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Lecture 5

LIN232H5 Lecture 5: Constituency
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Department
Linguistics
Course Code
LIN232H5
Professor
Michelle Troberg

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Lecture 5 Constituency
-“That guy in the corner took linguistics in high school”
> That guy in the corner = together makes sense/constituent
> All smaller pieces are within the constituent
-Structural Ambiguity; when you have a string of words that has two meanings
> Ex: old man and woman. what does disgrace mean?
—> you can read this in two different ways; either both man and woman are old or there’s an old
man and a woman (doesn’t specify if the woman is too)
-“He sold a car to his brother in Montreal”; this sentence is also ambiguous
> The reason being is because a) the act of selling occurred in Montreal or b) the act of selling
occurred to his brother (but the location can be anywhere)
—> “In Montreal” is one constituent/one case where it’s associated with the brother and in
another case, it’s not connected to the brother, but it’s connected to the act of selling, which is
why this sentence has 2 meanings
-Ex: The students who are standing in the corner will take morphology
> What is the first auxiliary here? “are”
> Are the students who standing in the corner will take morphology?
> Your rule must have the hierarchal structure
> If you want to form a question, you have to know what the subject is and take the main
auxiliary in order to form it (you place the auxiliary to the left of the subject)
-Once you consider the subject as a constituent, you understand the hierarchy of your structure
and the concept of the subject, then it works
-Ex: The subject is “the students who are standing in the corner” is the subject of the sentence
and once you know that’s the subject, you can see how the rest it’s form
—> Will the students who are standing in the corner take morphology? ; that’s how you change
it/form it.
-The subject can be replaced with “they”
-Perpetuation Test; two piece of evidence for having your hierarchal structure
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Description
Lecture 5 Constituency That guy in the corner took linguistics in high school > That guy in the corner = together makes senseconstituent > All smaller pieces are within the constituent Structural Ambiguity; when you have a string of words that has two meanings > Ex: old man and woman. what does disgrace mean? > you can read this in two different ways; either both man and woman are old or theres an old man and a woman (doesnt specify if the woman is too) He sold a car to his brother in Montreal; this sentence is also ambiguous > The reason being is because a) the act of selling occurred in Montreal or b) the act of selling occurred to his brother (but the location can be anywhere) > In Montreal is one constituentone case where its associated with the brother and in another case, its not connected to the brother, but its connected to the act of selling, which is why this sentence has 2 meanings Ex: The students who are standing in the corner will take morphology > What is the first auxiliary here? are > Are the students who standing in the corner will take morphology? > Your rule must have the hierarchal structure > If you want to form a question, you have to know what the subject is and take the main auxiliary in order to form it (you place the auxiliary to the left of the subject) Once you consider the subject as a constituent, you understand the hierarchy of your structure and the concept of the subject, then it works Ex: The subject is the students who are standing in the corner is the subject of the sentence and once you know thats the subject, you can see how the rest its form > Will the students who are standing in the corner take morphology? ; thats how you change itform it. The subject can be replaced with they Perpetuation Test; two piece of evidence for having your hierarchal structure
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