Learner's Diary



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Learner's Diary 05.12.2007


Today we talked about the structure of language and about syntax.

We learned that the constitutive relations of the structure of language are structural relations, semiotic relations and the different ranks.
Syntagmatic and paradigmatic relations form the structural relations. Syntagmatic relations are combinatory relations, building bigger units (signs) from smaller units (also signs), while paradigmatic relations are classificatory of similarity and difference between signs.
Semantic relations on the other hand are concerned with the realisation and interpretation of signs.

We have discussed especially the fact that syntagmatic and paradigmatic relations occur in all kinds of ranks (positions in the hierarchy of signs), including for instance phonology, morphology and syntax. One example are the structure and the syntagmatic relations of syllables, which consist of an onset (the front part of the syllable), and a nucleus and a coda, forming the rhyme.

Moreover, we focused on the above mentioned sign hierarchy. The positions in this hierarchy are referred to as ranks, the main ranks being dialogue, monologue / text, sentence, word, morpheme and phoneme All signs at each of these ranks have an internal and external structure, as well as semiotic relations (acoustic representation, meaning,… ) .

In addition to this, we discussed the topic syntax. There are nine categories that form the different parts of speech These are: nouny categories (determiners, adjectives, nouns, pronouns), verby categories (verbs and adverbs) and glue categories (prepositions, conjunctions and interjections).

Identify the syntagmatic relations in the following constructions:

-/frIdZ/, /streIts/, / prE@r /

onset nucleus coda

f         rI        dZ
str      eI        ts
p        rE        @r

– “three people saw a woman and her dog in the shop”

subject : three (quantifier) people
verbal: saw
object: a woman
conjunction: and
object: her dog
localizing adverb: in the shop

Identify the paradigmatic relations in the following sets (describe similarities and differences):

– {/p/, /t/, /k/}
-all are voiceless plosives, but with different places of articulation (/p/ is bilabial, /t/ alveolar and /k/ is velar).

– {“object”, “furniture”, “chair”, “table”}
“chair” and “table” are hyponyms of “furniture”, which is a hyponym of “object”

– {“walk”, “drive”, “run”, “ride”}
-all words connotate movement at different speed Moreover, “walk” and “run” are antonyms.

Analyse the components of the following item into units of
different ranks:

-her step-mother bought her a pre-paid phone card

sentence: her step-mother bought her a pre-paid phone card
word: her, step-mother, bought, her, a, pre-paid, phone card
morphemes: her, step, mother, bought, her, a, pre, paid, phone, card
phonemes: /h/ + /@/, /s/ + /t/ + /e/ + /p/, /m/ + /a/ + /D/
+ /@//, /b/ + /O/ + /t/, /h/ + /@/, /@/, /p/ + /r/ + /i/, /p/ + /e/
+ /I/ + /d/, /f/ + /o/ + /U/ + /n/, /k/ + /a/ + /r/ + /d/

Today's lecture was easy to follow, and the topics were very interesting. So far, I only had the opportunity discuss syntagmatic and paradigmatic relations within literature classes, thus, it was fascinating to hear in how far these relations are applied to syntax specifically.

9.12.07 13:52

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