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Gradience in Grammar

Gradience in Grammar PDF Author: Gisbert Fanselow
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199274797
Category : Language Arts & Disciplines
Languages : en
Pages : 405

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Book Description
This book represents the state of the art in the study of gradience in grammar - the degree to which utterances are acceptable or grammatical, and the relationship between acceptability and grammaticality. Gradience is at the centre of controversial issues in the theory of grammar and the understanding of language. The acceptability of words and sentences may be linked to the frequency of their use and measured on a scale. Among the questions considered in the book are: whether such measures are beyond the scope of a generative grammar or, in other words, whether the factors influencing acceptability are internal or external to grammar; whether observed gradience is a property of the mentally represented grammar or a reflection of variation among speakers; and what gradient phenomena reveal about the relationship between acceptability and grammaticality, and between competence and performance. The book is divided into four parts. Part I seeks to clarify the nature of gradience from the perspectives of phonology, generative syntax, psycholinguistics, and sociolinguistics. Parts II and III examine issues in phonology and syntax. Part IV considers long wh-movement from different methodological perspectives. The data discussed comes from a wide range of languages and dialects, and includes tone and stress patterns, word order variation, and question formation. Gradience in Grammar will interest linguists concerned with the understanding of syntax, phonology, language acquisition and variation, discourse, and the operations of language within the mind.

Gradience in Grammar

Gradience in Grammar PDF Author: Gisbert Fanselow
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199274797
Category : Language Arts & Disciplines
Languages : en
Pages : 405

View

Book Description
This book represents the state of the art in the study of gradience in grammar - the degree to which utterances are acceptable or grammatical, and the relationship between acceptability and grammaticality. Gradience is at the centre of controversial issues in the theory of grammar and the understanding of language. The acceptability of words and sentences may be linked to the frequency of their use and measured on a scale. Among the questions considered in the book are: whether such measures are beyond the scope of a generative grammar or, in other words, whether the factors influencing acceptability are internal or external to grammar; whether observed gradience is a property of the mentally represented grammar or a reflection of variation among speakers; and what gradient phenomena reveal about the relationship between acceptability and grammaticality, and between competence and performance. The book is divided into four parts. Part I seeks to clarify the nature of gradience from the perspectives of phonology, generative syntax, psycholinguistics, and sociolinguistics. Parts II and III examine issues in phonology and syntax. Part IV considers long wh-movement from different methodological perspectives. The data discussed comes from a wide range of languages and dialects, and includes tone and stress patterns, word order variation, and question formation. Gradience in Grammar will interest linguists concerned with the understanding of syntax, phonology, language acquisition and variation, discourse, and the operations of language within the mind.

Syntactic Gradience

Syntactic Gradience PDF Author: Bas Aarts
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199219265
Category : Language Arts & Disciplines
Languages : en
Pages : 280

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Book Description
This is the first exhaustive investigation of gradience in syntax, conceived of as grammatical indeterminacy. It looks at gradience in English word classes, phrases, clauses and constructions, and examines how it may be recognized, defined, and differentiated. Bas Aarts considers the degree to which gradience is a grammatical phenomenon or a by-product of imperfect linguistic description, and makes a series of linked proposals for its theoretical formalization. His book will appeal to scholars and students of language and syntactic theory in departments of linguistics, philosophy and cognitive science.

Gradience in Grammar

Gradience in Grammar PDF Author: Frank Keller
Publisher:
ISBN:
Category :
Languages : en
Pages :

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Book Description
This thesis deals with gradience in grammar, i.e., with the fact that some linguistic structures are not fully acceptable or unacceptable, but receive gradient linguistic judgments. The importance of gradient data for linguistic theory has been recognized at least since Chomsky's Logical Structure of Linguistic Theory. However, systematic empirical studies of gradience are largely absent, and none of the major theoretical frameworks is designed to account for gradient data. The present thesis addresses both questions. In the experimental part of the thesis (Chapters 3-5), we present a set of magnitude estimation experiments investigating gradience in grammar. The experiments deal with unaccusativity/unergativity, extraction, binding, word order, and gapping. They cover all major modules of syntactic theory, and draw on data from three languages (English, German, and Greek). In the theoretical part of thesis (Chapters 6 and 7), we use these experimental results to motivate a model of gradience in grammar. This model is a variant of Optimality Theory, and explains gradience in terms of the competition of ranked, violable linguistic constraints. The experimental studies in this thesis deliver two main results. First, they demonstrate that an experimental investigation of gradient phenomena can advance linguistic theory by uncovering acceptability distinctions that have gone unnoticed in the theoretical literature. An experimental approach can also settle data disputes that result from the informal data collection techniques typically employed in theoretical linguistics, which are not well-suited to investigate the behavior of gradient linguistic data. Second, we identify a set of general properties of gradient data that seem to be valid for a wide range of syntactic phenomena and across languages. (a) Linguistic constraints are ranked, in the sense that some constraint violations lead to a greater degree of unacceptability than others. (b) Constraint violations are cumulative, i.e., the degree of unacceptability of a structure increases with the number of constraints it violates. (c) Two constraint types can be distinguished experimentally: soft constraints lead to mild unacceptability when violated, while hard constraint violations trigger serious unacceptability. (d) The hard/soft distinction can be diagnosed by testing for effects from the linguistic context; context effects only occur for soft constraints; hard constraints are immune to contextual variation. (e) The soft/hard distinction is crosslinguistically stable. In the theoretical part of the thesis, we develop a model of gradient grammaticality that borrows central concepts from Optimality Theory, a competition-based grammatical framework. We propose an extension, Linear Optimality Theory, motivated by our experimental results on constraint ranking and the cumulativity of violations. The core assumption of our model is that the relative grammaticality of a structure is determined by the weighted sum of the violations it incurs. We show that the parameters of the model (the constraint weights), can be estimated using the least square method, a standard model fitting algorithm. Furthermore, we prove that standard Optimality Theory is a special case of Linear Optimality Theory. To test the validity of Linear Optimality Theory, we use it to model data from the experimental part of the thesis, including data on extraction, gapping, and word order. For all data sets, a high model fit is obtained and it is demonstrated that the model's predictions generalize to unseen data. On a theoretical level, our modeling results show that certain properties of gradient data (the hard/soft distinction, context effects, and crosslinguistic effects) do not have to be stipulated, but follow from core assumptions of Linear Optimality Theory.

Gradient Acceptability and Linguistic Theory

Gradient Acceptability and Linguistic Theory PDF Author: Elaine J. Francis
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0192898949
Category :
Languages : en
Pages : 288

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Book Description
This volume examines the interpretation of gradient judgments of sentence acceptability in relation to theories of grammatical knowledge. It uses experimental and corpus-based research, along with a range of case studies, to argue for a new approach to this crucial problem.

Gradience, Gradualness and Grammaticalization

Gradience, Gradualness and Grammaticalization PDF Author: Elizabeth Closs Traugott
Publisher: John Benjamins Publishing
ISBN: 9027206716
Category : Language Arts & Disciplines
Languages : en
Pages : 306

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Book Description
This volume, which emerged from a workshop at the "New Reflections on Grammaticalization 4" conference held at KU Leuven in July 2008, contains a collection of papers which investigate the relationship between synchronic gradience and the apparent gradualness of linguistic change, largely from the perspective of grammaticalization. In addition to versions of the papers presented at the workshop, the volume contains specially commissioned contributions, some of which offer commentaries on a subset of the other articles. The articles address a number of themes central to grammaticalization studies, such as the role of reanalysis and analogy in grammaticalization, the formal modelling of grammaticalization, and the relationship between formal and functional change, using data from a range of languages, and (in some cases) from particular electronic corpora. The volume will be of specific interest to historical linguists working on grammaticalization, and general linguists working on the interface between synchrony and diachrony.

Formal Grammar

Formal Grammar PDF Author: Philippe de Groote
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 3642201687
Category : Computers
Languages : en
Pages : 215

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Book Description
This book constitutes the refereed proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Formal Grammar 2009, held in Bordeaux, France, in July 2009. The 13 revised full papers presented, including two invited talks, were carefully reviewed and selected from 26 submissions. These articles in this book give an overview of new and original research on formal grammar, mathematical linguistics and the application of formal and mathematical methods to the study of natural language.

Linguistic Intuitions

Linguistic Intuitions PDF Author: Samuel Schindler
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0192577050
Category : Language Arts & Disciplines
Languages : en
Pages : 304

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Book Description
This book examines the evidential status and use of linguistic intuitions, a topic that has seen increased interest in recent years. Linguists use native speakers' intuitions - such as whether or not an utterance sounds acceptable - as evidence for theories about language, but this approach is not uncontroversial. The two parts of this volume draw on the most recent work in both philosophy and linguistics to explore the two major issues at the heart of the debate. Chapters in the first part address the 'justification question', critically analysing and evaluating the theoretical rationale for the evidential use of linguistic intuitions. The second part discusses recent developments in the domain of experimental syntax, focusing on the question of whether gathering intuitions experimentally is epistemically and methodologically superior to the informal methods that have traditionally been used. The volume provides valuable insights into whether and how linguistic intuitions can be used in theorizing about language, and will be of interest to graduate students and researchers in linguistics, philosophy, and cognitive science.

The Syntax of Argument Structure

The Syntax of Argument Structure PDF Author: Artemis Alexiadou
Publisher: Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG
ISBN: 3110757346
Category : Language Arts & Disciplines
Languages : en
Pages : 209

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Book Description
Bridging theoretical modelling and advanced empirical techniques is a central aim of current linguistic research. The progress in empirical methods contributes to the precise estimation of the properties of linguistic data and promises new ways for justifying theoretical models and testing their implications. The contributions to the present collective volume take up this challenge and focus on the relevance of empirical results achieved through up-to-date methodology for the theoretical analysis and modelling of argument structure. They tackle issues of argument structure from different perspectives addressing questions related to diverse verb types (unaccusatives, unergatives, (di)transitives, psych verbs), morpho-syntactic operations (prefixation, simple vs. particle verbs), case distinctions (dative vs. accusative, case vs. prepositions), argument and voice alternations (dative vs. benefactive alternation, active vs. passive), word order alternations and the impact of animacy, agentivity, and eventivity on argument structure. The volume will be of interest to theoretical linguists, psycholinguists, and corpus linguists interested in the syntax of argument structure and its modelling using precise empirical methods.

Interfaces in Functional Discourse Grammar

Interfaces in Functional Discourse Grammar PDF Author: Lucia Contreras-GarcĂ­a
Publisher: Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG
ISBN: 3110711591
Category : Language Arts & Disciplines
Languages : en
Pages : 457

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Book Description
In grammar design, a basic distinction is made between derivational and modular architectures. This raises the question of which organization of grammar can deal with linguistic phenomena more appropriately. The studies contained in the present volume explore the interface relations between different levels of linguistic representation in Functional Discourse Grammar as presented in Hengeveld and Mackenzie (2008) and Keizer (2015). This theory analyses linguistic expressions at four linguistic levels: interpersonal, representational, morphosyntactic and phonological. The articles address issues such as the possible correspondences and mismatches between those levels as well as the conditions which constrain the combinations of levels in well-formed expressions. Additionally, the theory is tested by examining various grammatical phenomena with a focus both on the English language and on typological adequacy: anaphora, raising, phonological reduction, noun incorporation, reflexives and reciprocals, serial verbs, the passive voice, time measurement constructions, coordination, nominal modification, and connectives. Overall, the volume provides both theoretical and descriptive insights which are of relevance to linguistics in general.

Kaleidoscopic Grammar

Kaleidoscopic Grammar PDF Author: Junichi Toyota
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
ISBN: 1527554775
Category : Social Science
Languages : en
Pages : 199

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Book Description
This monograph deals with binary features in the evolution of human civilisation and cognition, with a particular focus on language. Our life is surrounded by various pairs of binary features, and this is termed binarism in this work. Binarism is pervasive, ranging from nature (biological) to culture (anthropological and archaeological) and, without a doubt, to language. Binarim serves as a good base for further development, and as a system becomes more complex, binarism is broken and more complex systems involving third or fourth options emerge. In the case of language, the earliest human language, as argued here, consisted only of nouns; however, these nouns had a distinction between active and inactive nouns. The active nouns referred to action or productivity, which later turned into verbs and inactive nouns stayed as nouns. It was during this period that language became equipped with a base to develop further with a distinction between noun and verb. This is the onset of various changes towards the complexity of modern languages, essentially, kaleidoscopic grammar. Various changes in language stem from binarism, and as languages evolve, the pairs such as noun v. verb are broken and a grammatical system in general becomes more complex. The importance of binarism is not restricted to language and it is a powerful tool in evolution at different levels. The pervasiveness of binarism is a specific feature that should not be overlooked in evolution as a whole.