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University of Toronto St. George

Syntax - A way to combine words into sentences Grammatical vs. ungrammatical - An utterance is grammatical if native speakers judge it to be a possible sentence of their language Universal grammar - Categories, operations, and principles shared by all languages - Syntactic component of grammar = lexicon + computational system Lexicon - A speakers mental dictionary Computation system - Operations responsible for arranging words in particular ways - Ex. move, merge Categories and structures - Syntactic categories are simply categories of words Lexical categories Examples AKA content words Noun (N) Jingwei, girl, she, laptop, bookshelf Verb (V) Exercise, love, exhaust, sleep, read, write Adjective (A) Vain, ridiculous, perpetual, pulchritudinous Preposition (P) On, under, near, in, out, at, by, to Adverb (Adv) Quickly, quietly, quintessentially, quizzically Non-lexical categories Examples AKA function words Determiner (Det) A, the, this, these, no Degree word (Deg) So, too, very, more, quite Auxiliary (Aux) Modal Will, would, can, could, may, must, should Non-modal Be, have, do Conjunction (Con) And, or, but Determining syntactic category meaning - Nouns denote entities; verbs actions, sensations, and states; adjectives properties and attributes - Problematic when meaning does not readily indicate category Determining syntactic category inflection - Inflectional affixes o Nouns: plural s and possessive s
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