Lecture 12: Syntax, Part 2 | Summary and Q&A

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January 27, 2023
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Lecture 12: Syntax, Part 2

TL;DR

Sentences can be ambiguous due to different ways of merging words and phrases, demonstrated through syntactic analysis.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How does the use of constituent tests, such as topicalization, help clarify ambiguity in sentences?

Constituent tests force the sentence to only have one possible structure, revealing its true meaning.

Q: Can two noun phrases be merged before being merged with a prepositional phrase?

Yes, it is possible for two noun phrases to be merged before being merged with a prepositional phrase, resulting in different sentence structures.

Q: Are all nodes in a syntax tree considered constituents?

Yes, all nodes in a syntax tree are considered constituents, including noun phrases, verb phrases, prepositional phrases, and more.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The syntax of sentences involves merging words and phrases together.

  • Ambiguity in sentences can be explained by different ways of merging words.

  • Constituent tests, such as topicalization, can help identify the correct constituent structure of a sentence.

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