composed of phrases
goverend by grammar
word order and morphology determined by syntax
usually contain a verb (in some languages, implied)
represent: statements, questions, commands
a grammatical unit
phrases, groups of words that function as a single unit in the structure of a sentence
common english phrase structure, noun phrase, verb phrase, prepositional phrase
nouns refer to physical or abstract objects
properties, number, case, gender
morphology, regular, cat : cats, boat : boats, irregular, child : children, sheep : sheep
pronouns are like nouns but act more like "variables" or placeholders
determiners, the / that / a / empty, new / previous referent, unique or generic, the car / a car / cars
adjectives, properties or attributes of nouns, positive, comparative, superlative, good / better / best, quantifiers, some, all, any, many, ...
represent action, change, or state
properties, tense, agreement, auxiliary
sometimes collapsed with adjectives, "red" = "is red", "red car" = "car which is red"
analogous to adjectives, but for verbs
in, on, at, ...
words that connect phrases or sentences, me and you, You get a good grade if you answer the questions well.
main classes, nouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, articles
substitution test, The (red/big/*on/*is) car is on the lot.
different words are related by morphology
dog -> dogs, go -> going
few forms in English, more in German, even more in Finnish
a morpheme is the smallest unit carrying meaning (but can't necessarily stand on its own), -ing, un-, pre-
a root is the most basic unit from which different words may be derived by inflection
inflection is the modification of a root for specific grammatical purposes, light, lighting, lighted, sehen, gesehen, sieht
derivation is a more general modification of a root, construct, deconstruct, sehen, versehen
a lexeme is a collection of words derived from a root by inflection
compounding means sticking two or more words together, garage door opener, overtake, Donaudampfschiffahrtsgesellschaftskapitän
function words / content words
phonology / orthography, rules for the composition of words out of phonemes and syllables, possible: "ka" impossible: "ksa" (Japanese), possible: "crag" impossible: "crngrorng" (English)
morphology, rules for the composition of words out of morphemes, go : went / go : *goed, gehe / ging : gehe : *gangte
grammar / syntax, rules for the composition of sentences out of words, The cat sees the dog. / *The cat dog the sees., Gestern sah ich Peter. / *Gestern ich sah Peter.
discourse, rules for how sentences relate to each other, can be quite complex, Example, Alice: Is John back yet?, Bob: There is no green car in the parking lot, Implies, John drives a green car., John left on an errand in his car., you can lie at the discourse level, Example, A criminal hides on a boat with a priest. The priest wants to hide the criminal without literally lying., A second boat with police on it comes in the opposite direction and asks the priest whether he has seen the criminal., The priest answers "He is not far away.", The police go on assuming that the criminal must be on another boat ahead.