LING208 Morphology & Syntax

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Who created the nativist approach to grammar?
Noam Chomsky (1965)
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What is Chomsky's poverty of the stimulus argument?
the knowledge of grammar that children attain cannot be extracted from the rather limited linguistic input they receive
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What is Chomsky's approach to trial and error?
He argues that leaning mechanisms are not sufficient for language learning
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What is universal grammar?
all humans languages share the same underlying syntactic principles of grammar, and differ from each other only with respect to a finite set of parameters
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What is innate to Chomsky?
word order and structure dependency
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What is learned to Chomsky?
the links between parameters and categories
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Who created to usage-based approach to grammar?
Tomasello
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What does the usage based approach to grammar do?
language is learned through participation in richly structured, culturally and linguistically mediated social activities in which children attempt to reproduce the linguistic conventions of their community
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What are pattern finding skills in the usage based approach?
children discover and form abstract syntactic categories and rules based on what they hear. However, these are also evidence in animals
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What are the 3 prosodic features that coincide with syntactic clauses and phrases
1. speakers tend to place pauses between phrases & clauses 2. phonemes tend to be longer right before a syntactic boundary 3. changes in pitch tend to coincide with boundaries between constituents
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Example of how phonological features of words correlate with word classes
content words contain more phonemes/ syllables
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How is grammar extracted from distributional information?
in English, determiners such as 'the' co-occur with nouns, and auxiliaries and inflections co-occue with verbs
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What did Braine (1976) find with regards to learning of grammatical structures
children develop simple word specific formulae
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What did Tomasello (1992) find with regards to learning of grammatical structures
his child used verbs with objects, and expanded these patterns by inserting different words into the slots of word- specific formulae
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How are grammatical schemas discovered?
schemas are built as children notice relational similarities in the usage of words. For a schema to be noticed, a pattern needs to have a sufficiently high type frequency
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Give and example of over-generalisation errors in morphology and syntax
'i goed' 'explain me your answer'
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Explain over-generalisation errors
in morphologically rich languages, overgeneralisation errors involve application of an inflection that applies to one group of words to another group of words
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Age range of over-generalisation errors
3-6 year olds
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Why do over-generalisation errors occur?
1. due to a lack of memory in retrieving the correct ruled (Marcus et al 1992) 2. both the rules are available, but have to compete to be retrieved, & as the correct term is used more, this becomes entrenched (Braine & Brooks 1995)
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What is parsing?
analysing the syntactic structure of a sentence
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Production is before comprehension in parsing - why?
children respond strongly to lexical cues, their knowledge of how words are used in sentences & comprehension requires taking into account a lot of probabilistic cues, and this takes time to acquire
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What is Chomsky's poverty of the stimulus argument?

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the knowledge of grammar that children attain cannot be extracted from the rather limited linguistic input they receive

Card 3

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What is Chomsky's approach to trial and error?

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Card 4

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What is universal grammar?

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Card 5

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What is innate to Chomsky?

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