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Antecedent (grammar)
In grammar, an antecedent is an expression (word, phrase, clause, sentence, etc.) that gives its meaning to a proform (pronoun, pro-verb, pro-adverb, etc.). A proform takes its meaning from its antecedent; e.g., "John arrived late because traffic held him up." The pronoun ''him'' refers to and takes its meaning from ''John'', so ''John'' is the antecedent of ''him''. Proforms usually follow their antecedents, but sometimes they precede them, in which case one is, technically, dealing with postcedents instead of antecedents. The prefix ''ante-'' means "before" or "in front of", and ''post-'' means "after" or "behind". The term ''antecedent'' stems from traditional grammar. The linguistic term that is closely related to ''antecedent'' and ''proform'' is '' anaphora''. Theories of syntax explore the distinction between antecedents and postcedents in terms of binding. Examples Almost any syntactic category can serve as the antecedent to a proform. The following examples illustrate a ...
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Grammar
In linguistics, the grammar of a natural language is its set of structural constraints on speakers' or writers' composition of clauses, phrases, and words. The term can also refer to the study of such constraints, a field that includes domains such as phonology, morphology, and syntax, often complemented by phonetics, semantics, and pragmatics. There are currently two different approaches to the study of grammar: traditional grammar and theoretical grammar. Fluent speakers of a language variety or ''lect'' have effectively internalized these constraints, the vast majority of which – at least in the case of one's native language(s) – are acquired not by conscious study or instruction but by hearing other speakers. Much of this internalization occurs during early childhood; learning a language later in life usually involves more explicit instruction. In this view, grammar is understood as the cognitive information underlying a specific instance of language productio ...
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Pro-form
In linguistics, a pro-form is a type of function word or expression that stands in for (expresses the same content as) another word, phrase, clause or sentence where the meaning is recoverable from the context. They are used either to avoid repetitive expressions or in quantification (limiting the variables of a proposition). Pro-forms are divided into several categories, according to which part of speech they substitute: * A pronoun substitutes a noun or a noun phrase, with or without a determiner: ''it'', ''this''. * A pro-adjective substitutes an adjective or a phrase that functions as an adjective: ''so'' as in "It is less ''so'' than we had expected." * A pro-adverb substitutes an adverb or a phrase that functions as an adverb: ''how'' or ''this way''. * A pro-verb substitutes a verb or a verb phrase: ''do'', as in: "I will go to the party if you do". * A prop-word: ''one'', as in "the blue one" * A pro-sentence substitutes an entire sentence or subsentence: ''Yes'', or ...
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Anaphora (linguistics)
In linguistics, anaphora () is the use of an expression whose interpretation depends upon another expression in context (its antecedent or postcedent). In a narrower sense, anaphora is the use of an expression that depends specifically upon an antecedent expression and thus is contrasted with cataphora, which is the use of an expression that depends upon a postcedent expression. The anaphoric (referring) term is called an anaphor. For example, in the sentence ''Sally arrived, but nobody saw her'', the pronoun ''her'' is an anaphor, referring back to the antecedent ''Sally''. In the sentence ''Before her arrival, nobody saw Sally'', the pronoun ''her'' refers forward to the postcedent ''Sally'', so ''her'' is now a ''cataphor'' (and an anaphor in the broader, but not the narrower, sense). Usually, an anaphoric expression is a pro-form or some other kind of deictic (contextually dependent) expression. Both anaphora and cataphora are species of endophora, referring to something m ...
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Binding (linguistics)
In linguistics, binding is the phenomenon in which anaphoric elements such as pronouns are grammatically associated with their antecedents. For instance in the English sentence "Mary saw herself", the anaphor "herself" is bound by its antecedent "Mary". Binding can be licensed or blocked in certain contexts or syntactic configurations, e.g. the pronoun "her" cannot be bound by "Mary" in the English sentence "Mary saw her". While all languages have binding, restrictions on it vary even among closely related languages. Binding has been a major area of research in syntax and semantics since the 1970s, and was a major for the government and binding theory paradigm. Some basic examples and questions The following sentences illustrate some basic facts of binding. The words that bear the index i should be construed as referring to the same person or thing. ::a. Fredi is impressed with himselfi. – Indicated reading obligatory ::b. *Fredi is impressed with himi. – Indicated readin ...
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Syntactic Category
A syntactic category is a syntactic unit that theories of syntax assume. Word classes, largely corresponding to traditional parts of speech (e.g. noun, verb, preposition, etc.), are syntactic categories. In phrase structure grammars, the ''phrasal categories'' (e.g. noun phrase, verb phrase, prepositional phrase, etc.) are also syntactic categories. Dependency grammars, however, do not acknowledge phrasal categories (at least not in the traditional sense). Word classes considered as syntactic categories may be called ''lexical categories'', as distinct from phrasal categories. The terminology is somewhat inconsistent between the theoretical models of different linguists. However, many grammars also draw a distinction between ''lexical categories'' (which tend to consist of content words, or phrases headed by them) and ''functional categories'' (which tend to consist of function words or abstract functional elements, or phrases headed by them). The term ''lexical category'' therefore ...
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Constituent (linguistics)
In syntactic analysis, a constituent is a word or a group of words that function as a single unit within a hierarchical structure. The constituent structure of sentences is identified using ''tests for constituents''. These tests apply to a portion of a sentence, and the results provide evidence about the constituent structure of the sentence. Many constituents are phrases. A phrase is a sequence of one or more words (in some theories two or more) built around a head lexical item and working as a unit within a sentence. A word sequence is shown to be a phrase/constituent if it exhibits one or more of the behaviors discussed below. The analysis of constituent structure is associated mainly with phrase structure grammars, although dependency grammars also allow sentence structure to be broken down into constituent parts. Tests for constituents in English Tests for constituents are diagnostics used to identify sentence structure. There are numerous tests for constituents that are ...
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Relative Clause
A relative clause is a clause that modifies a noun or noun phraseRodney D. Huddleston, Geoffrey K. Pullum, ''A Student's Introduction to English Grammar'', CUP 2005, p. 183ff. and uses some grammatical device to indicate that one of the arguments in the relative clause refers to the noun or noun phrase. For example, in the sentence ''I met a man who wasn't too sure of himself'', the subordinate clause ''who wasn't too sure of himself'' is a relative clause since it modifies the noun ''man'' and uses the pronoun ''who'' to indicate that the same "man" is referred to in the subordinate clause (in this case as its subject). In many European languages, relative clauses are introduced by a special class of pronouns called '' relative pronouns'', such as ''who'' in the example just given. In other languages, relative clauses may be marked in different ways: they may be introduced by a special class of conjunctions called '' relativizers'', the main verb of the relative clause may appe ...
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Bryan Garner
Bryan Andrew Garner (born 1958) is an American lawyer, lexicographer, and teacher who has written more than two dozen books about English usage and style such as ''Garner's Modern English Usage'' for a general audience, and others for legal professionals. He also wrote two books with Justice Antonin Scalia: ''Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges'' (2008) and ''Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts'' (2012). The founder and president of LawProse Inc., he serves as Distinguished Research Professor of Law at Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law. He is also a lecturer at his alma mater, the University of Texas School of Law. Early life and education Garner was born on November 17, 1958, in Lubbock, Texas, and raised in Canyon, Texas. He attended the University of Texas at Austin, where he published excerpts from his senior thesis, notably "Shakespeare's Latinate Neologisms" and "Latin-Saxon Hybrids in Shakespeare and the Bible". After receiving hi ...
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Extraposition
Extraposition is a mechanism of syntax that alters word order in such a manner that a relatively "heavy" constituent appears to the right of its canonical position. Extraposing a constituent results in a discontinuity and in this regard, it is unlike shifting, which does not generate a discontinuity. The extraposed constituent is separated from its governor by one or more words that dominate its governor. Two types of extraposition are acknowledged in theoretical syntax: standard cases where extraposition is optional and ''it''-extraposition where extraposition is obligatory. Extraposition is motivated in part by a desire to reduce center embedding by increasing right- branching and thus easing processing, center-embedded structures being more difficult to process. Extraposition occurs frequently in English and related languages. Examples Standard cases of extraposition are optional, although at times the extraposed version of the sentence is strongly preferred. The followin ...
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Lucien Tesnière
Lucien Tesnière (; May 13, 1893 – December 6, 1954) was a prominent and influential French linguist. He was born in Mont-Saint-Aignan on May 13, 1893. As a maître de conférences (senior lecturer) in University of Strasbourg (1924), and later professor in University of Montpellier (1937), he published many papers and books on Slavic languages. However, his importance in the history of linguistics is based mainly on his development of an approach to the syntax of natural languages that would become known as dependency grammar. He presented his theory in his book ''Éléments de syntaxe structurale'' (Elements of Structural Syntax), published posthumously in 1959. In the book he proposes a sophisticated formalization of syntactic structures, supported by many examples from a diversity of languages. Tesnière died in Montpellier on December 6, 1954. Many central concepts that the modern study of syntax takes for granted were developed and presented in ''Éléments''. For inst ...
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Andrew Radford (linguist)
Andrew Radford is a British linguist known for his work in syntax and child language acquisition. His first important contribution to the field was a 1977 book on Italian syntax. He achieved international recognition in 1981 for his book ''Transformational Syntax'', which sold over 30,000 copies and was the standard introduction to Chomsky's Government and Binding Theory for many years; and this was followed by an introduction to transformational grammar in 1988, which sold over 70,000. He has since published several books on syntax within the framework of generative grammar and the Minimalist Program of Noam Chomsky, a number of which have appeared in the series Cambridge Textbooks in Linguistics. In the 1990s, Radford was a pioneer of the maturation-based structure building model of child language, and the acquisition of functional categories in early child English within the Principles and Parameters framework, in which children are seen as gradually building up more and ...
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Semantics
Semantics (from grc, σημαντικός ''sēmantikós'', "significant") is the study of reference, meaning, or truth. The term can be used to refer to subfields of several distinct disciplines, including philosophy, linguistics and computer science. History In English, the study of meaning in language has been known by many names that involve the Ancient Greek word (''sema'', "sign, mark, token"). In 1690, a Greek rendering of the term ''semiotics'', the interpretation of signs and symbols, finds an early allusion in John Locke's ''An Essay Concerning Human Understanding'': The third Branch may be called [''simeiotikí'', "semiotics"], or the Doctrine of Signs, the most usual whereof being words, it is aptly enough termed also , Logick. In 1831, the term is suggested for the third branch of division of knowledge akin to Locke; the "signs of our knowledge". In 1857, the term '' semasiology'' (borrowed from German ''Semasiologie'') is attested in Josiah W. Gibb ...
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