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Midterm Prep (Definitions, Matching, and Short Answers)

Course Code
Anne St- Amand
Study Guide

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Lecture 1
• You should be able to define prescriptivism and descriptivism, and be able to associate a given viewpoint with one or the other
Prescriptivism: how people ought to speak; some ways of speaking are better than others
Descriptivism: no type of English is better, or more logical or clearer than any other
Lecture 2
• You should be able to define morpheme
The smallest unit of meaning
• You should be able to define and identify cran- morphemes
The bound root morphemes that cannot stand alone (it’s only when they’re in combination with other morphemes that they have
• You should be able to define constituent
The words being part of groups (some words have a closer connection with one another than with other words in the sentence)
Lecture 3
• You should be able to define deictic and anaphoric
Deictic (=pointing): pronouns that inflect the nearness of the referent that is either proximal (here, this etc) or distal (there, that)
Anaphoric: pronouns that are used to refer back to something that was said
Lecture 4
• You should be able to define subject and predicate, and be able to split up a sentence accordingly
Subject: the agent ordoer
Predicate: everything else that is not the subject
Lecture 5
• You should be able to define deferred preposition and identify one in a sentence
In inverted wh-questions, the preposition of the sentence is not moved while the noun phrases nested inside of the PP is moved.
• You should be able to define imprecative and label a sentence accordingly
A sub-type of imperative that is used for making insults, curses and abusive comments; the difference from normal imperative is that it
lacks an overt subject (no implicityou”) such asGod damn X
Lecture 6
• You should be able to define negator and operator, and recognize instances of them
Negator: the marking with affixes or words to make the meaning of the sentence negative
Operator: some negators that need do-support; auxiliaries, lexical be or have
2)Matching and Short Answers
Lecture 1
• You should be familiar with the arguments for the importance of studying English grammar
Can figure out what someone has to have in their brains to be able to speak English as well as how children get there; typology
(grouping languages according to similarities), speech therapy, foreign language learning, etc.
• You should understand what is meant by dialect, variety, language and native speaker
Dialect: we all speak dialects which together make up the English language
Native speaker: someone who learned English first, or very early; for linguist, intuitions and judgments of native speakers are data
• You should know the difference between Standard and non-standard English, and be able to associate them with linguistic features such
as double negation, the use of aint, sentence initial prepositions, and the use of whom
• You should be familiar with the concept of grammaticality, be able to recognize when a sentence is ungrammatical, and be familiar with
the * formalism
See slides
• You should know the branches of linguistics, and what each studies
Phonetics: inventory of sounds

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Phonology: patterning of sounds
Morphology: structure of words (about the smallest meaningful parts)
Syntax: structure of sentences
Semantics: meaning of words and sentences
Pragmatics: meaning meets the real world
Lecture 2
• You should know the difference between bound and free morphemes
Free: morphemes that can stand alone
Bound: morphemes that need to be attached to another morpheme (ie: -s)
• You should know the difference between roots and affixes
Roots: free morphemes
Affixes: most bound morphemes
• You should be familiar with the three kinds of affixes: prefixes, suffixes and infixes
Prefixes: before the root
Suffixes: after the root
Infixes: inside the root
• You should know the difference between grammatical/functional morphemes and lexical morphemes
Grammatical (functional) morphemes: most bound morphemes – abstract meaning, can express relations between lexical morphemes
Lexical morphemes: many free morphemes – have meanings by themselves
• You should know the difference between lexical and derivational affixes
Inflectional affixes: gives grammatical information such as number, tense (-s); very few in English; mostly all suffixes
Derivational affixes: change the meaning or category of the root (un: opposite / V to N); lots in English
• You should be familiar with the process of conversion/zero derivation
Often possible to change the category of root WITHOUT adding an affix (butter: N to V / drink: V to N); or by stress shift
• You should be able to analyze a sentence by splitting it into morphemes and labeling them according to the distinctions above
See Practice Exam
• You should be familiar with compounding, and be able to identify compounds
Words that are made up of more than one free morpheme (ie: ice cream); derivational process; some rare compounds that can’t stand
alone (ie: cran-morpheme)
• You should understand the purpose of constituency tests, and the general method behind their application
To figure out the structure of English sentences
Basic method: Identify the string to be tested apply the specified test or the test youve chosen determine whether the result is
grammatical if it is grammatical, then the string is a constituent
• You should be able to apply the substitution test, the fronting version of the movement test, the clefting version of the movement test and
the question test
See Practice Exam
• You should be able to recognize the application of the unit of sense test, the co-ordination test, the reduction test, the omission test and
the intrusion test
Unit of sense test: semantic judgment (not based on grammaticality judgment) using wh-question words
Co-ordination test: link and, but, and or to co-ordinate sequences of words or phrases
Reduction test: similar to substitution test; reduce the string to one of its own words
Omission test: only the sequence of words that make up a constituent can be omitted; ungrammatical sentence does not necessarily
mean that the string is not a constituent
• You should be able to distinguish lexical and structural ambiguity
See Practice Exam
• You should be able to use constituency tests to disambiguate the meanings of a structurally ambiguous sentence
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