ABOUT THE COLLECTION

Coyote Papers: Working Papers in Linguistics is a publication of the Linguistics Circle, the Graduate Student Organization of the Department of Linguistics at the University of Arizona.

Volume 7: Coyote Papers: Working Papers in Linguistics from A-Z, Unification Based Approaches to Natural Languages. (1989). Edited by Kenneth F. Drozd and Kaz Fukushima.


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  • Preface (Coyote Papers Volume 7, 1989)

    Unknown author (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 1989)
  • English Relative Clause Extraction: A Syntactic and Semantic Approach

    Bourgeois, Thomas C.; University of Arizona (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 1989)
    Within this paper we analyze the formation of and extraction from a specific type of noun phrase, namely that consisting of the definite article followed by a common noun modified by a relative clause, where the common noun can be the subject or the object of the modifying clause. Representative examples of this construction appear in Figure 1: (1) ( i ) . Sal knows the man Sid likes. (ii) . Sal knows the man who bought the carrot. The framework we assume here makes use of a system of functional syntactical and (corresponding) semantical types assigned to each item in the string. These types act upon each other in functor-argument fashion according to a small set of combinatory rules for building syntactic and semantic structure, adopted here without proof but not without comment. To emphasize the direct correspondence of the syntax/semantics relationship, we describe combinatory rules in terms of how they apply on both levels. For maximum clarity, data appear in the form of triplets consisting of the phonological unit (the word), the syntactic category, and the semantic representation. We present an example below: (2) 'bought; (N P\S)/N P; λoλs.B(o),(s)
  • Type Raised Children: Extending Categorial Grammar as a Theory of Acquisition

    Drozd, Kenneth F.; University of Arizona (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 1989)
    Acquisitionists in the 1960's and 1970's have interpreted the semantic and syntactic patterns evident in children's two -word combinations under one of three analyses. These consist of (i) combinations of closed classes of constant terms (pivots) with a set of open class forms (Braine 1963), (ii) a set of surface structures reduced by transformations from underlying structures displaying semantic relations (Bloom 1970), or (iii) a child's attempts to find positional patterns for salient conceptual categories (Bowerman 1973; Braine 1976). Each of these approaches sets out to explain an isolated set of semantic or syntactic regularities observed in childrens' early two word utterances. Missing from each of these analyses, with the exception of Bloom (1970), is a description of how the syntax and semantics of these utterances are related. In addition, all of these analyses neither describe what kind of linguistic knowledge children use in creating two -word utterances or how this knowledge prepares children to be able to create more complex utterances. Consequently, each analysis fails to characterize the production of two-word utterances as a necessary stage in the development of adult linguistic competence. A categorial approach to acquisition offers a precise representation of the linguistic knowledge underlying these early lexical combinations as well as of the stages a child experiences during the language acquisition process. Categorial grammars assume that combinatorial possibilities for linguistic categories, restricted to being either functors or arguments, are specified in their lexical descriptions rather than in phrase markers or subcategorization frames familiar from phrase structure grammars. Linguistic competence is defined, in part, as knowledge of linguistic functions and the range of arguments they may apply to. Lexical categories are partially ordered by their complexity, a notion which provides a procedure for determining the sequence of stages of language acquisition. The linguistic knowledge responsible for creating early two-word combinations, then, is defined as knowledge of an elementary order of categorial complexity which is also required for creating and interpreting more complex utterances of the language. Lexical categories and their combinations are assigned corresponding semantic values, thereby offering a principled method of simultaneously encoding both the semantic and lexical properties of categories used by children, a method which is unavailable in current phrase structure accounts. In sum, the categorial analysis proposed in this paper makes interesting and specific predictions about the nature of children's grammatical competence as well as the nature of the acquisition sequence. In this paper, I am concerned with showing how a categorial grammar can be manipulated to describe the syntactic patterns underlying Pivot Grammars (Braine 1963) as well as those patterns implicit in children's first attempts at combining nouns, verbs, adjectives, auxiliaries and additive conjunctions cross-linguistically. In Section 1, I present Braine's (1963) original description of Pivot Grammars as well as evidence against Braine's analysis made by Bloom (1970) and Bowerman (1973). 1 propose a categorial grammar which describes the properties of pivot constructions cross-linguistically and which places pivot constructions within the acquisition sequence as a distinct utterance class. The acquisition sequence is based on the notion of categorial complexity, a measure by which children may infer complex categories from simpler ones already productive in the grammar. In Section 2, I extend the categorial analysis to include those utterance types incorrectly predicted by Braine's analysis not to occur at the pivot grammar stage, namely V+N combinations and N+N combinations encoding possession and location (Bloom 1970, Bowerman 1973). 1 show that this class of utterances, which has different properties than pivot constructions, is nonetheless a product of the same order of complexity attributed to Pivot Grammars. ln Section 3, 1 show that the sequence of auxiliary and additive conjunction acquisition corresponds to the sequence of orders of complexity predicted by the categorical grammar of the first section. I summarize the results of my analysis in the final section.
  • Lambek Calculus and Preposing of Embedded Subjects

    Oehrle, Richard T.; Zhang, Shi; University of Arizona (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 1989)
  • Postverbal Subject in Thai

    Sookgasem, Prapa; University of Arizona (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 1989)
    In this paper I provide an analysis of the postverbal subject in Thai. Thai is described as a SVO language by Hawkins (1983) and by Thai grammarians such as Surintramont (1979), Sriphen (1972), Waroamasikkhadit (1972), Kullavanija (1968), Chaiyaratana (1966) and in Thai traditional grammar books. However these analyses seem to be problematic due to the peculiar characteristics of such verbs as mii 'exist', kEEt 'occur', duumlan 'seem' as well as verb-like adjectives, which do not require any element or unit at all in the position right before them in a declarative sentence. To my knowledge these particular verbs have been analyzed simply as taking a non -overt subject or a deleted subject. This phenomenon raises the following questions: Do these verbs and verb-like adjectives require subjects? If so, where are they located? If not, what types of verbs are they? Are some sentences spoken in isolation in Thai are subjectless? In this analysis, I focus on the occurrence of the existential verb mii in a sentence spoken in isolation. I first present the forms of subject and object of intransitive and transitive verbs, including an element or a unit in the post-position of verb mii 'exist'. I argue that the misconstruction is a sentence, not a verb phrase. Then I argue that the element following the verb mii 'exist' is a subject, not a direct object, of this verb. Hence there are two subject types in Thai: preverbal and postverbal, with the subject verb (SV) structure for the former and the verb -subject (VS) for the latter. The paper ends with an application of HPSG theory (Pollard and Sag 1987) to the SV and VS structures in this language. I give the mii 'exist' and kEEt 'occur' constructions as examples for the VS structures. I divide the paper into five sections. Section 1: The Notion 'Subject'; Section 2: Background of the Thai Language: the points relevant to this particular analysis; Section 3: The Analysis; Section 4: Application of HPSG Theory to the SV and VS Structures in Thai; and Section 5: Conclusion.
  • A Non-Floating Analysis of "Floating" Quantifiers in Japanese: The First Approximation

    Fukushima, Kaz; University of Arizona (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 1989)
  • A Promising Control Theory

    Oh, Sunseek; University of Arizona (University of Arizona Linguistics Circle, 1989)