Cú pháp Bài giảng dành cho sinh viên đại học cao đẳng

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Cú pháp Bài giảng dành cho sinh viên đại học cao đẳng là bộ tài liệu hay và rất hữu ích cho các bạn sinh viên và quý bạn đọc quan tâm. Đây là tài liệu hay trong Bộ tài liệu sưu tập gồm nhiều Bài tập THCS, THPT, luyện thi THPT Quốc gia, Giáo án, Luận văn, Khoá luận, Tiểu luận…và nhiều Giáo trình Đại học, cao đẳng của nhiều lĩnh vực: Toán, Lý, Hoá, Sinh…. Đây là nguồn tài liệu quý giá đầy đủ và rất cần thiết đối với các bạn sinh viên, học sinh, quý phụ huynh, quý đồng nghiệp và các giáo sinh tham khảo học tập. Xuất phát từ quá trình tìm tòi, trao đổi tài liệu, chúng tôi nhận thấy rằng để có được tài liệu mình cần và đủ là một điều không dễ, tốn nhiều thời gian, vì vậy, với mong muốn giúp bạn, giúp mình tôi tổng hợp và chuyển tải lên để quý vị tham khảo. Qua đây cũng gởi lời cảm ơn đến tác giả các bài viết liên quan đã tạo điều kiện cho chúng tôi có bộ sưu tập này. Trên tinh thần tôn trọng tác giả, chúng tôi vẫn giữ nguyên bản gốc.Trân trọng.ĐỊA CHỈ DANH MỤC TẠI LIỆU CẦN THAM KHẢOhttp:123doc.vntrangcanhan348169nguyenductrung.htmhoặc Đường dẫn: google > 123doc > Nguyễn Đức Trung > Tất cả (chọn mục Thành viên) PHAM VAN DONG UNIVERSITY FACULTY OF FOREIGN LANGUAGES ENGLISH SYNTAX LECTURES Lecturer: NGUY N TÚ NHI For Internal Use Only TABLE OF CONTENTS Pages Chapter 1: INTRODUCTION TO SYNTAX 1.1 Definition 1.2 Grammaticality and Ungrammaticality 1.3 What Grammaticality Is Not Based On 1.4 Constituent Structure, Lexical Categories and Syntactic Categories 10 Chapter 2: CHAPTER 2: WORD CLASSES 17 2.1 Parts of speech, word classes and grammatical categories 17 2.2 Classification of word classes 18 2.2.1 Major classes vs minor classes 18 2.2.2 English major classes 19 2.2.2.1 English form classes 19 2.2.2.2 English positional classes 25 2.2.3 English minor classes 27 2.2.4 Nominal conjunctions 28 2.2.5 Relative conjunctions 29 Chapter 3: PHRASES 31 3.1 Introduction: 31 3.1.1 Heads 31 3.1.2 Specifiers 32 3.1.3 Complements 34 3.2 Characteristics of Phrases 35 3.2.1 The Noun Phrase (NP) 35 3.2.1.1 Simple Noun phrases 35 3.2.1.2 Complex Noun Phrases 37 3.2.2 The Verb Phrase (VP) 38 3.2.2.1 Simple Verb Phrases 38 3.2.2.2 Complex Verb Phrases 39 3.2.3 The Prepositional Phrase (PP) 41 3.2.4 The Adjective Phrase (AP) 41 3.2.5 The Adverb Phrase (AdvP) 42 Chapter 4: CLAUSES 43 4.1 Definition 43 4.2 Classification 43 4.2.1 By Structures 43 4.2.2 By Relationship 45 4.2.3 By Relationship 49 Chapter 5: SENTENCES 52 5.1 Definition 52 5.2 Classification 52 5.2.1 By Purpose 53 5.2.2 By Structure 56 Chapter 6: PHRASE STRUCTURE RULES 62 6.1 Phrase Structure 62 6.2 Phrase Structure Rules 63 6.2.1 Phrase-structure Rules for rewriting Noun Phrases 63 6.2.2 Verb Phrases 64 6.2.3 Prepositional Phrases 64 6.3 Surface Structures vs Deep Structures 65 Chapter 7: METHODS OF SENTENCE ANALYSIS 69 7.1 Descriptive Linguistic Analysis (Traditional Grammar) 69 7.2 Tree Diagram 69 7.3 Bracketing 71 Chapter 8: AMBIGUITY 72 8.1 Surface Structures vs Deep Structures 72 8.2 Structural Ambiguity 74 8.2.1 Structural ambiguity in English noun phrases 74 8.2.2 Structural ambiguity in English verb phrases 75 8.3 Lexical Ambiguity 76 8.4 Metaphorical Ambiguity 76 REFERENCES 78 CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION TO SYNTAX Aims: By the end of this Chapter, students will be able to: Understand what syntax is about Understand the notion ‘grammaticality’ in English Distinguish grammatical sentences from ungrammatical ones Understand what a Constituent Structure is Distinguish lexical categories from syntactic categories Build grammatical sentences in English 1.1 Definition: The term ‘syntax’ is from the Ancient Greek syntaxis, a verbal noun which literally means ‘arrangement’ or ‘setting out together’ Traditionally, it refers to the branch of grammar dealing with the ways in which words, with or without appropriate inflections, are arranged to show connections of meaning within the sentence Syntax has to with how words are put together to build phrases, with how phrases are put together to build clauses or bigger phrases, and with how clauses are put together to build sentences In small and familiar situations, humans could communicate using single words and many gestures, particularly when dealing with other members of the same social grouping (nuclear family, extended family, clan and so on) But complex messages for complex situations or complex ideas require more than just single words; every human language has devices with which its speakers can construct phrases and clauses Syntax and morphology make up what is traditionally referred to as ‘grammar’; an alternative term for it is morphosyntax, which explicitly recognizes the important relationship between syntax and morphology Syntax is “the study of how words combine to form sentences and the rules which govern the information of sentences” [Richards, Platt and Weber, 1987: 285] Syntax is “a term used for the study of the rules governing the way words are combined to form SENTENCES." [Finch, 2000: 77] SYNTAX is the study of how words are combined to form sentences in a language Thus, syntax concerns the system of rules and categories that underlies sentence formation pháp c p đ nh t c a ngôn ng tr c ti p liên h v i vi c bi u đ t t t ng câu ph ng ti n hình thành di n đ t tr c ti p m t t tr n v n [Cao Xuân H o, 1991: 24] 1.2 Grammaticality and Ungrammaticality A central part of the description of what speakers is characterizing the grammatical (or well-formed) sentences of a language and distinguishing them from ungrammatical or (ill- formed) sentences Grammatical sentences are those that are in accord with the rules and principles of the syntax of a particular language Ungrammatical sentences violate one or more syntactic rules or principles Among other things, the rules specify the correct word order for a language For example, English is a Subject–Verb– Object (SVO) language The English sentence in (1) is grammatical because the words occur in the right order; the sentence in (2) is ungrammatical because the word order is incorrect for English (Recall that the asterisk or star preceding a sentence is the linguistic convention for indicating that the sentence is ungrammatical or ill-formed according to the rules of the grammar.) The President nominated a new Supreme Court justice *President the new Supreme justice Court a nominated Sentence ( ) is ungrammatical because it violates some of the word order rules for English These include: (i) basic word order in English clauses is subject-verb-object; (ii) articles like the and a precede the noun they modify; and It is important to note that these are English-specific syntactic rules Well-formed sentences are those that are in accord with the syntactic rules of the language; However, this does not mean that they always make sense semantically For example, the sentence The book is reading the teacher is nonsensical in terms of its meaning, but it does not violate any syntactic rules or principles of English; indeed, it has exactly the same syntactic structure as The teacher is reading a book Hence it is grammatical (well-formed), despite being semantically odd A second important role of the syntax is to describe the relationship between the meaning of a particular group of words and the arrangement of those words For example, Alice’s companions show us that the word order of a sentence contributes crucially to its meaning The sentences in (3) and (4) contain the same words, but the meanings are quite different I mean what I say I say what I mean Syntactic rules also specify other constraints that sentences must adhere to Consider, for example, the sentences in (5) (a) The boy found (b) The boy found quickly (c) The boy found in the house (d) The boy found the ball The sentence in (5d) is grammatical and the ones in (5a–c) are ungrammatical This a verb like found is because the syntax rules specify that must be followed by something, and that something cannot be an expression like quickly or in the house but must be like the ball Similarly, the sentence in (6b) is grammatical while the sentence in (8a) is not (a) Disa slept the baby (b) Disa slept soundly The verb sleep patterns differently than find in that it may be followed solely by a word like soundly but not by other kinds of phrases such as the baby The sentences in (7a, d, e, f) are grammatical and that (7b, c) are not The examples in (7) show that specific verbs, such as believe, try, and want, behave differently with respect to the patterns of words that may follow them (a) Zack believes Robert to be a gentleman (b) Zack believes to be a gentleman (c) Zack tries Robert to be a gentleman (d) Zack tries to be a gentleman (e) Zack wants to be a gentleman (f) Zack wants Robert to be a gentleman In (8) we see that the phrase ran up the hill behaves differently from the phrase ran up the bill, even though the two phrases are superficially quite similar For the expression ran up the hill, the rules of the syntax allow the word orders in (8a) and (8c), but not (8b) In ran up the bill, in contrast, the rules allow the order in (8d) and (8e), but not (8f) (a) Jack and Jill ran up the hill (b) Jack and Jill ran the hill up (c) Up the hill ran Jack and Jill (d) Jack and Jill ran up the bill (e) Jack and Jill ran the bill up (f) Up the bill ran Jack and Jill The pattern shown in (8) illustrates that sentences are not simply strings of words with no further organization If they were, there would be no reason to expect ran up the hill to pattern differently from ran up the bill These phrases act differently because they have different syntactic structures associated with them In ran up the hill, the words up the hill form a unit, as follows: He ran [up the hill] The whole unit can be moved to the beginning of the sentence, as in (8c), but we cannot rearrange its subparts, as shown in (8b) On the other hand, in ran up the bill, the words up the bill not form a natural unit, so they cannot be moved, and (8f) is ungrammatical Our syntactic knowledge crucially includes rules that tell us how words form groups in a sentence, or how they are hierarchically arranged with respect to one another Consider the following sentence: The captain ordered all old men and women off the sinking ship This phrase “old men and women” is ambiguous, referring either to old men and to women of any age or to old men and old women The ambiguity arises because the words old men and women can be grouped in two ways If the words are grouped as follows, old modifies only men and so the women can be any age [old men] and [women] When we group them like this, the adjective old modifies both men and women [old [men and women]] The rules of syntax allow both of these groupings, which is why the expression is ambiguous The following hierarchical diagrams illustrate the same point: Old men and women old men and women In the first structure old and men are under the same node and hence old modifies men In the second structure old shares a node with the entire conjunction men and women, and so modifies both Many sentences exhibit such ambiguities, often leading to humorous results Consider the following two sentences, which appeared in classified ads: For sale: an antique desk suitable for lady with thick legs and large drawers We will oil your sewing machine and adjust tension in your home for $10.00 In the first ad, the humorous reading comes from the grouping [a desk] [for lady with thick legs and large drawers] as opposed to the intended [a desk for lady] [with thick legs and large drawers], where the legs and drawers belong to the desk The second case is similar Because these ambiguities are a result of different structures, they are instances of structural ambiguity Often a combination of differing structure and double word-meaning creates ambiguity (and humor) as in the cartoon: Waitress’s 1.3 nose ring Waitress’s nose ring What Grammaticality Is Not Based On Grammaticality is not based on what is taught in school but on the rules acquired or constructed unconsciously as children Much grammatical knowledge is ‘in place’ before we learn to read The ability to make grammaticality judgments does not depend on having heard the sentence before You may never have heard or read Enormous crickets in pink socks were dancing at the ball but your syntactic knowledge will tell you the sentence is grammatical Grammaticality judgments not depend on whether the sentence is meaningful or not, as shown by the following sentences: Colorless green ideas sleep furiously A verb crumpled the milk NP DET A N (NP consists of DET + A + N) NP DET A N PP (NP consists of DET + A + N + PP) These four rules can be collapsed into a single rule if we place parentheses around optional elements (that is, around elements that need not be present) Notice that the only constituent required in each NP rewrite rule is N: the other constituents — DET, A, and PP — are optional and must be placed in parentheses The abbreviated rule looks like this: NP (DET) (A) N (PP) Because DET, A, and PP are optional, we can rewrite NP not only as in 1, 2, 3, and above, but also in other ways, including and NP A N NP DET N PP 6.2.2 Phrase-structure Rules for rewriting Sentences and Verb Phrases: To capture the fact that sentences and clauses have two basic constituent parts, we formulate the following phrase structure: S NP VP The internal structure of verb phrase: VP V: Lou won 10 VP V NP: Lou won a bicycle 11 VP V NP (S): Lou warned [the cook] [that he must wash the celery] 12 VP V (NP) (PP) (S): Lou warned [the cook] [on Monday] [that he must wash the celery] 13 VP V (S): The indictment charged [that Lou embezzled funds] 14 VP V PP: Lou flew to Miami 15 VP V NP PP: Lou won the bike in a contest 16 VP V PP S: Lou denied in court that he flew to Miami 6.2.3 Phrase-structure Rules for rewriting Prepositional Phrases: Other well-form English sentences indicate that a PP consists of a preposition 64 and that all prepositions take complements and their complements are always nominals [Stageberg, 1965:196-199] In other words, a preposition is always dominated by a PP and always has a nominal complement 17 PP PREP NP We have the following phrase-structure rules for English: S 6.3 NP VP NP (DET) (A) N (PP) VP V (NP) (PP) (S) PP PREP NP Surface Structures vs Deep Structures Each sentence is considered to have two levels of structure: the deep structure and the surface structure The surface structure is generally the syntactic structure of the sentence which a person speaks, hears, reads or writes, e.g the passive sentence: The newspaper was not delivered today The deep structure is much more abstract and is considered to be in the speaker’s, writer’s or reader’s mind The deep structure for the above sentence would be something like: (NEGATIVE) someone (PAST TENSE) deliver the newspaper today (PASSIVE) The items in brackets are not lexical items but grammatical concepts which shape the final form of the sentence Rules which describe deep structure (phrasestructure rules) are in the first part of the grammar (BASE COMPONENT) Rules which transform these structures (transformational rules) are the second part of the grammar (TRANSFOMATIONAL COMPONENT).” [Richards, Platt and Weber, 1987: 74] Thus, we postulate two levels of sentence structure in the sentence ‘John loves Richard more than Martha’ “The level that is represented by the linear string of morphemes and words as uttered or written is called a surface structure The other level of structure is an abstract level underlying the surface structure 65 Structure at this level is called deep structure or underlying structure “From an underlying structure, a surface structure is generated by application of a series of syntactic processes called transformational rules, or transformations.” [Finegan, 1994: 141-142] The phrase-structure rules we proposed earlier would actually generate a deep structure Then the syntactic processes — the transformations — would operate on the deep structure generated by the phrase-structure rules to produce a surface structure We can represent the situation schematically as follows: PHRASE-STRUCTURE RULES Deep structure TRANSFORMATIONAL RULES Surface structure Let’s consider the two following examples: Ex1 PHRASE-STRUCTURE RULES: S NP VP NP PropN VP V NP AdvP Deep structure: John LOVES Richard more than he LOVES Martha THE OMISSION TRANSFORMATIONAL RULE: Omit the repeated subject he and the repeated verb loves Surface structure: John LOVES Richard more than Martha Ex2 PHRASE-STRUCTURE RULES: S 66 NP VP NP PropN VP V NP AdvP Deep structure: John LOVES Richard more than Martha LOVES Richard THE OMISSION TRANSFORMATIONAL RULE: Omit the repeated verb loves and the repeated direct object Richard Surface structure: John LOVES Richard more than Martha The two above examples prove that two different deep structures may share the same surface structure as a result of the application of a certain transformational rule Note also that a sentence is structurally ambiguous when its only surface structure is derived from two or more different deep structures EXERCISES Which of the following underlined strings of words form constituents? Carrie was the leader of the group Carrie was the leader of the group Carrie was the leader of the group Carrie was the leader of the group Carrie was the leader of the group Carrie was the leader of the group Draw constituent structure trees for the following sentences: The puppy found the child A frightened passenger landed the crippled plane The house on the hill collapsed in the wind The ice melted The hot sun melted the ice 67 Paraphrase each of the following sentences in two different ways to show that you understand the ambiguity involved: Smoking grass can be nauseating Old men and women are hard to live with That sheepdog is too hairy to eat Terry loves his wife and so How much you want to cut the grass? 68 CHAPTER 7: METHODS OF SENTENCE ANALYSIS Aims: By the end of this Chapter, students will be able to: Understand different methods of sentence analysis Analyse English sentences using different methods, including Descriptive Linguistic Analysis, Tree Diagram, and Bracketing Analysis of a sentence is the breaking up of a sentence into its parts, with a view to show their mutual relations There are three conventional methods of sentence analysis: 7.1 Descriptive Linguistic Analysis (Traditional Grammar) E.g I not know whether the woman who was asking so many questions was really interested in the subject, or whether she wanted to attract the attention of the speakers towards herself, but whatever her motive was, she succeeded in making him feel so much confused that he eventually sat down, blushed and remained silent M1: I not know : Main clause S1: whether the woman was really interested in the subject: Noun clause, object of “know” S1.1: who was asking so many questions: Relative clause, modifying woman S2: or whether she wanted to attract the attention of the speakers towards herself: Coordinate Noun Clause, object of know M2: but she succeeded in making him feel so much confused: main clause S3: whatever her motive was: Adverb clause of concession, modifying “succeed” S4: that he eventually sat down, blushed and remained silent.: Adverb clause of result, modifying “confused” 7.2 Tree Diagram  To build a tree, it is easy to work from the bottom-up and from right to left (A Grammar of Contemporary English) 69  The words of each sentence can be divided into two or more groups and within each group the words can be divided into sub-groups, and so on, until the simple words remain  In tree-diagram method, the sentence is called a constituent structure The ‘tree’ is upside down with the ‘root’ at the top and the ‘leaves’ at the bottom  At the bottom of the tree are individual words or morphemes In addition to revealing linear order, a constituent structure tree has hierarchical structure Three aspects of the syntactic knowledge of sentence structure revealed in the constituent structure tree: a Linearity: the linear order of the words E.g the subject precedes the verb while the object follows the verb b Hierarchy: the grouping of the words into structure constituents In sentences, lesser elements are parts of larger wholes, which are in turns parts of larger wholes c Categoriality: the syntactic category of each structural constituent Words and the larger constituents they make up belong to a set of distinct categories, each with its special characteristics (E.g Nouns, Adjective, Noun phrase, Verb Phrase, etc ) Steps in building a tree structure:  Assign each word to the appropriate category: P Near Det N the door  Next, working from right to left, add the XP level above each N, V, A, or P NP P Det Near the N door 70  We carry out the same procedure for the P near, adding the required PP level E.g The young boy has bought a new camera The tree diagram shows that the sentence “The young boy has bought a new camera.” Consists of two structural constituents: a noun phrase “the young boy” and a verb phrase “has bought a new camera” The verb phrase “has bought a new camera” consists of two structural constituents: the verb “has bought” and the noun phrase “a new camera” and so on The article “a”, the adjective “new” and the noun “camera” are constituents in a large constituent noun phrase “a new camera” A constituent includes all the smaller constituents beneath it in the tree Each branching point in the tree is called a “node”, and sometimes the syntactic category associated with the node is called its “label” 7.3 Bracketing - Sentences are marked with an initial capital letter and a final stop - Clauses are enclosed in square brackets [] - Phrases are enclosed in round brackets - Words are separated by spaces Examples: [(They) (will come) (here) (by car) (next week)] S: pro V: VP A: adv A: PP A: adv [(John) (kicked) (the ball)] and [(Harry) (caught) (it)] S: N V: V O: NP V: V O: pro S: N 71 CHAPTER 8: AMBIGUITY Aims: By the end of this Chapter, students will be able to: Recognize various kinds of ambiguity Practice in sorting out ambiguity 8.1 Surface Structures vs Deep Structures Each sentence is considered to have two levels of structure: the deep structure and the surface structure The surface structure is generally the syntactic structure of the sentence which a person speaks, hears, reads or writes, e.g the passive sentence: The newspaper was not delivered today The deep structure is much more abstract and is considered to be in the speaker’s, writer’s or reader’s mind The deep structure for the above sentence would be something like: (NEGATIVE) someone (PAST TENSE) deliver the newspaper today (PASSIVE) The items in brackets are not lexical items but grammatical concepts which shape the final form of the sentence Rules which describe deep structure (phrasestructure rules) are in the first part of the grammar (BASE COMPONENT) Rules which transform these structures (transformational rules) are the second part of the grammar (TRANSFOMATIONAL COMPONENT).” [Richards, Platt and Weber, 1987: 74] Thus, we postulate two levels of sentence structure in the sentence John loves Richard more than Martha “The level that is represented by the linear string of morphemes and words as uttered or written is called a surface structure The other level of structure is an abstract level underlying the surface structure Structure at this level is called deep structure or underlying structure “From an underlying structure, a surface structure is generated by application of a series of syntactic processes called transformational rules, or transformations.” [Finegan, 1994: 141-142] 72 The phrase-structure rules we proposed earlier deep structure Then the would actually generate a syntactic processes — the transformations — would operate on the deep structure generated by the phrase-structure rules to produce a surface structure We can represent the situation schematically as follows: PHRASE-STRUCTURE RULES Deep structure TRANSFORMATIONAL RULES Surface structure Let’s consider the two following examples: Ex1 PHRASE-STRUCTURE RULES: S NP VP NP VP PropN V NP AdvP Deep structure: John LOVES Richard more than he LOVES Martha THE OMISSION TRANSFORMATIONAL RULE: Omit the repeated subject he and the repeated verb loves Surface structure: John LOVES Richard more than Martha Ex2 PHRASE-STRUCTURE RULES: S NP VP NP PropN VP V NP AdvP Deep structure: John LOVES Richard more than Martha LOVES Richard 73 THE OMISSION TRANSFORMATIONAL RULE: Omit the repeated verb loves and the repeated direct object Richard Surface structure: John LOVES Richard more than Martha The two above examples prove that two different deep structures may share the same surface structure as a result of the application of a certain transformational rule Note also that a sentence is structurally ambiguous when its only surface structure is derived from two or more different deep structures A sentence, or part of a sentence, is ambiguous when it carries more than one meaning Occasionally, writers use ambiguity intentionally Puns are examples of intentional ambiguity: Poets sometimes deliberately use expressions carrying multiple meanings However, in most cases, ambiguity is unintentional resulting from a careless use of the sentence structure, a failure to include the signals that would make the meaning clear This kind of ambiguity is a feature of bad writing and is of course to be avoided if possible Ambiguity is the state of having more than one possible meaning A word or a sentence that can be interpreted in more than one way is called ambiguity (Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary) There are several kinds of ambiguity: 8.2 Structural Ambiguity A sentence which is ambiguous because its word relate to each other in different ways and has two structures underlying the same string of words even though none of the individual word is ambiguous Ex: The boy saw the man with a telescope 8.2.1 Structural ambiguity in English noun phrases 74 A noun phrase is considered as STRUCTURALLY AMBIGUOUS when its structure permits more than one interpretation Some Japanese print collectors is structurally ambiguous It means either some Japanese collectors of prints or some collectors of Japanese prints: The old Rumanian history teacher can be interpreted in three different ways: ‘the old teacher of history who comes from Rumania’ ‘the teacher of old Rumanian history’ ‘the teacher of Rumanian history who is old’ 8.2.2 Structural ambiguity in English verb phrases [He] considered the applicant hard This verb phrase is structurally ambiguous because: (1)a hard is an adverb meaning ‘carefully’ or ‘with care’, being an optional adverbial adjunct of manner of the monotransitive verb considered, which means ‘thought about’ or ‘took into account’: He CONSIDERED S + monotrans headV + the applicant hard NP/dO + adjunct of Manner (1)b hard is an adjective meaning ‘difficult to be accepted’, being the object predicative (oP)/the objective complement (oC) of the dO noun phrase ‘the applicant’ Both the dO and its oP/oC follow the complex transitive verb considered meaning ‘regarded’: He CONSIDERED the applicant S + complex trans headV + NP/dO hard + adjective/oP or oC [He] watched the hunters with binoculars This verb phrase is structurally ambiguous because: (2)a With binoculars is a PP, an adjectival post-modifier of the NP the hunters: 75 He WATCHED the hunters with binoculars S + monotrans headV + NP/dO (2)b With binoculars is a PP, an optional adverbial adjunct of means of watched, which is a monotransitive verb: He WATCHED the hunters with binoculars S + monotrans headV + NP/dO + adjunct of Means 8.3 Lexical Ambiguity Any ambiguity resulting from the ambiguity of word EX She cannot bear children  she is unable to give birth to children  she cannot tolerate children 8.4 Metaphorical Ambiguity Sometimes the breaking of semantic rules can be used to convey a particular idea ‘walls have ears’ is certainly anomalous, but it can be interpreted as meaning ‘you can be heard even when you think nobody is listening In some sense, the sentence is ambiguous, but the literal meaning is so unlikely that listeners stretch their imagination for another interpretation That ‘stretching’ is based on semantic properties that are inferred or that provide some kind of resemblance Such non-literal interpretations of sentences are called metaphor Other examples: - My new car is a lemon  The new car may be a miniature toy carved out of a piece of citrus fruit  A newly purchased vehicle that breaks down and requires constant repairs  The imagination stretching in this case may relate to the semantic property ‘taste sour’ that lemon possess - Dr John is a butcher - John is a snake in the grass 76 EXERCISES Sort out the ambiguity in the following sentences I once shot an elephant in my pyjamas They are hunting dogs Why is a three-letter word? The police found a hole in the change-room wall and are looking into it He saw that gas can explode Wanted a nurse for a baby about twenty years old Did you hear the story about the blind carpenter who picked up his hammer and saw? Time flies like an arrow Fruit flies like a banana She likes old dogs and cats 10 Police help dog bite victim 11 I want to put a hyphen between the words fish and and and and and chips in my fish and chips sign 12 Free elephants 13 Flying planes can be dangerous 14 The students are revolting! 15 Those prosecutors have been trying to lock him up for ten years 16 Two motorbikes were reported stolen by the Quang Ngai police yesterday 77 REFERENCES [1] Borsley R D (1991), Syntactic Theory, A Unified Approach [2] Fromkin Rodman (1990), An Introduction to Language, Holt, RinChart and Winston, Australia [3] Jackson H (1981), Analysing English, An Introduction to Descriptive Linguistics, Pergamon Institute of English [4] Jim Miller (1988), An Introduction to English Syntax, Edingburgh University Press [5] Quirk R and Greenbaum S (1998), A University Grammar of English, University of London [6] Roderick A Jacobs, English Syntax (1993), Oxford University Press [7] Tr n H u K (2007), English Structural Syntax, NXB T ng h p Thành Ph H Chí Minh [8] Tô Minh Thanh, English Syntax (2005), NXB Chí Minh 78 i h c qu c gia Thành Ph H ... depend on whether real objects are being discussed or whether something is possible in the real world Untrue sentences can be grammatical, sentences discussing unicorns can be grammatical, and sentences... occupy the adverb positions and perform the adverb functions Common adverbial positions are: Initial position: The adverbial is in the first position in the clause with or without juncture, occurring... Subject–Verb– Object (SVO) language The English sentence in (1) is grammatical because the words occur in the right order; the sentence in (2) is ungrammatical because the word order is incorrect
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