Saturday, May 18, 2013

Syntactic Relations

Syntactic Relations

v Meaning of Syntactic relations:-
            Sentence is a series of words and grammar is connected with analysis of these structure and regular patterns of sentences. A word is a basic grammatical unit and grammar deals with the inter-relations of words in a sentence. This is the province of Syntax. Syntax is the important part of grammar. In the past sentence, structure was given less important than word structure, and it is sometimes badly neglected in teaching of languages. Languages very form one another in the mater of word formation. Latin, ancient Greek and Sanskrit have a great deal of such variation.  The confusion of grammar with morphology leads to the absurd statements such as ‘English has less grammar than Latin’. And that ‘Chinese has no grammar”. If a language has no grammar, no order of words in sentence. It would be very difficult to learn it by native speaker or a by a foreigner. Even two persons can not understand each other properly.
“A language without grammar is like a body without soul.”

            Morphology and syntax of sentence may vary from language to language, but the syntactic classification and ordering of words in sentences are essential parts of the grammar of every language. For example, in English a sentence may be ‘the men eat’, but it can not be ‘men to eat’. This shows the essential basis of syntax. The words can not be put together in any order. The total meaning of a sentence depends on word-order as we find in the pair of sentence such as ‘the tigers killed the hunter’ and ‘the hunter killed the tigers.’

v Three classes
            Syntactic relations are fundamentally very simple. They fall into three classes, position relations, relation of co-occurrence and relation of substitutability. 
  1. The positional relations are overt relations. They deal with the comparison of ordered series of sentences with one another.
  2. Secondly by relations of co-occurrence means that the words of different sets may permit the occurrence of a word of another set to form a sentence. Thus in English words of class, ‘man’, ‘horse’ may be followed by words of class ‘eat’, ‘live’ etc. the strong horse’ is the only permitted order of these three words.
  3. The third relation substitutability means the sets of words substitutable for each in the same sentence structure. In English the group ‘the man’ is substitutable for ‘man’ , strong man’ is also substitutable  for ‘man’. In ‘the came yesterday’, ‘came’, could be substituted in the place of yesterday’. ‘he came’ is a sentence but not ‘yesterday he’.

            In a language words could be classified into word-classes according to their syntactic relations with one another in sentences. In English, we find classes such as horse-horses, maintains-maintain-maintaining-maintained- and hot-hottest as well as strictly limited classes such as, I, me we, us, he him, thy, them etc.

            Similarly some words have syntactic relations with one another such as, ‘pretty tree’ and ‘beautiful tree’, ‘big house and sizable house, hotter climate and more temperate climate. These are the examines of syntactic grouping of words. Thus on can say in English, ‘this is a tree’, this is a pretty this, this a beautiful tree, this a prettier tree and this is more beautiful tree. This shows adjective noun or adverb- adjective +noun relationship. There can be adverb-adjective groups of words also.

            Some words form a group by the use of preposition. The preposition such as at, with, from, precede nouns to form groups substitutable for adverb for example, he came with speech, he came quickly, he will discuss it at supper he will discuss it then, he comes form London, he comes often etc. these words are usually called prepositions and are distinguished such by this syntactic function. Sentences ending with preposition are very common such as Where have you come from? What are you at? And what you up to?

·         use of conjunctions.
            Still there are other groups of words by the use of conjunctions. They are preceded a conjunction, otherwise they could considered as complete independent sentences, such as ,He will have it if he sees it, he came home because he feel ill, he came gone quickly as he was tired,
            Grammatically speaking, words are classified under the title part of speech, noun, verb, pronoun, adjective, adverb, preposition, conjunction , article and interjection.

·         their different formal behaviour
            Further; words are classified by their different formal behaviour. This means that some words are classified under more than one head. The classes, noun, verb and adjective are required for words like death, pursue, and malicious. All these three words belong to one class only. While words like ‘work’ belongs both to the noun and verb classes, as he works well, his word is good, their works are good. In a dictionary also such words have different entries. Side by side the words like ‘mature’ belong to the verb and the adjective classes such as the scheme is maturing, he is a mature artist. Words like; choice; belong to the adjective and noun classes such as the choicest flowers and his choice is fine.

            The English word ‘round’ belong to five classes,
  1. noun in ‘one round is enough’,
  2. verb ‘you round the bend quickly’,
  3. adjective in ‘a round tower’,
  4.  adverb in he wandered around the garden.
·         membership
            Word classes may be open or closed in membership. In open class the membership is principally unlimited. It varies from time to time and between one speaker and another. Most of the loan-words and newly created words belong to open class. Closed classes contain a fixed and usually small number of member words which are the same for all the speakers of language or the dialect. In English, noun, adjectives, adverbs and verbs are open classes; pronoun, preposition and conjunctions are closed classes.

v  Immediate Constituents:-

            Sentence are not merely strings of word in an acceptable order and ‘making sense’ they are arranged in successive components which are made of groups of words and of single words, these groups and sing words are called constituents. When they are considered as separate parts of sentence, they are called ‘immediate constituents’.

IC Analysis – Bloomfield
            Immediate Constituent Analysis is a strong method of analyzing a sentence linguistically. It finds out ultimate constituents of a sentence and their relationship with one another. The constituents are nothing but he morphemes or group of morphemes which form and resentences. This method is now as IC Analysis – Bloomfield introduced this method 1939. For example, he look u p the sentence ‘poor john ran away; and splits it up to into two immediate constituent, ‘poor john’ and ‘ran away’. These could be further divided into poor, John, ran, and away. So a sentence is not a sequence or a string of elements. This is made quite clear in the from of the following diagrams.


            Thus the IC Analysis separates the sub-parts of a sentence. The above sentence is made upon of four morphs which may be defined as the minimum syntactic units.

            These morphemes are the ultimate of sentence. The words ‘ultimate constituents’ imply that these elements could not be further analyzed. If we further analyze them, we will enter the realm of phonology. A jumble of a morphemes might not have produced a sentence, such as , ‘away john poor ran’, ‘each human language has its permissible ways of organizing morphemes in sentences. Each langue has its ‘linear’ structure that way the words ‘poor joy ran away’ are tied together. That way, morphemes, words, phrases, and classes are all constituent of sentences.

            The best method to show this to use principle of the family tree in which tree diagram and branching have become technical term in IC analysis. For the sentence “A white girl followed the black man”. The tree diagram would be


Transformation-generative linguistics:-
            Linguistics is very old. But the period between 1930-1950 is an important period which is known as Bloomfieldian period, however, in the recent times, we find further development in this field. Some linguists have developed now ways of studying language. Now development is kind of reaction to Bloomfield. The four most prominent post Bloomfieldian theories are transformational linguistics.

            Noan Chomsky plays an important part in the development of the transformational-generative linguistics. His books “syntactic structures” (1957) and “aspects of the theory of syntax” (1957) reveal this theory. TGL has attracted the attention of many linguists all over the u.s., the u.k. and other European countries.

            T.G. linguist holds that a linguistic description of a natural language is an attempt to reveal the nature of fluent speaker’s mastery over that language. According to Bloomfield, man is born with a capacity to learn any language. Language is a mechanical process.

            Transformation means “transforming one sentence into another, a deep structure into a surface structure’. For example an active sentence is ‘kernel’, while a passive sentence is a transformed sentences. There are plenty other transformations. According to R.H. Robins, Many sentences can be generated form a basis sentence. That way transformation starts from ‘kernel’. But in his ‘aspects of the theory of syntax’, Chomsky does not give important to ‘kernel’.
For example ,
  1. ‘have john see Mary?’ is a transform of ‘john has seem Mary’,
  2. ‘a snake was killed by Mohan’ is the transform of  the sentence in the active voice. 
            “Mohan killed a snake”. Similarly “the man who was standing there ran away” is the transformation of two sentences, “the man ran away” and “the man was standing there.” The second characteristic of T.G.L. is that it is ‘generative’. It means that a grammar msut generate all and only the grammatical sentences of a language. This also means that all possible sentences should be framed according to the rules and regulations of the grammar of he language. Thus grammar should generate all acceptable sentences of a language, and not the ungrammatical or unacceptable ones.

            That way generative linguistic is clear, methodical and accurate and it indicates what are the possible sentences of he language. It leaves nothing to change, nothing to the reader’ intelligence, nothing to this imagination. The generation of the sentences of a language should be a pure mechanical procedure. Even a person who does not know the language can generate sentence by following the rules. Let us have the following tree diagram to illustrate the syntactic function of the sentence, “The linguist will analyze sentence.”

v  Sentence:-

            This sentence is represented by the symbol’s it is composed of a noun phrase ‘the linguist’ and the noun phrases is composed of an article ‘an’ and a noun ‘a’. the verb phase, ‘will analyse a sentence is composed of an auxiliary and the main verb. The noun phrase sentence is composed of an article and a noun. This tree diagram is the picture of a phrase structure are optional while other transformation are obligatory. For example in singular or plural transformation there is an agreement between a noon and its verb in ‘the door was opened by john’ the singular noun phrase is followed by singular verb. Reclusiveness or recursion is an important characteristic of T.G. it means that certain grammatical constructions can be extended by repeated use of he same rule. For example ‘jack and Jill’ and frank went to the dance’ this may be. Expressed in a phrase structure rule NP+NP+NP and NP. In the same way, one sentence can subordinate within the structure of another way sentence. For example, ‘I saw the man”, The man took the cash’. This phrase structure can be expressed in the form of the following tree diagram of T.G. linguistics. Thus the T. G. linguists have cleared the transformation relations among different phrase structures. The Bloomfieldian linguist lay stress on the surface diversity of  language. While he T.G. linguist lay stress on the underlying universality  of language as a human faculty. Thus Chomsky rightly believes that it is necessary to understand the human mind and human nature in order to understand a language.

² ² ²