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Lecture 12

LING 1000 Lecture 12: Topic 3.1

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University of Guelph
LING 1000
Rosario Gomez

LING*1000 Professor Gomez Topic 3.1: What is Syntax Word Order Syntax examines how words combine to form phrases In turn combine to form sentences Speakers know intuitively how to combine words so that they make sense For example, we know that the sentence: John bought the books today, is grammatically correct However, *Books today bought John the is not grammatical because it is hard to make sense of it and the order of the words violates standard English word order and selection. Prescribed grammaticality You may have been told that one should not split infinitives, as in the following sentence To boldly go where no one has gone before. This construction is deemed ungrammatical because of a traditional prescriptive rule in English that says that infinitives to + verb should not be split up It is not truly ungrammatical This rule is applied to Latin (a prestigious model to follow) and grammarians prescribed it to English as well Other prescribed syntactical grammar exists, despite it not having an influence on logical evaluation of propositions (semantics)
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