LIGN 170 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Universal Grammar, Phrase Structure Rules, Noam Chomsky

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Chapter 6:
Learning the Structure of Sentences
Outline
Need to know
Nature of syntactic knowledge
Stages of syntactic development
Recursion in language
“Exceptions”
Grammatical categories
Early syntax and abstractivity
Quirky verb alternations
Syntax constraints on learning
Optional knowledge
Constituent structure
Syntax and the immature brain
SLI vs. complex syntax
Universal language
domain -general and domain-specific theories
Compositionality
Concept that there are fixed rules for combining units of language
Form results in fixed meaning relationship between words that are joined
together
Regular compositionality
Example: dog is tickling duckie
Dog: subject of “is tickling, agent of “tickling event”
Duckie: object of “is tickling, patient of “tickling event”
Example: orange broccoli
Syntax: Orange >modifier > broccoli
Semantics: orange > intersective > broccoli
Example: big rubber ducky
Syntax: big > modifier > rubber > modifier > ducky
Semantics: big > subsective > rubber > intersective > ducky
Irregular compositionality
Examples: snow man, garbage man, sun man
Two nouns
compounds
Basic properties of syntactic structure
Necessary concepts
Constituents
Syntactic units that can be found within other units
Phrase structure rules
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