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  • Hey, what's up guys? Today I'm continuing my

  • Introduction to linguistics video series and today's video is all about syntax

  • now syntax is the study of the rules that govern the

  • Structure of our sentences and this is not something we think about all the time but sentences are actually very complex

  • Linguistic units and there's a lot to say about how they're formed

  • And it can actually give us some useful insights into the languages that we're learning

  • So as usual

  • Of course

  • If you have any comments questions concerns about the material that I'm presenting to you here in this video

  • Please leave me a comment below in the comment section if I leave any confusion in your mind by the end of this video

  • I would love the opportunity to clear that up for you and

  • Maybe refine my explanations a little bit now before we go on and talk about the study of structural rules

  • I have to define what I mean by a structural rule because I think sometimes using the word rule

  • Can be a little bit confusing now in my first video about linguistics

  • I mentioned that linguists don't care about the rules in your grammar books. They study the way that people actually

  • Speak and the rules that the people actually follow. Most of us are aware of the quote unquote rule

  • That says me cannot be in the subject of a sentence

  • This means that given the three example sentences below. Only number one can be considered a grammatical sentence

  • Of course

  • We constantly hear people using sentences like number two and number three which means as far as linguists are concerned

  • These are both perfectly grammatical

  • Sentences and they're not breaking any structural rules, but that doesn't mean that there are no rules that constrain our speech

  • There are a ton of actual rules that govern the way we speak in real life. Most of which you are only

  • Subconsciously aware of and you follow these rules without realizing it. So in this example, we see that the pronoun us

  • cannot be used as the subject of a sentence in English. For syntacticians the asterisk denotes an

  • ungrammatical sentence and here it's obvious that no native speaker of English would ever be tempted to make this mistake.

  • Because it just sounds so bad. That's what I'm talking about when I say "rules". As native speakers

  • It doesn't take any effort to follow the actual rules of the language

  • Those rules are just ingrained in our head and we do it naturally.

  • We know that sentences are made up of words

  • But how do we decide what order to put those words in when we're forming our sentences?

  • Well, the rules of grammar actually allow us some leeway. I used all the same words in two different sentences

  • I just rearranged the words but the sentences still mean the same thing. We can take whole

  • phrases and move them around or we can actually take

  • Individual words and swap them. You can see that I changed Han and Greedo to Greedo and Han, and the sentence still

  • mean the same thing. But we're not completely unrestrained as far as word order.

  • Otherwise, it would be grammatical to make sentences like this "Shot Han talking someone Greedo were first and while."

  • So how can we know

  • exactly how much leeway our language allows us for changing words around? In order to discuss this we need to talk about

  • constituents.

  • A constituent is a word or group of words that functions as a single unit within a

  • hierarchical structure. You can see here that I've divided the sentence into two separate constituents each of which is meaningful in some way.

  • "While Han and Greedo we're talking in the cantina" and

  • "someone shot first." All sentences can be broken down into

  • constituents and some constituents can be further subdivided into smaller constituents. For the purpose of this example,

  • I'm just going to focus on the first constituent here,

  • which I have highlighted in yellow. We see that "Han and Greedo we're talking" is still a constituent.

  • The same is true of "Han and Greedo"

  • the phrase "Han and Greedo" has a meaning that you can still understand, as does the word Han all by itself. So we can see

  • that single words can still be constituents even without any other words grouped with them.

  • Let's compare those examples to groups of words that are not

  • constituents such as "while Han". What does that even mean? It's not a group of words

  • We would put together naturally and derive some kind of meaning out of it.

  • So going back to my example from earlier. We see that the concept of

  • Constituency is a piece of the puzzle that can help us

  • understand how words are allowed to move within the sentence. If you take the first

  • constituent and move it to the end of the sentence and take the last constituent and move it forward you get

  • A sentence that is still grammatical. The words "Han" and "Greedo" could also be swapped because they're both mini

  • Constituents that play the same role within a larger constituent

  • We also see that if you divide words into groups that are not

  • constituents they can't be moved and if we try it we get something horrible like this sentence

  • "Cantina someone shot first while Han and Greedo we're talking in the." Now it's possible to view

  • sentences as simple strings of words going from left to right, but it's actually much more revealing to view them as

  • hierarchies with different levels that you can go deeper and deeper into so you get a constituent within a constituent within a

  • constituent and so on and so forth.

  • Let's take this example sentence and divide it into two parts the subject and the predicate.

  • And we see that our sentence is now made up of a noun phrase and a verb phrase

  • So we're gonna label them as such.

  • I know that the word 'I' is technically a

  • pronoun

  • but it's a substitute for a noun, so we're still gonna call it a noun phrase and if you examine other sentences in English

  • You'll find that actually all sentences are composed of at least one noun phrase and one verb phrase.

  • So that's why we're calling it a noun phrase even though it's a pronoun.

  • It's a generalization that allows us to make our rule simpler. Now. Let's go a little deeper into the hierarchy.

  • Here we see that our verb phrase is subdivided into a verb and another noun phrase,

  • Which is one of only a few ways that you can construct a verb phrase in English.

  • And all transitive verbs require that you have at least these two

  • components. And now we're one level deeper than we were at the previous level of analysis. And if you keep going

  • Your sentence is eventually going to look like this.

  • Now you can really see all the different levels of depth within the sentence. This type of diagram is really

  • important for the study of syntax and it's called a tree diagram. I guess because all the little lines kinda look like

  • Tree branches turned upside down or maybe it's supposed to represent the roots of a tree.

  • I don't know, but we call it a tree diagram for some reason. And believe it or not

  • this is actually a very oversimplified version of a tree diagram.

  • Real syntacticians would take this a lot deeper and make it way more complex.

  • And once you get really good at syntax, you'll be able to make syntax trees that look like this:

  • And then you'll be able to see a lo t of the underlying phenomena that you didn't notice when you viewed your sentence as a simple

  • Left-to-right string of words. And importantly for language learners once you go deep enough into your understanding of syntax

  • You'll start to see that all human languages actually follow the same set of rules

  • Even though they seem so incredibly different.

  • English sets word order as subject verb object whereas Japanese sets it as subject object verb.

  • In English you put the adjectives before your noun and Spanish you put the adjectives after your noun.

  • The structure of these languages seems like they have nothing in common

  • But an advanced understanding of syntax will actually reveal that they're very much the same and I believe even sign languages follow the same

  • syntactic rules.

  • I don't have any time to go any deeper in this video

  • But stay tuned because I'll definitely be putting up more videos to give you a deeper understanding of syntax.

  • This video has just been the bare basics that you need to get started.

  • And again, if you have any questions or concerns, please let me know in the comment section below

  • You can also connect with me on twitter at at thing tim lanes

  • Thanks for watching the video and we'll see you guys in the next one

Hey, what's up guys? Today I'm continuing my

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句法。語言學入門 [視頻5] (Syntax: Intro to Linguistics [Video 5])

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    Fingtam 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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