Analyzing Grammar: An Introduction (Cambridge Textbooks in Linguistics)

Analyzing Grammar: An Introduction (Cambridge Textbooks in Linguistics)

Language: English

Pages: 384

ISBN: 0521016533

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Covering both syntax (the structure of phrases and sentences) and morphology (the structure of words), this book equips students with the tools and methods needed to analyze grammatical patterns in any language. Students are shown how to use standard notational devices such as phrase structure trees and word-formation rules, as well as prose descriptions. Emphasis is placed on comparing the different grammatical systems of the world's languages, and students are encouraged to practice the analyses through a diverse range of problem sets and exercises.

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with the language-specific evidence. With respect to Phrase Structure, this means assuming a flat clause structure unless we find specific evidence supporting a VP constituent in a particular language. Another question that arises in the analysis of English is the position of the auxiliary verb (AUX). Here the evidence is slightly more ambiguous, and several different analyses have been proposed over the years. Without going into the details of the debate, we will assume that the AUX in English

subject), A (transitive subject), and P (transitive object). There are gaps in the chart, due to the limited amount of data in these examples, but we can see that wherever we have all three forms for a given person and number, the S and P forms are the same while the A form is different. For this reason we refer to the two sets of affixes as ergative vs. absolutive agreement, rather than subject vs. object agreement. The complete set of Tabulahan agreement affixes is displayed in the partial

past pe r f e c t (or pluperfect ) indicates that a given situation was completed before and relevant to some reference point in the past, as in (34b). The future perfect indicates that a given situation will be completed before and relevant to some reference point in the future, as in (34c). (34) a Present perfect: My secretary has destroyed the evidence. b Past perfect (pluperfect): When the police arrived, my secretary had (already) destroyed the evidence. c Future perfect: Before the police

acts. Modality expresses (i) the speaker’s attitude toward the proposition being expressed (e.g. his degree of certainty about whether it is true or not); or (ii) the actor’s relationship to the described situation (e.g. whether he is under some kind of obligation to act in a certain way). Some languages have a special mood for softened commands or exhortation, often called the hortative . Hortative mood is often used with first person inclusive reference, as in the English pattern Let’s go!

semantically it is essentially empty. For this reason it is often referred to as a linking verb, or copula. The meaning of the clause is determined 173 174 Analyzing Grammar: An Introduction by the phrase which follows the linking verb, e.g. in love or eager to play in (2a). This phrase is called a p r e d i c at e c o m p l e m e n t, for reasons to be discussed in section 10.1.1. The linking verb contributes very little to the meaning of a sentence, but it does satisfy a basic requirement

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