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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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Syntax
In linguistics, syntax () is the study of how words and morphemes combine to form larger units such as phrases and sentences. Central concerns of syntax include word order, grammatical relations, hierarchical sentence structure ( constituency), agreement, the nature of crosslinguistic variation, and the relationship between form and meaning (semantics). There are numerous approaches to syntax that differ in their central assumptions and goals. Etymology The word ''syntax'' comes from Ancient Greek roots: "coordination", which consists of ''syn'', "together", and ''táxis'', "ordering". Topics The field of syntax contains a number of various topics that a syntactic theory is often designed to handle. The relation between the topics is treated differently in different theories, and some of them may not be considered to be distinct but instead to be derived from one another (i.e. word order can be seen as the result of movement rules derived from grammatical relations). ...
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Topicalization
Topicalization is a mechanism of syntax that establishes an expression as the sentence or clause topic by having it appear at the front of the sentence or clause (as opposed to in a canonical position further to the right). This involves a phrasal movement of determiners, prepositions, and verbs to sentence-initial position. Topicalization often results in a discontinuity and is thus one of a number of established discontinuity types, the other three being ''wh''-fronting, scrambling, and extraposition. Topicalization is also used as a constituency test; an expression that can be topicalized is deemed a constituent. The topicalization of arguments in English is rare, whereas circumstantial adjuncts are often topicalized. Most languages allow topicalization, and in some languages, topicalization occurs much more frequently and/or in a much less marked manner than in English. Topicalization in English has also received attention in the pragmatics literature. Examples Typical cas ...
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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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Non-finite Verb
A nonfinite verb is a derivative form of a verb unlike finite verbs. Accordingly, nonfinite verb forms are inflected for neither number nor person, and they cannot perform action as the root of an independent clause. In English, nonfinite verbs include infinitives, participles and gerunds. Nonfinite verb forms in some other languages include converbs, gerundives and supines. Formally, nonfinite verb forms lack the three grammatical features ( mood, tense and voice) that are "associated, independently or relatively, with ... the act of predication." Generally, they also lack a subject dependent. One or more nonfinite verbs may be associated with a finite verb in a finite clause: the elements of a verb catena, or verb chain. Because English lacks most inflectional morphology, the finite and the nonfinite forms of a verb may appear the same in a given context. Examples The following sentences each contain one finite verb (underlined) and multiple nonfinite verbs (in bold): ...
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Finite Verb
Traditionally, a finite verb (from la, fīnītus, past participle of to put an end to, bound, limit) is the form "to which number and person appertain", in other words, those inflected for number and person. Verbs were originally said to be ''finite'' if their form limited the possible person and number of the subject. A more recent concept treats a finite verb as any verb that heads a simple declarative sentence. Under that newer articulation, finite verbs often constitute the locus of grammatical information regarding gender, person, number, tense, aspect, mood, and voice. Finite verbs are distinguished from non-finite verbs, such as infinitives, participles, gerunds etc., which generally mark these grammatical categories to a lesser degree or not at all, and which appear below the finite verb in the hierarchy of syntactic structure. Examples The finite verbs are in bold in the following sentences, and the non-finite verbs are underlined: : Verbs appear in almost all senten ...
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Catena (linguistics)
In linguistics, a catena (English pronunciation: , plural catenas or catenae; from Latin for "chain") is a unit of syntax and morphology, closely associated with dependency grammars. It is a more flexible and inclusive unit than the constituent and may therefore be better suited than the constituent to serve as the fundamental unit of syntactic and morphosyntactic analysis. The catena has served as the basis for the analysis of a number of phenomena of syntax, such as idiosyncratic meaning, ellipsis mechanisms (e.g. gapping, stripping, VP-ellipsis, pseudogapping, sluicing, answer ellipsis, comparative deletion), predicate-argument structures, and discontinuities (topicalization, wh-fronting, scrambling, extraposition, etc.). The catena concept has also been taken as the basis for a theory of morphosyntax, i.e. for the extension of dependencies into words; dependencies are acknowledged between the morphs that constitute words. While the catena concept has been applied main ...
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Constituent (linguistics) 3
Constituent or constituency may refer to: Politics * An individual voter within an electoral district, state, community, or organization * Advocacy group or constituency * Constituent assembly * Constituencies of Namibia Other meanings * Constituent (linguistics), a word or a group of words that function as a single unit within a hierarchical structure * Constituent quark, a current quark with a notional "covering" See also * Ingredient * Part (other) Part, parts or PART may refer to: People *Armi Pärt (born 1991), Estonian handballer *Arvo Pärt (born 1935), Estonian classical composer * Brian Part (born 1962), American child actor * Dealtry Charles Part (1882–1961), sheriff (1926–1927) ...
{{Disambiguation ...
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Constituents (linguistics) Picture 1
Constituent or constituency may refer to: Politics * An individual voter within an electoral district, state, community, or organization * Advocacy group or constituency * Constituent assembly * Constituencies of Namibia Other meanings * Constituent (linguistics), a word or a group of words that function as a single unit within a hierarchical structure * Constituent quark, a current quark with a notional "covering" See also * Ingredient * Part (other) Part, parts or PART may refer to: People *Armi Pärt (born 1991), Estonian handballer *Arvo Pärt (born 1935), Estonian classical composer * Brian Part (born 1962), American child actor * Dealtry Charles Part (1882–1961), sheriff (1926–1927) ...
{{Disambiguation ...
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Right Node Raising
In linguistics, the term right node raising (RNR) denotes a sharing mechanism that sees the material to the immediate right of parallel structures being in some sense "shared" by those parallel structures, e.g. '' am likesbut red dislikesthe debates''. The parallel structures of RNR are typically the conjuncts of a coordinate structure, although the phenomenon is not limited to coordination, since it can also appear with parallel structures that do not involve coordination. The term ''right node raising'' itself is due to Postal (1974). Postal assumed that the parallel structures are complete clauses below the surface. The shared constituent was then raised rightward out of each conjunct of the coordinate structure and attached as a single constituent to the structure above the level of the conjuncts, hence "right node raising" was occurring in a literal sense. While the term ''right node raising'' survives, the actual analysis that Postal proposed is not (or no longer) widely accep ...
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Subject (grammar)
The subject in a simple English sentence such as ''John runs'', ''John is a teacher'', or ''John drives a car'', is the person or thing about whom the statement is made, in this case ''John''. Traditionally the subject is the word or phrase which controls the verb in the clause, that is to say with which the verb agrees (''John is'' but ''John and Mary are''). If there is no verb, as in ''John what an idiot!'', or if the verb has a different subject, as in ''John I can't stand him!'', then 'John' is not considered to be the grammatical subject, but can be described as the '' topic'' of the sentence. While these definitions apply to simple English sentences, defining the subject is more difficult in more complex sentences and in languages other than English. For example, in the sentence ''It is difficult to learn French'', the subject seems to be the word ''it'', and yet arguably the real subject (the thing that is difficult) is ''to learn French''. A sentence such as ''It was ...
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Object (grammar)
In linguistics, an object is any of several types of arguments. In subject-prominent, nominative-accusative languages such as English, a transitive verb typically distinguishes between its subject and any of its objects, which can include but are not limited to direct objects, indirect objects, and arguments of adpositions ( prepositions or postpositions); the latter are more accurately termed ''oblique arguments'', thus including other arguments not covered by core grammatical roles, such as those governed by case morphology (as in languages such as Latin) or relational nouns (as is typical for members of the Mesoamerican Linguistic Area). In ergative-absolutive languages, for example most Australian Aboriginal languages, the term "subject" is ambiguous, and thus the term "agent" is often used instead to contrast with "object", such that basic word order is often spoken of in terms such as Agent-Object-Verb (AOV) instead of Subject-Object-Verb (SOV). Topic-prominent lan ...
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Clefting
A cleft sentence is a complex sentence (one having a main clause and a dependent clause) that has a meaning that could be expressed by a simple sentence. Clefts typically put a particular constituent into focus. In spoken language, this focusing is often accompanied by a special intonation. In English, a cleft sentence can be constructed as follows: :''it'' + conjugated form of ''to be'' + ''X'' + subordinate clause where ''it'' is a cleft pronoun and ''X'' is usually a noun phrase (although it can also be a prepositional phrase, and in some cases an adjectival or adverbial phrase). The focus is on ''X'', or else on the subordinate clause or some element of it. For example: *''It's Joey (whom) we're looking for.'' *''It's money that I love.'' *''It was from John that she heard the news.'' Furthermore, one might also describe a cleft sentence as inverted. That is to say, it has its dependent clause in front of the main clause. So, rather than: Example: *''We didn't meet her until ...
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