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Corpus 05 Grammar

Corpus 05 Grammar. Unlike lexicography, grammar does not have a long tradition of empirical study. Prescriptive vs descriptive: traditionally, grammatical

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Page 1: Corpus 05 Grammar. Unlike lexicography, grammar does not have a long tradition of empirical study. Prescriptive vs descriptive: traditionally, grammatical

Corpus 05

Grammar

Page 2: Corpus 05 Grammar. Unlike lexicography, grammar does not have a long tradition of empirical study. Prescriptive vs descriptive: traditionally, grammatical

• Unlike lexicography, grammar does not have a long tradition of empirical study.

• Prescriptive vs descriptive: traditionally, grammatical studies had a goal of providing a relatively complete category of forms in a language and a description of rules for combining forms.

Page 3: Corpus 05 Grammar. Unlike lexicography, grammar does not have a long tradition of empirical study. Prescriptive vs descriptive: traditionally, grammatical

• Traditional approaches failed to analyze the

patterned use of grammatical features, nor focused on variation in language use, or pay attention to functional reasons for choosing between the alternatives.

• The neglected areas turn out to be the strength of corpus studies: frequency of distribution of various constructions, association patterns between grammatical structures and other linguistic and nonlinguistic factors, factors that affect the choices between structural variants.

Page 4: Corpus 05 Grammar. Unlike lexicography, grammar does not have a long tradition of empirical study. Prescriptive vs descriptive: traditionally, grammatical

• Question 1: How can the use and function of

morphological characteristics be better understood by analyzing their distribution across registers?

• Question 2: How can the use and function of grammatical classes be better understood by analyzing their distribution across registers?

• Question 3: How can the function of syntactic constructions be better understood by analyzing their distribution across registers?

• Question 4: What linguistic and nonlinguistic features are associated with the choice between seemingly synonymous structural variants?

Page 5: Corpus 05 Grammar. Unlike lexicography, grammar does not have a long tradition of empirical study. Prescriptive vs descriptive: traditionally, grammatical

Morphological study

• To learn the frequency and distribution of characteristic and the differing function of particular variants.

• Rather straight forward, using search function in an untagged concordance corpus.

Page 6: Corpus 05 Grammar. Unlike lexicography, grammar does not have a long tradition of empirical study. Prescriptive vs descriptive: traditionally, grammatical

Nominalization• Nouns that are related to verbs or adjectives morpholo

gically.• -tion, -sion, -ness, -ment, -ity• Note for the words that are not nominalizations: cushi

on, dandelion, mansion• Case study: frequency of nominalization• Frequency distribution of nominalization across 3 regi

sters• Per million words Academic prose: 44,000 Fiction: 11,200 Speech: 11,300

Page 7: Corpus 05 Grammar. Unlike lexicography, grammar does not have a long tradition of empirical study. Prescriptive vs descriptive: traditionally, grammatical

Findings in nominalizationAcademic prose uses nominalizations to treat actions and

processes as abstract objects separated from human participants.

Nominalizations in academic prose discuss the generalized action of moving, rather than a particular person moving.

Fiction and spoken discourse are more concerned with people and use verbs and adjectives to describe how they are behaving.

Academic prose more often refers to a process with a stative nominalization, where fiction and spoken corpus describe a specific person's action with a verb or adjective.

Page 8: Corpus 05 Grammar. Unlike lexicography, grammar does not have a long tradition of empirical study. Prescriptive vs descriptive: traditionally, grammatical

Nominalization endings• Proportion of nominalization

acad fic speech

-tion 68% 51% 56%

-ment 15% 21% 24%

-ness 2% 13% 5%

-ity 15% 15% 15%

Page 9: Corpus 05 Grammar. Unlike lexicography, grammar does not have a long tradition of empirical study. Prescriptive vs descriptive: traditionally, grammatical

• 1. Though -tion as the majority in all three reregisters, it is highest in academic prose.

• 2. -ment suffix account for a greater percentage of the nominalizations in fictions and spoken corpus

• 3. -ness ending is more important in fiction than the other two registers.

Page 10: Corpus 05 Grammar. Unlike lexicography, grammar does not have a long tradition of empirical study. Prescriptive vs descriptive: traditionally, grammatical

• -tion ending is to convert an action expressed by a

verb into a noun, usually referring to a generalized process or state.

• -ment: process making or doing something. occurring in three registers.

• Many -ment are noncount nouns describing mental states. Rare in academic prose and spooken corpus, relatively common in fiction for the decription of mental states of characters.

• -ness accounts high in fiction. The -ness ending converts adjectifes into nouns that often describe personal qualities.

Page 11: Corpus 05 Grammar. Unlike lexicography, grammar does not have a long tradition of empirical study. Prescriptive vs descriptive: traditionally, grammatical

Counting grammatical categories

• Nouns as adjectives: depends on the goal of counting

• If the goal is to count the extent to which nominal verses verbal references are used, it is appropriate to include nouns used to modify other nouns.

Page 12: Corpus 05 Grammar. Unlike lexicography, grammar does not have a long tradition of empirical study. Prescriptive vs descriptive: traditionally, grammatical

Counting grammatical categories• Pronouns: similar to nouns in that they refer

to a nominal entity, different in that they do not refer to anything when used in isolation. However, if we want a count of words that directly refer to things, then it seems most appropriate to omit pronouns.

• Verbs: auxiliary• Should not be included in the overall verb

count, as they mark aspectual meanings or negation.

Page 13: Corpus 05 Grammar. Unlike lexicography, grammar does not have a long tradition of empirical study. Prescriptive vs descriptive: traditionally, grammatical

Noun-to-verb ratios in three registers

Academic prose

Fiction Speech

A. All nouns and verbs

2.2:1 1.2:1 1.2:1

B. All nouns and verbs excluding auxiliaries

2.9:1 1.5:1 1.6:1

C. Nouns excluding premodifiers of other nouns and verb excluding auxiliaries

2.5:1 1.3:1 1.3:1

Page 14: Corpus 05 Grammar. Unlike lexicography, grammar does not have a long tradition of empirical study. Prescriptive vs descriptive: traditionally, grammatical

• Fiction and speech have similar ratios, while

academic prose is close to double that.• The emphasis in academic prose on objects,

states, and process rather than human agents and their actions.

• In fiction and speech, pronouns take the place of many nouns, and this reduces the noun-to-verb ratio.

Page 15: Corpus 05 Grammar. Unlike lexicography, grammar does not have a long tradition of empirical study. Prescriptive vs descriptive: traditionally, grammatical

Comparison of noun-verb ratios

• Academic prose : objects,states, and processes, all referred to with nouns

• Fiction and speech: human agents and their actions, described with verbs.

Page 16: Corpus 05 Grammar. Unlike lexicography, grammar does not have a long tradition of empirical study. Prescriptive vs descriptive: traditionally, grammatical

Excerpt fro an academic prose

• In planning a livestock building or conversion, the psychological and health requirements of the livestock should undoubtedly be given absolute priority together with the basic needs of the stockman.

• (9 nouns and 2 verb)

Page 17: Corpus 05 Grammar. Unlike lexicography, grammar does not have a long tradition of empirical study. Prescriptive vs descriptive: traditionally, grammatical

Excerpt from fiction

• He merged and locked the door. He unsnapped the protective strap on his holster and scanned the parking lot. He walked quickly to the glass door of the bank.

• (7 nouns and 5 verbs)

Page 18: Corpus 05 Grammar. Unlike lexicography, grammar does not have a long tradition of empirical study. Prescriptive vs descriptive: traditionally, grammatical

Excerpt from a conversation

• A: Oh yeah, it’s called washing your hair. Don’t you know how to wash your hair?

• B: Might be.• A: I know. I know how to have a bath.• B: Go away, I’m cooking…. Excuse me

please, I’m trying to cook. I haven’t got enough potatoes.

• (4 nouns and 14 verbs.)

Page 19: Corpus 05 Grammar. Unlike lexicography, grammar does not have a long tradition of empirical study. Prescriptive vs descriptive: traditionally, grammatical

Syntactic construction: that and to complements

• How to search them

• Findings

Page 20: Corpus 05 Grammar. Unlike lexicography, grammar does not have a long tradition of empirical study. Prescriptive vs descriptive: traditionally, grammatical

Searching• Both that and to have multiple meanings• That: complement clause, determiner, demonstrative

pronoun, relative pronoun, complex clause connector.• To: complement, adverbial clause, relative clause,

prepositional phrase• That can also be omitted.• Use a computer program to automatically identify

constructions that are likely to be that-clauses or to-clauses. Then an interactive checking program is used to edit the codes. Finally, another program is used to calculate frequency counts.

Page 21: Corpus 05 Grammar. Unlike lexicography, grammar does not have a long tradition of empirical study. Prescriptive vs descriptive: traditionally, grammatical

Distribution of that-clause & to-clause

Conversation Academic prose

that-clause ************** ****

to-clause ******** *********

Each * represents 5000 occurrences per million words

That-clauses are very common in conversation but not so common in academic prose. To clauses are moderately common in both.

Page 22: Corpus 05 Grammar. Unlike lexicography, grammar does not have a long tradition of empirical study. Prescriptive vs descriptive: traditionally, grammatical

Distribution in terms of lexico-grammatical association

• Most verbs control only one or the other type of complement clause.

• That-clause: imagine, mention, suggest, conclude, guess, argue

• To-clause: begin,start, like,love, try, and want.

Page 23: Corpus 05 Grammar. Unlike lexicography, grammar does not have a long tradition of empirical study. Prescriptive vs descriptive: traditionally, grammatical

Extraposed

• With verb predicates: I want to sleep here.

• With adjective predicates: It’s possible to adjust the limit upwards.

Page 24: Corpus 05 Grammar. Unlike lexicography, grammar does not have a long tradition of empirical study. Prescriptive vs descriptive: traditionally, grammatical

Fig. 3.2 Use of that-clauses and to-clauses in extraposed constructions

(each * represents 100 occurrences per million words)

Conversation Academic proseExtraposed that-clauses ** ******

Extraposed to-clauses ** ***************

Conversation Academic proseExtraposed to-clauses with verb predicates

* *

Extraposed to-clauses with adjective predicates

* **************

Fig. 3.3 Use of to-clauses in extraposed constructions controlled by verbs versus adjectives

(each * represents 100 occurrences per million words)

Page 25: Corpus 05 Grammar. Unlike lexicography, grammar does not have a long tradition of empirical study. Prescriptive vs descriptive: traditionally, grammatical

Explanation for preference

• Extraposed adjective predicates frame a proposition in terms of a static condition rather than a dynamic action or process. The typical grammatical associations of to-clauses fit well with the typical communicative priorities of academic prose, resulting in a greater reliance on to-clauses in that register.