as a root dog followed by a plural morpheme -s, then one might analyze the singular dog as the root dog followed by a null morpheme for the singular.

Lexeme-based morphology
Lexeme-based morphology is (usually) an Item-and-Process approach. Instead of analyzing a word form as a set of morphemes arranged in sequence, we think of a word form as the result of applying rules that alter a word form or stems, to produce a new one. An inflectional rule takes a stem, does some changes to it, and outputs a word-form; a derivational rule takes a stem, and outputs a derived stem; a compounding rule takes word-forms, and outputs a compound stem.
The Item-and-Process approach by passes the difficulty described above for Item-and-Arrangement approaches. Faced with a plural like geese, we don't have to assume there is a zero-morph; all we say is that while the plural of dog is formed by adding an -s to the end, the plural of goose is formed by changing the vowel in the stem.

Word-based morphology
Word-based morphology is a (usually) Word-and-Paradigm approach. This kind of theory takes paradigms as a central notion. Instead of stating rules to combine morphemes into word forms, or to generate word-forms from stems, word-based morphology states generalizations that hold between the forms of inflectional paradigms. The major point behind this approach is that many such generalizations are hard to state with either of the other approaches. The examples are usually drawn from fusional languages, where a given "piece" of a word, which a morpheme-based theory would call an inflectional morpheme, corresponds to a combination of grammatical categories, for example, "third person plural." Morpheme-based theories usually have no problems with this situation, since one just says that a given morpheme has two categories. Item-and-Process theories, on the other hand, often break down in cases like these, because they all too often assume that there will be two separate rules here, one for third person, and the other for plural, but the distinction between them turns out to be artificial. Word-and-Paradigm approaches treat these as whole words that are related to each other by analogical rules. Words can be categorized based on the pattern that they fit into. This applies both to existing words and to new ones. Application of a different pattern than the one that was used historically can give rise to a new word, such as older replacing elder (where older follows the normal pattern of adjectival superlatives) and cows replacing kine (where cows fits the regular pattern of plural formation). While a Word-and-Paradigm approach can explain this easily, other approaches have difficulty with phenomena such as this.
Morphological typology
In the 19th century, philologists devised a new classic classification of languages in terms of their morphology. According to this typology, some languages are isolating, and have little or no morphology; others are agglutinative, and their words tend to have lots of easily-separable morphemes; while yet others are fusional, because their inflectional morphemes are said to be "fused" together. The classic example of an isolating language is Chinese; the classic example of an agglutinative language is Turkish; both Latin and Greek are classic examples of fusional languages.
When one considers the variability of the world's languages, it becomes clear that this classification is not at all clear-cut, and many languages don't neatly fit any one of these types. However, examined against the light of the three general models of morphology described above, it is also clear that the classification is very much biased towards a morpheme-based conception of morphology. It makes direct use of the notion of morpheme in the definition of agglutinative and fusional languages. It describes the latter as having separate morphemes "fused" together (which often does correspond to the history of the language, but not to its synchronic reality).
The three models of morphology stem from attempts to analyze languages that more or less match different categories in this typology. The Item-and-Arrangement approach fits very naturally with agglutinative languages; while the Item-and-Process and Word-and-Paradigm approaches usually address fusional languages.
The immediate constituent analysisalso called ICA analysis, in linguistics, a system of grammatical analysis that divides sentences into successive layers, or constituents, until, in the final layer, each constituent consists of only a word or meaningful part of a word. (A constituent is any word or construction that enters into some larger construction.) In the sentence “The old man ran away,” the first division into immediate constituents would be between “the old man” and “ran away.” The immediate constituents of “the old man” are “the” and “old man.” At the next level “old man” is divided into “old” and “man.” The term was introduced by the United States linguist Leonard Bloomfield in 1933, though the underlying principle is common both to the traditional practice of parsing and to many modern systems of grammatical analysis.


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Post by Mahmoud on Mon Jun 04 2012, 20:27

[b] American Structuralism

What Is Linguistics ?

It is a scientific study of language , covering the structure (morphology and syntax; ), sounds ( phonology ) , the study of the sounds of speech.(phonetics ), and meaning ( semantics ), as well as the history of the relations of languages to each other and the cultural place of language in human behavior.
Most speakers of a language do not stop to analyze what they are doing when they talk. Such inquiry into the actual workings of language is the basis of linguistics. It is also concerned with the study of languages in order to obtain information about the nature of languages in general ,so the linguist wants to find out in studying languages how language works .He tries to be as objective as possible.He focuses his attention on the speech habits of a community ( not their writing habits ).

Historical Overview.

Throughout history individuals have tried to describe their own languages in ways that make the workings of these languages appear more meaningful and orderly. Panini, a 5th-century BC Indian grammarian, described the sounds and construction of sentences of the Sanskrit language in great detail.
The ancient Greeks and Romans were also curious about their languages and wrote grammatical descriptions, frequently from a philosophical or literary point of view. They had a profound influence on Western thought about language .And until recent times the Latin grammar served as a model for the description of medieval and modern European languages, including English. Such concepts as parts of speech (nouns, verbs, and adverbs) and case (nominative, accusative, genitive).
In the late 18th century the English scholar Sir William Jones noticed similarities between Sanskrit, Greek, and Latin. He suggested that the three languages might have developed from a common source.
In the early 19th century the scholars Jacob Grimm, a German, noted that a number of consistent sound correspondences existed between Gothic, Latin, and Greek in words with similar meanings .This technique of comparing words became known as the comparative method. It was used to show that certain languages are related
In the 20th cent. the structural or descriptive linguistics school emerged. It dealt with languages at particular points in time (synchronic) rather than throughout their historical development (diachronic). The father of modern structural linguistics was Ferdinand de Saussure , who believed in language as a systematic structure serving as a link between thought and sound; he thought of language sounds as a series of linguistic signs that are purely arbitrary.
The 20th century is characterized by four main schools: Functionalism , Structuralism , Descriptive , and Generativism.

Structural Linguistics

What is Structuralism? It is a theory that uses culturally interconnected signs to reconstruct systems of relationships rather than studying isolated, material things in themselves. This method found wide use from the early 20th cent. in a variety of fields, especially linguistics , particularly as formulated by Ferdinand de Saussure . Structuralism has been influential in literary criticism and history.
The term structuralism has been used as by a number of different schools of linguistics.The American and European structuralism shared a number of features. In insisting upon the necessity of treating each language as a more or less coherent and integrated system, both European and American linguists of this period tended to emphasize, if not to exaggerate, the structural uniqueness of individual languages.

Structural linguistics in America.

In the early 20th century in the United States, a strong interest in discovering and describing native American Indian languages arose. Anthropological linguists analyzed Indian languages in terms that differed radically from those of traditional European grammars. This type of language analysis, known as structural linguistics, was developed by the American linguists Franz Boas, Edward Sapir, and Leonard Bloomfield. It placed much emphasis on phonetics, phonology, and new grammatical categories, and above all on discovery procedures the techniques needed to discover the significant sounds and units of meaning of a language. In describing languages the structuralists proceeded from smaller to larger units: from the sounds of language to the distinctive sounds (phonemes) and from the smallest units that mean something (morphemes) to phrases.
After Boas, the two most influential American linguists were Edward Sapir
(died 1939) and Leonard Bloomfield (died 1949). Like his teacher Boas, Sapir was equally at home in anthropology and linguistics. Boas and Sapir were both attracted by the Humboldtian view of the relationship between language and thought.
Sapir's work has always held an attraction for the more anthropologically inclined American linguists. But it was Bloomfield who prepared the way for the later phase of what is now thought of as the most distinctive manifestation of American "structuralism." When he published his first book in 1914, Bloomfield was strongly influenced by Wundt's psychology oflanguage. In 1933, however, he published a drastically revised and expanded version with the new title Language; this book dominated the field for the next 30 years. In it Bloomfield explicitly adopted a behaviouristic approach to the study of language, eschewing in the name of scientific objectivity all reference to mental or conceptual categories.Of particular consequence was his adoption of the behaviouristic theory of semantics according to which meaning is simply the relationship between a stimulus and a verbal response. Because science was still a long way from being able to give a comprehensive account of most stimuli, no significant or interesting results could be expected from the study of meaning for some considerable time, and it was preferable, as far as possible, to avoid basing the grammatical analysis of a language on semantic considerations. Bloomfield's followers pushed even further the attempt to develop methods of linguistic analysis that were not based on meaning. One of the most characteristic features of "post-Bloomfieldian" American structuralism, then, was its almost complete neglect of semantics.

American Structuralism Vs. Traditional Grammar.

American structural linguistics is usually presented as a reaction against traditional grammar. For structuralist linguists, traditional grammars were wrong in their principles and in their methods. Traditional grammarians were wrong in their whole approach to language, in their notion of what a language is and how it may be adequately described. As a reaction to this, American structuralists made claims for a scientific approach to language. Language should be studied to know and to understand how language works. There is a desire to make the study of language both scientific and autonomous.
American structuralists thought that traditional school grammars were unscientific because they were typically normative and gave much of their space to correcting errors. As a reaction, structuralists thought that there could be no correctness apart from usage. For them, language should be described as it is spoken, and never as some grammarians might think it "ought" to be spoken.
Since American structuralists think that grammar has to do with the way English is spoken, and not with how it 'should' be spoken, differences in language practice should be accepted and different registers should be established. Fries (1940), for example, distinguishes at least four different registers: historical, regional, literary and colloquial. And again this is simply what Sweet (1891:201-203) does when he distinguishes first between languages and dialects, secondly between standard, refined and vulgar speech, and finally between literary and spoken language.
American structuralists also thought that traditional school grammars were unscientific because they mixed up synchronic with diachronic information, often giving predominance to diachronic forms. As a reaction, structuralist linguists clearly differentiated synchronic description of languages from diachronic studies. For them, it was important to define the stages of description and to distinguish between descriptive and historical linguistics. Descriptive linguistics is interested in how people speak now and not in how people spoke in past stages of the language.
American structuralists also thought that traditional school grammars were unscientific because they transferred the categories of Latin to such a different language as English. As a reaction, they assumed that every language must be described in and by itself. For them, there are no universal categories. The concepts "noun" or "adjective" in English must be different from those in French, since their real value does not lie in themselves but in their specific position within the system. Every language should be considered as a system of relations. Every unit, every element in this system has no value by itself, if isolated. Its meaning has to be established in relation to all the other elements in the language.
Due to the primacy of written language, traditional school grammar continues to neglect phonology, the basic study of the sounds of speech, and sometimes to confuse speech with writing. As a reaction, American structuralists considered phonology as the starting point of any investigation. Bloomfield (1933:162) claims that "linguistic study must always start from the phonetic form and not from the meaning." And probably for this reason phonology is the field where structuralists made more advances. According to Gleason (1965:40) it was the phoneme principle that gave the first workable basis on which to build a modern theory of descriptive linguistics.

American Descriptivism.
This conception of language structure was very precise and limited in particular.It was associated with the phoneme as a unit of phonology and a morpheme as a unit of syntax and morphology.
The Descriptivists’ primarily intention was to establish linguistics as a scientific discipline and they accepted Bloomfield’s principles of first things first.But they excluded semantics from their scope of study and were concerned only with sounds, word combination and what is observable because they were against the use of intuition which they as subjective and thus bad.
They were called Descriptivists simply because they described language.They were not interested in theory and were much particularly in deed and because they needed to work fastly.Of course they did some theorizing but are so limited and had a little time for that.
For them , the description of languages an end in itself.For Chomsky description is a mean and not an end to come to a conclusion.The Descriptivists were not interested in developing general theories.
The two major figures of Descriptivism are Franz Boas and Leonard Bloomfield.Although it is Boas who contributed the tools for Description of Language ,Bloomfield managed to make these tools more explicit, and he is the major figure of this school.
Behind Descriptivism there was also a military aim .During the Second World War,The American troops were centered in all over the world,and in order to ease communication and interaction with the various people,they were very practically needed to describe a number of languages.The Descriptivists also share a taxonomic view which is based on observation and objectivity.They refused to allow any talk of meaning or mental entities or non observable features (what happens in the mind could not be observed).
Some problems
The immediate constituent analysis encounters problems in a number of classes.

a) Discontinuous constituents
The immediate constituent analysis cannot assign a natural P-marker to sentences containing discontinuous constituents. For example in
Is John coming?
It is obvious that the IC’s of the sentence are not ‘is’ and ‘John coming’, but rather ‘is –coming’ and John.
b) Relationship between sentences
For any two sentences which differ in structure, but which are obviously related, IC analysis can make explicit only the differences, but not the similarities. This is true of declarative versus interrogative sentences, active versus passive sentences, etc.

c) Pairs of sentences:which are syntactically identical, but logically different
Examples are sentences like
John is difficult to leave
John is reluctant to leave
Taxonomic analysis would assign identical P-markers to both, and thus fail to make it explicit that in one, ‘John’ is the logical object of leave, whereas in the other it is the logical subject of leave.
Syntactic ambiguity
Syntactic ambiguity must involve the assignment of two (or more) P-markers to the same sentence.
Flying planes can be dangerous
It was cases such as these which determined the generative revolution in syntax. All the examples adduced are characterized by the same common denominator: the observationally accessible data fail to provide direct access to the’deeper’ syntactic facts underlying the data.

Generativism :The Chomskyan Revolution
Generativism is one of the 20th century movements and one of the movements of structuralism.In fact,it is a brand of structuralism,understood in its wider sense possibleFrom the beginning, this revolution was directed almost exclusively against the taxonomic conception of syntax.
The publication in 1957 of Syntactic Structures brought about an intellectual and sociological revolution in the field of linguistics which even his opponents have unanimously acknowledged.
What makes Syntactic Structures revolutionary is its conception of a grammar as a theory of language. The central chapter of Syntactic Structures is devoted to demonstrating the parallels between linguistic theory as he conceived it and what uncontroversially would be taken to be scientific theories.
The second reason why Syntactic Structures represented a revolution is that it placed syntactic relations at the centre of lange, following Saussure’s lange/parole distinction. By focusing on syntax, Chomsky was able to offer an explanation of the most distinctive aspect of human language: its creativity. This aspect had an enormous influence on other philosophical disciplines such as psychology and psycholinguistics due to the implications for the structure of human behaviour latent in Chomsky’s theory of syntax.
What made Chomsky’s work revolutionary within the school of structuralism was with regard to the kind of evaluation procedure, the kind of formal justification of a linguistic theory that should be followed. This conception demands that one ceases to think about a grammar as an operationally derived synthesis of a corpus, and that one begins to regard it as a theory of
a language.


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