Sunday, December 26, 2010

Syntax and Modern Linguistics

With syntax we enter into a level of linguistic analysis that is higher than morphology, although at places the distinction between the two becomes blurred. Morphology, it is often claimed, has no ‘autonomous’ existence, as syntactical analysis includes morphological processes. Ferdinand de Saussure himself considers morphology as part of syntax. This perception has come to dominate recent post-Bloomfieldian linguistic thinking once again.

It is, however, better to view the two domains separately, morphology being the level that includes segmental morphemes and the way words are built out of them, and syntax being the level that includes the ways in which words and morphemic elements are arranged and organised into larger constructions. Syntax has been defined by Richards, Platt and Weber as ‘the study of how words combine to form sentences and the rules which govern the formation of sentences. In generative transformational grammar, the syntactic component is one of the three main parts of the grammar. This component contains the rules for forming syntactic structures and rules for changing these structures’ (Longman Dictionary of Applied Linguistics).
Grammar and grammatical analysis include both morphology and syntax. ‘Grammar may be divided into two portions : morphology and syntax. Syntax may be roughly defined as the principles of arrangement of the constructions formed by the process of derivation and inflection (words) into larger constructions of various kinds. The distinction between morphology and syntax is not always sharp’ (Gleason).
This should not lead us to any confusion regarding the area of syntax, which is seeking to understand units larger than words, phrases and clauses, and such functions as selectional restrictions of concord and government. The fact that Max sees John is different from John sees Max is a matter of syntax.
Syntactic Relations
Let us see this sentence.
‘The cat who sat on the mat has gone away’. There are ten words in this sentence. Each of these words has a definite relationship with the other words. If we are somehow able to state and describe these relationships, we will have described the syntax of the sentence.
To take a more simple sentence.
Raheel pushed Zahid.
The three words in the above sentence are not simply strung together, though they are linearly arranged, but appear to fit together in a manner governed by certain syntactical rules. We cannot arrange these words in any of the following ways.
*     Raheel Zahid pushed.
*     pushed Raheel Zahid
*     Zahid Raheel pushed, and so on
These constructions are unacceptable.
Similarly, in English we always say the fish, an apple, a building, not *fish the, *apple an, *building a, unless, of course, these words are part of - the sentences like He was amused to see in fish the colours of ……; He is building a big dam. These are obviously part of the longer sequences and have no meaning apart from them. As independent segments the fish, an apple, a building are more acceptable.
Secondly, these two segments are also more closely linked to each other than a verb following them and the preceding noun. We can diagram this in the following manner.
“That the determiner the goes with fish is obvious enough. Their relation can better be understood by dividing the construction in the manner shown below
The division made above shows that syntactical units are hierarchically ordered. Each downward motion splits the segment into further patterns that show them immediately related on that level. The word unpleasantness can he shown to have the following constituents.
The vertical lines here point to the words or elements (appearing at the bottom of the vertical lines) that are related to each other on that level. These words or elements are called constituents. When the constituents are joined by the horizontal line they are called to be in construction with each other. A construction is thus a relationship between the constituents.
Thus the constituents, the and fish are in construction with each other, the fish and swam are constituents in construction with each other. The fish swam is an idependent constituent forming an utterance. An utterance is not a ‘collection of randomly assembled bits and pieces’ (Noel Burton-Roberts) but a complex of interpenetrating relationships. Further these are not just arranged in a linear fashion, but show that they consist of parts which themselves in turn consist of further parts. They, in other words, show a hierarchical structure.
Hierarchies of construction suggest that utterances have an additional dimension besides the linear dimension.
The above manner of showing relations among the constituents and diagramming them is called ‘inverted tree’ diagramming in which the branches spread downwards.
Immediate Constituent Analysis
One of the established methods of analysing sentence is the Immediate Constituent Analysis. It highlights the fact that sense is conveyed not only by the dictionary meanings of words but also by their arrangement in patterns. ‘A sentence is not just a linear string of words; it is a sequence grouped in a particular way. The groupings are important for understanding the sense, (N.R., Cattell).
In IC analysis sentences are broken down into successive components. Each component has some grammatical relevance. Here the aim is to arrive at the ultimate constituent by identifying and establishing the immediate constituents (or ICs, as they are called for short). Relations between the segments of an utterance are established at different hierarchical levels.
If we take a simple sentence like ‘students travel, we can identify the two constituents students and travel. It is possible to substitute a two-word sequence for the constituent students without changing the basic structure - old men.
students
travel
old men
The immediate constituents of the first sentence is students and travel and of the second sentence old men and travel. But at the next lower level old and men are the immediate constituents.
Similarly, we can have substitution for travel also, something like walk regularly. We may show this in the following manner,
students
travel
old
men
walk
regularly
Thus we have now old men as immediate constituents on the one hand, and walk regularly on the other.
We can further expand it by substituting other segments like His elder brother walks regularly every day.
students
travel
old
men
walk
regularly
His
elder
brother
walks
regularly
everyday
The process of substituting elements can be continued ad infinitum. What is demonstrated in this manner is that constituents entering into constructions are governed by mutual grammatical relations. The above diagram only illustrates that ‘an immediate constituent is one of the two, or a few constituents of which any given construction is directly formed... the process of analysing syntax is largely of finding successive layers of ICs and of immediate constructions, the description of the relationships which exist between ICs and the description of those relationships which are not efficiently described in terms of ICs’ (Gleason).
The relationships between the constituents can also be shown by means of tree diagram as below :
What we find here is not just a process ‘never allowing more than two elements in a bracket’ (Halliday), but the recognition of a functional relationship between the elements. The immediate constituents in the first branching Dear friend and went away show a relationship of subject and predicate. They are the immediate constituents of the sentence marked x in a functional relationship that can be identified as that of modifier and the noun. Similarly, with the next ‘node’ went and away we identify the relation as that of main verb and adverb. These two elements are the ICs at that level. The whole pattern of grammatical classes can be shown as below :
We thus see that a sentence is composed of layers of constituents. At each ‘node’ (node is that point at a particular level where constituents branch off downward into the next construction level) can be identified and labelled functional classes.
There is another way of marking the ICs, that of bracketting. We can show this in the following manner.
(((the) ((poor) (boy)) (ate) (the) (stale) (bread)))
However, the inverted tree diagramming has come to be widely accepted and used, and this has been followed in the present book also.
Immediate constituent analysis is essentially a process of pure segmentation dividing a sentence into its constituents. One of the weaknesses of this analysis is that it doesnot indicate the role or function of the constituent elements. For example if we segment the above sentence by using the tree diagram method, it will appear as follows:
There is little in this to tell us about the grammatical function and nature of the elements.
Labelling
The concept of labelling was, therefore, introduced to remove this inadequacy. As MAK Halliday observes, these divisions tell us very little about the functional importance of the constituents, and explain the grammatical structure. It will be necessary to say something about the particular function that each part has with respect to the structure of the whole. If we are using bracketting method, then the brackets are labelled; if on the other hand, we use tree diagram method then nodes are labelled. Labelling gives us an insight into the syntactic function of the constituents. Let us see how this is done.
The structure is indicated by S, (sentence), NP, (Noun phrase), and VP (Verb phrase). At the next level of branching NP and VP are further split into their ICs.’ Thus in the sentence dear friend went away we can identify the ICs and class them into the relevant grammatical forms in the manner shown above. Hierarchical syntactic structure with the proper function classes can at a glance be seen in this type of diagramming.
Or
Or
To quote M.A.K. Halliday once again, ‘Bracketing is a way of showing what goes with what : in what logical (as opposed to sequential) order the elements of a linguistic structure are combined. It says nothing about either the nature or the function of the elements themselves’.
Labelling means putting name on things and so it is a way of specifying what these elements are. The label provides some kind of a definition of the units that have been identified as parts of some larger whole.
There are in principle two significant ways of labelling a linguistic unit. One is to assign it to a class; the other is to assign a function to it. Hence there are two principles according to which we can label the constituents of a grammatical structure : i. by class, and ii. by function.
In the particularly significant stage in the development of linguistics this way of establishing the structure of different types of sentences was given great importance and considered the chief aim. Leonard Bloomfield developed the notion of constituent structure. His notions were further developed and clarified by such scholars as Eugine Nida, Ruelon Wells, Zellig Harris and others. They evolved rigorous systems to analyse the sentences. Noam Chomsky took this further ahead by developing mathematically precise methods and built up a system known as Phrase Structure Grammar.
Phrase Structure Grammar or PSG
Phrase Structure Rules, or Grammar considers sentence as linear sequence of elements. The aim is to identify these elements for their functions and class them appropriately. This is, therefore, better viewed as an alternative system to the IC analysis.
Chomsky presented three models of grammar in his revolutionizing book Syntactic Structures: finite state grammar, phrase structure grammar, and transformational grammar. The first, the finite state grammar is the most basic and elementary and is full of inadequacies. The Phrase Structure Grammar takes us a long way in removing these shortcomings. The Transformational model is an extension of the PSG with addition of more complex type of rules.
The PS grammar consists of phrase structure rules as shown below :
i.    S          ¾®      NP VP
ii.   VP        ¾®      V NP
iii.  NP       ¾®      Det N
iv.  N         ¾®      NP Plur
v.   V          ¾®      VS Past
vi.  Det       ¾®      the
vii. NS       ¾®      cat
viii. NS       ¾®      mouse
ix.  VS        ¾®      catch
On the left of the arrow is the instruction to rewrite the symbol into a string of one or more symbols on the right. Syntactic categories which occur on the left are known as non-terminal symbols and those occurring on the right are called terminal symbols representing morphemes. Syntactic categories that are represented by the symbols are sentence (S); noun phrase (NP); verb phrase (VP); verb (V); determiner (Det); noun stem (NS); verb stem (VS).
NP can also include an article. The constituents of VP may include an NP, within V is tense realisable by the symbol T. The terminal string is a representation of morphemes.
Further down an NP could be a proper noun, a personal noun, a pronoun, demonstrative pronoun, and all that can function grammatically in this position. So we can have here, I, we, he, she, you, they, her, it, and so on, and everyone, anyone, no one, none, some, etc. A noun can take a determiner the, a, an, many, old, new, etc. Similarly with the verb phrase which can be classified into a verb stem (VS), an auxiliary (aux) and NP. Further sub-classification of the verb is also possible into transitive, intransitive, be, have, look, etc. We can also describe the tense and aspect and the sub-classification of the adverbial which may contain a prepositional phrase or simply an adverb.
Such a description will turn out to be too lengthy and exhaustive.
Rather than resorting to descriptions of this kind, a set of phrase-structure rules in the form of re-write rules can be given.
According to the rewrite rules, each symbol on the left hand can be replaced by a symbol on the right hand. Not ‘only are the various constituents recognised and determined, it is also indicated how one constituent dominates the other as their placement is organised hierarchically. Let us consider the following sentence;
Old Sam sunbathed beside a stream
According to the PS model, the constituents of this sentence can be shown in the following manner.
1.   S (sentence    ¾®   NP (Noun Phrase) + VP (Verb Phrase)
2.   NP                ¾®   Mod (Adj) + N (Noun)
3.   VP                 ¾®   Verb (MV) + PP (Prep. Phrase)
4.   VP                 ¾®   Verb
5.   PP                 ¾®   Prep. + NP
6.   NP                ¾®   Art.
7.   NP                ¾®   N
This can be written in a linear manner like this : S [old + Sam + past + sunbathe + beside + a + stream] S; or shown in a tree-diagram.
In the PS rewrite system each next step of expansion is seen as ‘derived’ from the preceding one.
i.    S
ii.   NP VP
iii.  NP V NP
This is also, therefore, known as PS derivation. All such descriptions begin with S as the symbol for sentence. This is rewritten as NP VP symbolising Noun Phrase and Verb Phrase and can be said to derive from i) by application of rule ii, iii is like-wise derived from ii) symbolised as NP v NP.
‘The sentences that can be constructed by following the rules of a given grammar are said to be generated by that grammar’ (Rodney Huddleston).
Each sentence thus generated can be assigned a structure by the grammar.
The tree-diagram method is also known as phrase-marker (PM for short). Phrase markers arc critical in Chomsky’s theory.
However, this doesnot exhaust all the possibilities of describing the sentences. There are many complex areas that are governed by optional selection of items, and need to be indicated. The main verbs are often preceded by the auxiliary verbs. Symbolically this may be shown as
VP ¾® Aux+MV
This can be described as a verb phrase to be rewritten as auxiliary plus a main verb. In a branching tree diagram it is shown as:
NP + Aux + MV
Phrase-structure rules are mostly context free. They follow the x ® y form, x being a single element and y a string of one or more elements. But what is the context in which x is to be re-written as y? If the same rule is further elaborated as x ® y / w ® v, we make explicit that x occurs in the context w and it is to be rewritten as y in the context of v. Contextual constraints can be indicated in various ways. Such a rule (x ® y / w ® v) is called context sensitive rule, without it we have a context-free rule which is what PSG deals with. Concord between the subject and the verb can be explained only in terms of context-sensitive rule - the bird flies but the birds fly. Context-free grammar can be viewed as part or sub-class of context-sensitive grammar.
Domination Notion
According to the notion of domination we can say that Aux and MV are immediately dominated by VP, and S immediately dominates NP and VP. Remotely, Aux and MV are simply dominated by S. This notion also emphasises the ‘layered’ composition of a syntactic structure where each lower segment is governed by the rule of ‘mutual dependency’.
Inadequacies
Phrase structure grammar is itself hemmed in with limitations. It is efficient in explaining ‘intra-sentence constituent elements’, but cannot show inter-sentence relations such as declarative-interrogative, active-passive and so on. It runs into difficulties when seeking to account for ambiguous sentences, ambiguity being more than a matter of immediate constituency as we can see in this ambiguous sentence.
Flying planes can be dangerous
Similarly, PS rules cannot explain such discontinuous sentences as, He called me up, when the object is a pronoun and the discontinuous construction is obligatory.
Complex sentences are described through cumbersome PS marker diagrams. If we want to derive the following sentence.
The clear, lovely, blue sky,
we will have to present it in the following manner.
The Transformational Generative Grammar
We have noted that in Phrase Structure Grammar, PS rules convert a grammatical category into a more explicit representation, VP ® V + NP, for example; or a symbol into a class for which it stands, Vs ® come. We have also seen some of the limitations of PSG. It cannot account for transformational relationships. Sohan sees a kite and A kite is seen by Sohan cannot be considered two different sentences. The second sentence is only a transformation of the first obtained through a re-arrangement, and morphemic changes in the terminal string, ‘transformation being a method of stating how the structures of many sentences in languages can be generated or explained formally as the result of specific transformations applied to certain basic sentence structures’ (RH Robins).
A major development in linguistics took place with the publication of Syntactic Structures in 1957 by Noam Chomsky. This book forms the basis of the Transformational Generative Grammar that has come to replace the old grammatical systems and, provide a more precise and efficient tool of analysing a language.
The shortcomings of the PSG were sought to be removed by TG grammar. ‘He did not reject the whole notion of using immediate constituents; he merely showed that this method was not powerful enough by itself to account for the whole of sentence structure. It must be used in conjunction with some other method’. (N.R. Cattell). Therefore, while TG grammar uses the phrase structure re-write rules, it offers a set of transformational rules. ‘A phrase structure grammar consists exclusively of PS rules and assigns to each sentence a syntactic structure in the form of a single phrase marker… whereas a TG consists of a set and assigns to each sentence a series of PMs varying in the level of abstraction involved’.
What is Generative Grammar?
One of the two prominent features of the transformational generative grammar which its very name throws up is the potential of the grammar to ‘generate’ sentences. As N. Krishnaswamy observes, ‘We acquire information about a language and using that knowledge about the language, we create or generate sentences. In this sense, the grammar is generative. The grammar of a language is not just an analytical procedure; it should generate description of all the grammatical sentences in the language and only these’. Generative is the key term here.
A particular grammar makes use of rules that are definite and limited, to produce an infinite number of sentences. These rules govern operations that are limited too, but produce infinite set of sentences. Such a grammar does not literally create sentences, but it is so designed ‘that by following its rules and conventions we could produce all or any of the possible sentences of the language’ (John Lyons). The grammar is thus concerned with the possible set of sentences. Whenever we select any text or corpus of a language for analysis, what we have is the actual manifest sentences which are finite. It would be a mistake to consider these as the limit, for there is always possibility of having more sentences or forms. When we say that a grammar can produce infinite number of sentences, we donot mean its rules are infinite. On the other hand, the grammar is finite, its rules are finite, but they can produce infinite number of sentences.
It is like producing a mind-boggling set of numbers like 8639261387534169 out of a set of finite numbers 0-1. Chomsky defined language as a ‘set (finite or infinite) of sentences, each finite in length and constructed out of finite set of elements’. He discovered a brilliant expression in W. Von Humboldt (Uber die Verschiedenheit de’s meschlichen Sprachbans Oarmastadt, 1949) to elucidate his own notion, ‘language makes infinite use of finite means’.
A finite grammer can be represented diagrammatically as follows:
It moves from one state to another by producing a word. However, from this only two sentences can be produced. It is therefore, a finite state grammar.
However, by changing the diagram a bit, this can be changed into a device capable of producing an indefinite number of sentences.
Now we can have ‘sequences like the old man comes, he old man comes, the old men come, the old, old men come, and so on. It meets both criteria of being a finite grammar and producing an infinite number of sentences. Famous linguist John Lyons represents the finite state grammar in this manner.
According to Lyons the grammar can be seen as a machine or device... ‘which moves through a finite number of internal ‘states’ as it passes from the initial state (start) to the final state (stop) in the generation of sentences. When it has produced (let us say ‘printed out’ or ‘emitted’) a word (from the set of words given as possible for that ‘state’) the grammar then ‘switches’ to a new state as determined by the arrows. Any sequence of words that can be generated in this way is thereby defined to be grammatical (in terms of the grammar represented by the diagram), (John Lyons).
On a fundamental level Chomsky projected the simplest grammar (finite state grammar) through employing the finite number of recursive rules. At the base is the notion that sentences are generated by making choices ‘from left to right’. If we take a sentence like This young boy bought a new bicycle yesterday, we can proceed at the left - most element, This and put that in its place, or any other element possible in that position. Choice for the subsequent elements will depend on the preceding element. From all the words possible in the position in which This occurs, selection of the appropriate element can be made. Similarly, from a list of words capable of occurring in the position in which young occurs, we can select a suitable element, and so on. Diagrammatically this can be shown as follows.
When we base our understanding of the language on the generative principle, we believe that the grammar is explicit, the fact of the possible sentences is indicated by this grammar. Palmer feels that for this to happen, it should make everything clear, all rules and principles, conventions and modes must be made explicit and nothing should be left to chance or the reader’s imagination. This would eliminate the possibility of generating grammatically wrong sentences.
Competence and Performance
The main point at which the T-G grammarian diverges from his predecessors is the- belief that he is not interested in the actual sentences, the given corpus of observed data, but the ‘possible’ utterances, the fact of what a speaker ‘can’ produce. His capacity to produce utterances is directly related to his ‘competence’. Performance, on the other hand, is reflected in what he really does at the time of producing sentences. Simply, competence means in Chomsky’s sense of the meaning, the speaker’s knowledge of the language, and his performance is his actual use of the language in concrete situations’. In his opinion, a native speaker has an inherent ability to use his language. This ability is independent of his conscious efforts at speech. It is this intuitive/inherent power to use the rules of grammar and patterns of sentences that can be seen in child who is ready at a surprisingly early age to use his language in a way that makes living for him and expansion of relations easy. Unless this occurs, it is difficult for a child to learn a particular language. ‘A theory of linguistic structure that arises for explanatory adequacy incorporates an account of linguistic universals, and it attributes to the knowledge of these universals to the child, (Chomsky, Aspects of the Theory of Syntax’).
In other words, ‘A Person’s linguistic competence is his tacit knowledge of his language. We attribute knowledge of a language to account for his ability to use the language, to produce and understand utterances in it’. (Huddleston).
It thus rules out the necessity for a speaker to formally learn the rules in order to be successfully understood. This naturally reminds us of Charles F. Hockett’s description of the salient features of language. One of these features, he points out, is Productivity. This means that ‘a speaker of a language may say something, that he has never said nor heard before’. What Chomsky tries to emphasize through his theory of competence is this ability of the native speaker to generate new sentences that a speaker may not have heard before.
Linguistic performance is the use of language in concrete situation, manifestations of the speaker’s ability to form potential utterances. At this point it is necessary to point out that Chomsky distinguishes between the concepts of ‘sentence’ and ‘utterance’. ‘Sentence’ is a well-formed sequence.
But in day-to-day situations we donot always use well formed utterances. Rather, ‘we change the sentence halfway through, or we donot complete it, or we add bits that couldnot be justified on a careful grammatical description. It has, in fact, been estimated that a large portion of spoken utterances are in this sense not grammatical at all’ (Palmer).
Performance thus encompasses those utterances (an utterance can he a sentence in its well-formed representation of sequences), that are found in concrete situations and that the linguists must base their observations on. As Owen Thomas says, ‘a generative grammar is one that contains a list of symbols, including, for example, English words, and a list of rules for combining these symbols in various ways to produce every English sentence. Such a grammar is said to ‘generate’ or to ‘enumerate’ all the possible sentences in a language... all speakers have some method of understanding completely novel sentences never spoken before, which means that they must have a way of ‘determining, all the infinite number of sentences. In other words, rules that generate or determine are actually generalizations about language which permit a native speaker, among other things, to evaluate the grammaticality of any novel sentence’.
What is Transformational Grammar?
The shortcomings and inadequacies of the phrase-structure grammar, particularly its inability to account for transformational relationships led Chomsky to devise a grammatical system that would ‘cover the entire language directly... by repeated application of a rather simple set of transformations to the strings given by the phrase structure grammar’. Transformation is an act of transforming one sentence into another, from the deep structure into the surface structure. Chomsky’s theory claims that sentences have a surface structure and a deep structure. Surface structure is more complicated, ‘being an elaboration of one or more underlying simple structures’ (NR Cattell).
If we take a sentence like He saw her which is an active sentence we can transform it into she was seen by him by rules of passivization which can be shown as below.
NP1 + V + NP2 (Active)
NP2 + IS + Ven + by + NP1 (Passive)
The two sentences are not considered different, the second one only a transformation of the first one.
In the same way Has she seen me?  is only a transform of she has seen me obtained through a process of ‘permutation’. We shall take this up a little later.
Broadly, there are three basic components of a transformational model.
i)    The phrase-structure component which consists of a sequence of rules, of the form x ® y. ‘It begins with the initial symbol sentence (S) and constructs derivation through the application of the rules of F’.
ii)   The transformational component which introduces changes in the morphemes of the terminal strings produced by the P.S. component. Transformations are either obligatory (i.e. putting S after an N in NP of a c), or optional (such as passivization of an active sentence). A basic distinction between the kernel sentences and the transforms is made here. (The former has been discussed separately). These are, in brief, core sentences the most primary having the S ® NP + VP structure. All other structures, having relative or subordinate clause, interrogative, passives, etc. are said to derive, or are derived forms or transformations of the kernel sentences (or k-terminals, for short). For example, we can see one k-terminal string.
a)   He saw a bird
Its various derivations would be
b)   He did not see a bird
c)   Did he see a bird ?
d)   Didn’t he see a bird ?
e)   A bird was seen by him
f)    A bird was not seen by him
g)   Was a bird seen by him ?
h)   Wasn’t a bird seen by him ?
The different forms that we see from (b) to (h) are the derivations of the basic k-string (a) : they have been obtained or generated by applying the optional transformational rules.
The notion of kernel sentence was abandoned by Chomsky later on. But this notion still remains a very convenient step to understanding the essential transformational process. Chomsky later on added a semantic component too to understand and explain the role of meaning. He also changed the PS component and renamed it as base component which generates the basic sentence patterns of, a language. ‘The base component consists of a set of rules and a vocabulary list (Lexicon) which contains morphemes and idioms. The main rules are called phrase structure rules or rewrite rules’ (Richards, Platt, Weber).
iii) The morphophonemic component transcribes the transformational output by ‘rewriting the morphemic representation into a proper string of phonemes’ (Dinneen) Syntactic Structures cites these examples.
a)   Walk                 ¾® /w]k/
b)   take + past       ¾® /tuk/
c)   hit + past         ¾® /hit/
d)   /…D/ + past     ¾® /…D/+/-id/ (where D=/t/ or /d/)
The morphophonemic component would rewrite the sentence He saw a bird as /hi s ] әbә:d./
What is Kernel Sentence ?
Chomsky distinguished between two types of sentences: Kernel Sentences and Transforms. The kernel sentences are the basic constructions, from these the rest of the complex constructions are made. The rest of the sentences are transformations of the kernel sentences.
Essentially, a kernel sentence is made of a noun phrase (NP) followed by verb phrase (VP).
S ¾® NP+VP
For example if we have the kernel sentence
a)   Riaz sat on the chair
We can have its transforms in the constructions as follows:
b)   Riaz didn’t sit on the chair
c)   Did Riaz sit on the chair ?
d)   Didn’t Riaz sit on the chair ?
e)   The chair was sat upon by Riaz.
f)    The chair was not sat upon by Riaz.
g)   Was the chair sat upon by Riaz ?
h)   Wasn’t the chair sat upon by Riaz ?
We observe here how different derivations of the kernel sentence a) are obtained by means of optional transformations. These transformations may be called b) negative c) interrogative d) negative and interrogative e) passive, f) passive and negative g) passive and interrogative, etc. ‘Complex sentences are built up by elaborations of the simple structures that belong to these kernel sentences’.
Deep and Surface Structures
While in the earlier work (1957) Chomsky focussed his attention on the distinction between the kernel and complex sentences - the simple, active, affirmative, declarative kernel sentences ‘being directly produced by PS rules, and the rest being produced on transformation and combination with kernel sentences’, all this was changed in his 1965 version which revised the notion of complex sentences being derived from the basic kernel sentences. Now focus was on the notion that a sentence has a deep structure and a surface structure. There was no need now for considering the difference between obligatory and optional transformations. We rather see that transformations map the deep structures on the surface structures. Syntax is thus seen as the creative aspect of language, and has two broad pans - ‘the rules of the base and the transformations. The deep structure, which is concerned with meaning is produced by the base ‘component; while the transformational component converts it into surface structures.
Let us consider it in a more simplified manner. There are two kinds of structure of a sentence. One structure is the actual realization of the sentence in the way it is pronounced; its pronunciation. At this level are also manifest the units and their relationships that are necessary for interpreting the meaning of the sentence. A sentence like The Lion attacked the deer is the realization of the units that make it possible to be pronounced and written in the way it is done.
Secondly, at a different level there is a more abstract structure to it that enables a user of the language to understand that the sentence means:
i)    The lion attacked the deer
ii)   The lion is a ferocious animal
iii)  The deer is a weaker animal
iv)  The deer has no chance before the lion
These different semantic features are buried under the surface and an stored at depths in an abstract form - it is a level ‘where there are no nouns verbs, adjectives, adverbs, etc. At this level there are only features semantic features and phonological features... they are the universals’ (N Krishnaswamy). These features are stored in the brain in a finite form and are available to speakers of any language. Some languages may not have nouns, others adjectives, others adverbs - but the features that make u interprete the meaning of the realised sentences in more than one way are there. Different languages have different ways of realising them on the surface.
The following two sentences
Ramzan kicks the ball.
The ball is kicked by Ramzan.
are closely related at the deep structure level. They have similarly meanings. The actually realized structures are different, but the abstract (deep) structures are similar. ‘So, the actually produced structure which have been encoded into phonemic form while speaking and certain symbol] characters while writing, indicates the sentences’ surface structure and the abstract structure constitutes the deep structure. At the deep structure level we work with the semantic component which enables us to arrive at the semantic interpretation of sentences. At the surface structure level, we de with the phonological component which enables us to arrive at the phonological interpretation of the sentence. As Roger Fowler observes in the following two sentences
He took off his hat
He took his hat off
We see the same meaning, but they are different arrangements of word ‘Since the difference... is immediately apparent at first glance on the surface... they exhibit surface structures... they have the same Jet structure.’ Deep structure relates to meaning, surface structure relates 1 order of elements, and hence to sound, for in effect the surface structure determines the sequence of sounds which occurs in a phonetic realization on a sentence. Surface structure is a dimension with physical associations since it is the point at which a sentence impinges on space and time. Dee structure, however, is an abstraction, a complex of meanings which is ‘unpronounceable’ unless it is rendered as a surface structure’.
T. Grammar is an advancement on PSG in that it considers deep structure essential and doesnot believe in ‘eliminating the distinction between linguistic form and the use of language. By including the semantic level, the notion of formal structure has only been enriched.
The relationship and all steps in the relationships between the deep and surface structures have been stated by the term ‘transformational’.
Let us look at the following diagrams.
In these examples there can be seen a likeness between the two sentences – they are derived from the same deep structure. The difference is due to the ‘effect of a transformation which we shall call passivisation, that applies in the second derivation and not the first’.
VP ¾® (passive + Vt + NP
Similarly, let us take another sentence
The old car broke down.
Deep structure [the car [the car was old] broke down]
¯
Relative transformation
¯
[the car[which was old] broke down]
¯
Be-deletion transformation
¯
[the car[old] broke down]
¯
Adjective movement transformation
¯
Surface structure           The old car broke down.
The old car broke down can be put through the which transformation to obtain the following surface structure The car which was old broke down.
The transformational process can be described as follows:
‘if an NP + S sequence occurs dominated by an NP, and if that S dominates an NP whose referent is the same as the NP in the NP + S sequence, then the dominated NP ultimately becomes either who or which.’ This is known as relative transformation.
The car which was old broke down.
Syntactic Processes
Syntax is the core of the grammar. It is necessary to understand i) the patterns that underlie the sentences, and ii) the ways and means of linking the constituents and the rules of transforming one kind of structure into another. We shall discuss here some of the major syntactic processes whereby we obtain various syntactic patterns.
Conjoining
Conjoining is also identified by other terms like ‘co-ordination’ and ‘conjunction’. In this process certain parts of two or more sentences are similar in structure. The co-ordinators join the sentences. ‘This process is possible only when there is a similar relation of constituency’ between the segments thus conjoined and the sentences.
Syntactic Structures gives us this example:
the scene – of the movie – was in Chicago.
the scene – of the play – was in Chicago.
Conjoining process seeks ‘to obtain the proper relation of constituency’, to produce this new sentence.
The scene of the movie and he play was in Chicago
Embedding
In it one sentence is included within the other. Embedding transformation process embeds the constituent sentence into the matrix (or basic) sentence.
{S1 [S2] S1}
Instead of joining the two sequences of equal status, one sentence becomes part of the larger sentence.
(1) The news                                  surprised his friends.
­
(2) (that) he had got married
Sentence (2) is embedded in sentence (1) and is, therefore, an embedded sentence.
Let us consider another example:
S1                                                         S2
The man was arrested               The man murdered three persons
The man was arrested
­
The man murdered three persons
This diagram shows that S2 is subordinate to S1 and, therefore, embedded in it.
There are two major types of embedding:
a)   nesting and      b) self-embedding
In a nesting construction the nested segment is totally enclosed within a matrix. We take another example.
The girl who bought the cosmetics gave money which was borrowed.
In the above example who bought the cosmetics is nested. Which was borrowed is not nested as no part of the matrix occurs to right of it.
A self-embedded construction is totally enclosed within a construction of the same type (Fowler).
Recursion
Through this process the same rules may be re-applied ‘indefinitely many times within a single derivation’. As has been pointed out earlier, transformationalist believe that a language user has at his disposal an infinite number of sentences. This is chiefly because he can use the ‘recursive’ process, using the same linguistic device over and over again. This enables us to add any constituent (adjective, for example) repeatedly,
The old man, the little old man, the little poor old man, the clever little poor old man, and so on. ‘To prove to anyone who doesnot believe in the infinity of the number of sentences in a language, we have merely to ask him to give us the largest sentence he can produce and then add another adjective or relative clause to it’ (Palmer).
The example cited above is the realization of the NP NP + (S) rule.
The example cited earlier, ‘the old man’... can be also be accounted for by a set of rewrite rules.
NP ¾® Det            + Adj + N
                              Adj + Adj + N
Adj + Adj + Adj + N
Adj + Adj + Adj + Adj + N
This type of sentence can be expanded without apparent limit, and thus rules can go on being multiplied. As Roger Fowler says, ‘we donot need a new rule to extend the sentence each time, just one complex sentence forming rule can be applied over and over again... recursiveness is a property of complex sentences’, and ‘a transformational grammar with recursive rules represents a substantial gain in economy over other alternatives’.
Discontinous Constituent
Scholars of structural linguistics usually worked with cutting, classifying and labeling elements of language which is the process of IC analysis. Among the difficulties theyencountered in following this method was that it was simply not possible to cut into neat segments certain sequences, as the elements that belong together are separated by some other element/s. There is thus a discontinuity in the sequence. Such constituents are known as ‘discontinuous constituents’.
A very simple example is the sequence, the finest orator in the world. He sequence the finest naturally goes with in the world. Orator forms the other IC, but it interferes with the former to create ‘discontinuity’.
Phrasal verbs produce the most familiar types of discontinous constructions. We can use in sentences such phrasal verbs as put down, push away, brush off, make up, look up, etc to see how discontinous constructions are created by them.
He brushed her explanation off
He brushed the dust off his coat.
The mob pushed him away.
The general soon put the uprising down
She made the whole story up
In such constructions the adverbs often follow the object, though they belong with the verb. In interrogative sentences the ‘discontinuity’ process is quite obvious:
Is she coming?
This can be shown by using ‘boxes’.
Discontinuity in the sentence He brushed the dust off can be shown in the following manner.
Form-classes
The constituents of a sentence have the inherent lexical meaning as well as the class meaning. An important type of class meaning assigns a particular component occurring in the sentence structure a function meaning. These places or spots are structurally meaningful places in the sentence. What kinds of form can be filled in these places depends on their position.
Ducks
swim
Noun Phrase
Verb Phrase
The most basic dichotomy is between a Noun Phrase and a Verb Phrase. An utterance or a sentence must have these two components. These are also known at another place as the topic and the comment. These are the most common form classes. Any other sequence or sequences that can replace Ducks will play the same structural role as that single word. For example, we can use Two ducks. The two ducks; The two old ducks; or birds; the migratory bird; boys, the boys; the young boys, etc. Similarly, sequences that can replace swim, keeping the same structural relationship to the Noun phrase, are called Verb phrase. Thus we can replace swim with such possible sequences as eat, eat slowly, walk fast, speak, speak loudly, and so on.
Such structural positions are called form classes, and are also referred to as primary grammatical categories. In traditional grammar ‘the major parts of speech were associated with certain typical syntactic function. The basic primary grammatical categories we have just identified in the sentence Ducks Swim can be shown diagrammatically as follows.
A constituent in English has two types of meaning - a lexical meaning, that can be known by its ability to refer to things outside the language. A dictionary gives us the lexical meaning of words; and a structural or form­class-meaning, whose meaning derives from their membership of a form class. Certain words clearly show lexical meaning, chair, table, man, girl, hair, eyes, so on. In certain words form-class meanings are more dominant, the, of, from, by, since, etc. But there is no word which doesnot possess form class meaning.
We have already noted that an utterance or sentence can be divided into a Noun Phrase (NP) and a Verb Phrase (VP) by virtue of their having different basic syntactic functions.
Noun Phrase
What we see in a Noun Phrase is that sequences occurring in this slot are all centred on the same category of word noun. However complex a sequence may be that occurs in this position, if it can be replaced by a single noun, or pronoun, it is called an NP. ‘Any Phrase that can function as subject is a noun phrase’ (Noel Burton-Roberts). These identifiable actual words that can be isolated by gradually peeling off other words without damaging the sentence structure is a noun in NP. Such words are called Head words. They may be a noun of any type or a pronoun.
A                                  B
1.   She                              resumed her seat
2.   My friend                     wasted his time
3.   The new car                  runs smoothly
4.   The car that                  created problems
      you bought yesterday
The sequences occurring in section A are all NP. In the first sentence She is a pronoun, Head of NP which is a single word constituent (NP). In the second sentence my friend, friend can be identified as noun, my a possessive pronoun modifies it. Similarly, the new car shows car a noun, which is the head. So also in the last sentence. In sentences 2, 3 and 4 if we remove the determiners and modifiers, we will be finally left with a noun that will still be functioning as syntactically relevant function word.
But if we remove the noun car, or friend, the structure of the sentence will suffer and we shall be creating impossible sentences like, my wasted his time, the new runs smoothly. As Noel Burton-Roberts defines it, ‘In a phrase containing a modified form the essential centre of the phrase is said to be the Head of the phrase’.
Head words are recognised as constituting an open class. This is a place, or spot, or slot where any word that can function as noun can become the Head word. We may have a sentence like There are too many ifs and buts in your argument. Ifs and buts function here as nouns, therefore as head words.
Head words can function as subject and can occur as complement.
They follow determiners which are closed class words. They show morphological changes for form and class. A single noun can be the Head as well as the NP in a sentence. In Ali reserved his seat, Ali is a noun, a headword and an NP.
Determiners
Noun head words pattern with a wide range of adjuncts. These adjuncts are labelled determiners and modifiers. The class of determiners is fairly large with many sub-classes. However, we shall here take into account three major sub-classes.
i.    regular determiners.
ii.   pre-determiners.
iii.  post-determiners
i. Within this class we can identify articles, demonstratives and possessives (also called genitives). The basic determiner is the, the definite article. It precedes a noun or NP1 and demonstrates the nounness of it. It has a particularising role, I know the man; the tree has grown tall; The boys are rowdy, where its meaning is ‘before mentioned’ and ‘already known’. Articles and demonstratives are divided according to the number of the nominal.
Art
Demon.
Possessives
a, an
this
my
q
that
our
the
these
your
any
those
her
every

its
each

their
some

nom + z3
(Z3 is the symbol for the genitive form N + ‘s)
Two regular determiners donot occur before a noun. Only one determiner preceds it, showing a relation of mutual exclusiveness. This principle distinguishes determiner from an adjective.
ii.   Pre-determiners co-occur with determiners, normally preceding them:
all the boys
both these umbrellas
half Rita’s time
If we say all boys the position is occupied by the zero article. Many of the determiners and pre-determiners function like pronouns.
In the above example, both predetermines the determiner these which in turn determines umbrellas.
iii.  Post-determiners follow the determiners and precede the adjectives. While adjectives can ‘occur in any order, post-determiners have fixed positions. The following three classes of post-determiners can be recognised.
Ordinals              Cardinals            Superlative/comparative
first                     one                      more
second                 two                      most
third                    three                   fewer
next                     many                   fewest
lost                      few                      less
final                    several                least
In the examples, the last few days; the first four girls
we find that first and last which arc pre-determiners occur with few and far. But their order cannot be changed.
Finer distinctions are made and sub-classes recognised within the large group.
Absence of an article is marked by q symbol. Such an absence cannot totally be ignored. Its absence gives an information of the kind that can be compared to the information given by the determiners. The information could be about indefiniteness. We can thus have
q + tables, the table
q + chair, chair
Determiners, then, give information about definiteness and indefiniteness, quantity and proportion. Their function is not to modify but to determine a nominal.
Modification
The term modification suggests the syntactic relation between a headword and the element that is dependent on it. This dependent element may occur either before or after it. When it precedes the H (head) it premodifies; when it follows the H, it is said to post-modify. It is a one-way dependency/function.
Let us look at the following construction,
his rather curious look , phrase a
The Head word is preceded by curious, rather and his. We see here the following relationships.
his + phrase b
phrase c + looks
rather + curious
Such structure is called the structure of modification. ‘It has the same distributional characteristics as the head constituent (H)’. The boy ran, the young boy ran, He stood tall and straight.
In (A) example the headword (N) is modified by young (Adj.). In (B) the VP has a VS -ran which is the head word of the VP modified by slowly.
In the earlier example curious is modified by rather, a word which shows the extent of curiousness; rather is dependent on curious - it cannot occur all by itself. At the next higher level rather curious specifies look and are, therefore, dependent upon the latter. We can omit the whole phrase rather curious and still have a meaningful sequence his looks as it is the headword and the whole sequence preceding it is dependent upon it.
Most adjectives act as pre-modifiers of nouns.
1.   A pretty girl met me.
2.   Good people are honest.
3.   A tall chimney came down.
Adjectives can be modified by other adjective - a good tall chimney, a small pretty girl.
They can also be modified by degree adverbs like very, rather, quite, too, much.
Nouns as Modifiers
In a sequence in which two nouns occur, one of them can act as attributive or pre-modifier :
football match;        Cricket
(Mod)        (N)       (Mod)
commentary; film industry; munition factory.
(N)            (Mod) (N)        (Mod)        (N)
The modifier noun can also be proper noun -Delhi conference, Geneva convention, cardinal numerals (one, two, three), the ordinal numerals, (first, second, third...) and general ordinals (next, last, other) can also function as pre-modifiers.
Let us now look at the following examples.
A
the faded scene
a forgotten valley
remembered moments
B
the crumbling cake
the flying bird
the moving train
The phrases in set A have perfect participle forms faded, forgotten, remembered, they appeal to meaning by referring to valley that has been forgotten, the scene that faded and the moments that are remembered. They modify the noun-head. Similarly, the examples in set B show progressive participle as modifying element for cake, bird, and train. Obviously these in turn can be pre-modified in different ways.
Post-modification : In this type of modification the modifiers follow the item they modify.
The men injured were flown to Karachi.
The houses built recently have shown cracks.
The words injured and built are post-modifiers following the noun heads men and houses. In fact, we can see that these modifiers can be regarded as ‘reduced relative clauses’ so we can expand them in the manner shown below.
The men (Who were) injured were flown to Karachi.
The houses (that were) built recently have shown cracks.
There are some phrases that show adjectives with special meaning - Secretary General, president elect, court martial, attorney general, heir apparent, etc.
Verb Phrase
In the example cited earlier, Ducks swim, we have labelled swim as verb phrase. It is the second of the two immediate constituents. These are called predicates and embody ‘comment’ on the ‘topic’. Predicates contain a verb which optionally may be modified or complemented. These verbs are the Headword of the VP.
In the above example the boy is a noun phrase with a noun as its centre (Head) and are moving away is a verb phrase with moving as its centre.
A verb phrase contains a verb group (Vgp) which consists of a main verb that may be optionally modified by other verbs known as auxiliary verbs.
The simplest kind of VP is one-word construction with only a Head which is also a verb group (Vgp).
In the sentence                  
He is NP and is waking is VP which consists of Vgp made up of an auxiliary verb and the main verb walking.
Main verbs show morphological possibilities - they can be inflected in the following manner.
Walks         Walking            Walked
Swims        Swimming        Swam
Complementation
A verb phrase may or may not contain a noun phrase.
The occurrence of an NP is one of complementation. A relation of mutual dependency exists between a Vgp and an NP in which Vgp acts as governor. Thus we can see in this example,
We cannot omit the NP from the VP. Similarly, we cannot do without caught. Both
*           He caught and
and      *           He those flies               are unacceptable
Such verbs are called monotransitive or simply transitive. We shall discuss this process later on. It is not necessary that all verb groups should be followed by an NP. In our example above, if we replace caught with slept, we must drop the NP to have such a grammatically acceptable construction as
He slept
We cannot construct a sentence in this case which has a Vgp followed by an NP. We shall have an incorrect sentence if we do so such as
*     He slept those flies or
or
*     He looked those flies
Verbs that are followed by an NP are called transitive verbs; without such an NP they are known as intransitive verbs.
Appear, disappear, look, feel, go, come, etc.
are some examples of intransitive verbs. However, these verbs can be followed by adverbs of various types. He appeared suddenly, He appeared on the scene; or they may occur without them.
But this is not part of the complementation as the sense of the sentence is complete without it. Rather, it is a modifier in VP. VPs can include PP (on the scene, for instance) as optional modification.
Verb Group Classified
Verb group can be sub-classified into six types according to what occurs after it.
i)    Monotransitive verb group (or Vgp)
ii)   Ditransitive
iii) Intransitive
iv)  Intensive
v)   Complex transitive
vi)  Prepositional
Monotransitive
As we have already seen, a monotransitive Vgp needs one NP as its complement. This NP functions as its direct object, for example :
deer is the NP in the VP which complements the transitive verb saw. Pronouns functioning in this place assume specific forms which are called objective case (accusative). The NP complementing a Vgp is called the, direct object.
Ditransitive
This type of Vgp takes two NP complementations. Example,
     1          2
a.   She sent me a message
       1        2
b.   John gave Jill a car
                            1            2
c.    Jill bought John a candy
Words marked I are indirect object and those marked 2 are direct object. Both the NPs are governed by the Vgp sent, in a. gave in b. and bought in c. We can also write these sentences in the following manner.
a.   She sent a message to me.
b.   John gave a car to Jill.
c.    Jill bought a candy for John.
The indirect object, in these examples appears as prepositional phrase following a direct object. Such PPs are introduced by to or for.
PPs of this type are part of the complementation of the intransitive verb.
Intensive
Either a single Adj. Phrase or an NP or a PP can complement an intensive verb group.
She became a doctor (NP
John is being rather generous (AP)
Jill must be in the class room (AP)
We must note here that in the above examples no second person is mentioned. It is different from monotransitive Vgp. complementation where something apart from the subject is mentioned (i.e. she saw me). The NP, AP and the PP can be said to be ‘predicative’, and also ‘complement’ which’ distinguish it from ‘object’. The following examples make it clear.
i.    Ramzan turned pale.
ii.   Ramzan turned the doorknobs.
iii.  She felt sad.
iv.  She felt spider on her hand.
Examples i and ii show intensifying Vgp taking a subject predication, an AP, since they characterise the subject. In ii) and iv) VP has a complementation which gives information about something other than subject.
Complex Transitive
Here we see a combination of the monotransitive with intensive complementation : complex transitives are followed by an NP (Dir. obj.) and an NP, an AP, or a PP (predicative).
i.    They will make me their representative (NP)
ii.   I found his joke extremely unpleasant (AP)
iii.  Jill is putting the basket under the table (PP)
While in an intensive Vgp construction; the predicative characterises the subject (i.e. he became a doctor), in the complex transitive constructions the predicative refers to the direct object : She will be his wife. Such complementation is called object predicate.
Prepositional
He glanced at the elephant
Jack referred to the o1d book.
In the above sentences a VP contains a PP which complements the Vgp. Such complements are known as prepositional complements.
Adverbials
Also known as adjunct adverbials, this is a large class expressing a wide range of ideas like manner, means, purpose, reason, place, time.
Adverb, or Adverb Phrase denotes a category; Adverbial denotes function.
a.   So apart from functioning as adverbial, adverb has other functions too like modifying an adjective as in this example.
She is extremely beautiful
b.   It is not just adverbs that function as adverbials, other categories can also function as adverbials, i.e., PPs and NPs.
Adverbial
Adverbs
Function
Prepositional Phrases
Noun Phrases
Adjuncts appearing in the VP modify the segment Vgp + NP, not just the Vgp alone. Let us look at the following examples :
The PP adjunct in the garage characterises the verb group (Vgp) put hi car as a whole not just the NP (his car).
Pre-verbs
It is a sub-class of adverbs, which occurs after ‘the first auxiliary Vb almost, ever, always, seldom, hardly, rarely, etc.
Ramzan is always in a hurry
Rina has never read a novel
I can hardly understand it
Time adverbs: We can note various notions of time expressed by these adverbials, in the following examples:
i.    He came to see me again
ii.   We saw him in Karachi last year
iii.  Ramzan will leave at 8 o’clock
The adverbials in these examples indicate a point or period of time. So also now, then, etc. Other adverbials indicate the point of time from which the period can be measured.
Recently I saw an old film.
Once I saw an old film
Time duration is indicated in the following manner :
He studied all night long
We had been moving since last Sunday
Frequency is suggested by adverbials like regularly, everyday, often, seldom, usually, twice, never, soon.
He regularly visits the library
Take the tablet twice a day
I sometimes feel giddy
The following examples show PP functioning as adverbials.
She has spoken about it on several occasions
He has not seen me in recent times
Degree Adverbs : Effect can be underscored by putting a degree adverbial in the VP of a sentence. The result is lowering or hightening of effect.
He will certainly agree
We nearly fell off the ladder
I much prefer to stay alone
Among others we can note definitely, thoroughly, all but, rather, really, entirely, scarcely, hardly, simply as degree adverbs.
Place adverbs : As is obvious, these adverbs indicate the place.
He stood on the hill
Roberts fell in the bathroom
He studies in the college
Mobility of the Adverbials
A high level of mobility is observed in the adverbials. They can be moved around somewhat freely, and donot necessarily occur only in a position after the Vgp and its complement. In fact we can shift a PP around in a sentence to see if it functions as an adverbial or as a complement.
He arranged everything cleverly
He cleverly arranged everything
Cleverly he arranged everything
He arranged cleverly everything
We can experiment with other adverbs in this manner.
Phrasal verbs :
Phrasal verbs consist of the elements that also comprise some PPs. Apparently they look alike.
1.   a. He took down the dictation.
b. He took me down the stairs.
2.   a. I called up the man.
b. I called up the balcony.
In the set 1, and 2, a. shows a phrasal verb, while b. shows a verb plus an adverb.
In a. down the dictation doesnot make sense; took down form a unit, a phrasal verb. In b. down the stairs makes sense. Similarly, in set 2 up the man fails to carry sense, but up the balcony does. Though these segments, call up and take down look alike, they belong to different categories and have different functions. We can distinguish them from call off put down, hand over, give up, give in and a whole multitude of other phrasal verbs.
Phrasal verbs may consist of more than one element, but all the units function together as one-word verb group. It consists of Vb + particle.
An important feature of it is that it can appear as discontinous form -
NP as adverbial
Certain noun phrases function as adverbials.
He arrived last week
She left day before yesterday
We had seen it three years ago
Non-finite clause as adverbial
All the three types of non-finite clauses.
1.   an infinitive
2.   a progressive participle (-ing type)
3.   a perfect participle (-ed type)
can function as adverbials
1.   An infinitive functioning as adverbial is shown below :
He works to earn his bread
Ramzan came to meet his friend
We went there to spend the vacation
2.   A progressive participle functioning as adverbial is shown below :
He felt satisfied, having talked to us
Entering the room, he collapsed
3.   We can see the perfect participle functioning as adverbials in the following examples.
The work done, he left the place.
Not satisfied, we quit the office.
Forgotten, the book lay there for years.
Sentence Adverbials
This is a class of adverbial formation that is not strictly integrated in the structure of the sentence. Also known as Disjuncts, these constituents represent some sort of comment from the speaker and so are peripheral to the structure of the sentence. Let us look at these examples :
a.   i)    She upsets everything between you and me
            ii) She upsets everything, between you and me
      b.   i)    He admitted everything frankly
            ii)   He admitted everything, frankly
In the i) sentence of both the sets the sequence between you and me and frankly are adjuncts. In ii) sentences, on the other hand, these same sequences function as disjuncts, denoting what the speaker has to say, and not how she upsets or he admitted, or the manner of these actions. These are expressed in sentence i. of both the sets.
Disjuncts are loosely attached to the sentence structure and can also be placed in the initial, middle or final positions.
In writing disjuncts are shown by a comma, while in speaking a distinct intonation movement marks them. Structurally, like other adjuncts, disjuncts or sentence adverbials can appear as
i.    a prepositional phrase              in all honesty
ii.   an infinite clause                      to be honest
iii.  a progressive participle honestly speaking
iv.  a perfect participle                    put honestly
v.   a finite verb clause                    if I can speak honestly
Auxiliary Verb Group
We must keep in mind that the verb group (Vgp) which is a constituent of the VP has main verb (lexical verb) as its head. This optionally takes the verb modifier auxiliary verb. The function of the auxiliary verb is to modify the lexical (maim) verb, while the number of the lexical verbs is very large, infinitely large, the auxiliary verbs are a restricted set of morphemes forming a closed system. These are placed before the main verb, when an auxiliary verb combines with the main verb to form a verb group, we get a complex verb group. But when a single verb forms the verb group, we have simple verb group. Such simple Vgps consist of main verbs only.
He talks rapidly
I met some guests
She went there
They cracked soon enough
Finite Verbs are those that are tensed. A sentence must contain a finite Vgp.
Work          Worked Working
leave          left                   leaving
eat              ate                    eating
Non-finite verbs are not tensed; participles, gerunds,-infinitives are types of non-finite Vgps.
Finite verb also changes its forms according to the number and person of the subject NP.
She            goes
They           go
It                cracks
These         crack
This kind of relationship is known as subject-verb agreement or concord.
Auxiliary verbs are classified into Primary auxiliary and the modal auxiliary. In the former we find the verbs do, have, be, with their variant forms - have, has, had, having, do, doing, done, be, been, being, is, are, was, were, etc.
In modal auxiliaries we find can, could, may, might, must, shall, should, will, would, need, dare, used to, ought to.
Auxiliary verbs also function as main verbs, i.e. they constitute the single-verb Vgp.
Modals are not tensed, nor do they show subject-verb agreement; their form is always that of the present tense.
I can go; She must read; They will win, and so on.
Even the verb that follows the modal shows the basic stem form.
An auxiliary verb having the perfect aspect modifies the main verb following it.
has
have
had
MV + perfect
The changed form of the MVb is called perfect participle. For progressive aspect we require auxiliary verb be, followed by a main verb that takes -ing.
He is running; They were eating; He was writing.
Passivisation
Auxiliary verbs play a very important role in a kind of transformation process known as passivisation. This affects the whole sentence. For this we must switch the positions of subject and object. Subject becomes a PP and passive Vgp is introduced.
The Vgp that creates passive voice sentences must contain be verb or their different forms.
Active                   Passive
build/built             is/was built
is/was building     is/was being built
has built                has been built
will build              will be built
The forms taken by the main verb after the passive auxiliary verb is the passive participle form. Its form and that of the perfect participle is the same (built).

People who read this post also read :



5 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is really helpful and easy to understandlinguistics.There is a lot of clearity on each and every topic of linguistics.Thanks.

Anonymous said...

At this moment I am going to do my breakfast,
after having my breakfast coming again to read additional news.


Feel free to visit my blog healthy diet plans

Anonymous said...

Excellent - now I know what a Vgp is. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

thank u. had no idea of the demands of my assingment. now iknow what to write

aliya seen said...

visiting your post. I was exactly searching for. Thanks for such post and please keep it up. Great work. Anyway, The sentence grammar check is useful site for all students.

Post a Comment

Please leave your comments!