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Lecture 2

LING 240 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Sarcasm

Course Code
LING 240
Margaret Antonisse

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LING240-Lecture 2: Argument for Mental Grammar
Why do we propose we have a mental grammar?
We don’t really speak with pauses
Nouns are not the most important parts of a sentence
Mental Grammar (broadly)
Unconscious knowledge that a speaker has about their language
Sentences have a wide variety of expressive power
1. Descriptions
2. Expressions
3. Conditional/Hypothetical
4. Metaphor
5. Lies
6. Negation
7. Sarcasm
What about this sentence?
*Herself admires teacher’s boy’s that
No pattern is present
Mental Grammar (narrow)
System of rules stored in the mind that generates the words and sentences of that
speaker’s language
About 10,000 nouns in English
Ex: A ‘x’ is not a ‘y’
Number of sentences is too large to store them all
It is without limit
Language is unbounded
Sentences can theoretically be infinitely long
Jack thinks that Susie said Bob is nice when he takes her out to dinner
Sentence embedding
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