Re: THEORY: OT Syntax (Was: Re: THEORY: phonemes and Optimality Theory tutorial)
|From:||Yoon Ha Lee <yl112@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, November 22, 2000, 4:39|
On Mon, 20 Nov 2000, Marcus Smith wrote:
> Yoon Ha Lee wrote:
> >And I thought I'd never be interested in neurobiology. I sometimes
> >regret not paying more attention to HS biology. (I declined to take IBH
> >biology after seeing what a lab practical was like...) Foundations are
> >good to have. <sigh>
> I agree. When I went into my neuroling course, I knew bearly anything about
> the structure of the brain, and my terminology was almost non-existant. I
> had to have a nasty crash course in lobes, neurotransmitters, blood-flow
> patterns, etc. Very rough.
I have this terrible image of bears crashing through your neural system...<G>
> > > Take a sentence like "The man admired Don's sketch of the landscape." You
> > > cannot say *"The man admired Don's of sketch the landscape". This type of
> > > ungrammaticality is what syntacticians have been calling a "Phrase
> > > Structure Violation" for decades. Now, if you attach electrodes to a
> >Stupid question: so there are analogously ungrammatical sentences in
> >other languages, or perhaps better stated, there *isn't* a language in
> >which a construction like the starred one above *is* grammatical?
> There are languages which are like English in this respect. There are
> languages that differ. It would be interesting to see the neurological
> activity in a language that allows the ungrammatical English sentence.
> Presumablly they would not show the odd brain activity, but as far as I
> know, work on this topic has only been done in English so far. There are
> similar expiraments for Italian, Chinese, and Japanese, but not on exactly
> this topic.
Well, I imagine there are an awful lot of things in linguistics to study,
and things will inevitably fall between the cracks! <wry g> A Good
Thing for linguists writing dissertations?
> >I must learn more about syntax after I find out more about
> >phonology/phonetics. :-) I'll have to check out the Gray Wizard's list
> >of recommended books.
> I just looked at the list for the first time. A very good library. As far
> as syntactic theory goes, I would recommend either of the books by Radford
> on his list. I would also recommend a couple books not on the list:
> Introduction to Government and Binding, by Lilianne Haegemann.
> The Syntactic Phenomena of English, by James McCawley.
> This last one is the most complete grammar of English I've ever seen. I
> have professors who re-read it regularly.
Thanks for the recs! Does that last book explain the article system
particularly well? Despite the efforts of the Writing Workshop's
linguist-in-residence, Judy Pierpont, we writing tutors *still* can't
explain everything about the article system to foreign-language native
speakers. :-( Especially to Asian-language speakers who think that
articles are redundant and confusing to begin with (if I weren't fluent
in English I would tend to agree) because they're not used to articles. :-/