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Re: Theory: The Line Between Verb and Syntax Sections

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  • Jyri Lehtinen
    This is certainly a way to do it. I ve found that especially shorter grammatical descriptions benefit from being morphologically driven. For a bit more
    Message 1 of 8 , Aug 16, 2013
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      This is certainly a way to do it. I've found that especially shorter
      grammatical descriptions benefit from being morphologically driven. For a
      bit more advanced topics, such as subordination, I'd suggest also adding
      more syntactically minded chapters. This is simply because semantically
      closely related categories can require you to use very different morphology
      (or syntax for that matter).

      You might for example have a simple clause linking morpheme that attaches
      to verbs and simply says that this is a subordinated verb and every
      inflection (person, tense, aspect...) of the finite verb of the main clause
      also applies here. But when some of these categories changes, you suddenly
      need to revert back to fully inflected finite verbs with perhaps a special
      subordinate mood and a conjunction marking the subordinate clause. This is
      in fact not that different to what English does:

      We chatted while eating.
      We chatted after we had eaten.
      We chatted while you were eating.

      Notice how the subordinated verb of the first sentence has totally
      different morphology associated to it compared to the subordinate clauses
      of the last two sentences. If you don't already know the structure of the
      language, finding out these things might be a pain if they aren't compiled
      under unified chapters. Whether you decide to put such chapters under a
      special "syntax" title or among the morphological description is naturally
      a matter or personal taste and what happens to work the best.

      For a really thorough reference grammar you might even consider a dual
      presentation. First have a section where you go through all the morphology
      giving short descriptions of the uses of each inflection and cross
      referencing for broader descriptions of use in later syntax chapters. After
      that have the syntax section where you describe how all the morphology is
      used in actual sentences but now organised based on use rather than form.
      The downside is of course that you end up describing many of the things
      twice and having a ridiculously long grammar.

      -Jyri



      2013/8/16 David Peterson <dedalvs@...>

      > In the morphology section (for WH-questions and yes/no questions), and in
      > the lexicon (for all constructions that are dependent on the
      > particularities of a given verb or subset of verbs [i.e. raising/control
      > and subordination]). If a special section was wanted, I'd put it under
      > verbal morphology.
      >
      > David Peterson
      > LCS President
      > president@...
      > www.conlang.org
      >
      > On Aug 16, 2013, at 12:20 AM, Nico Baier <nico.baier@...> wrote:
      >
      > > So David, where would you put things like raising/control constructions,
      > wh-question formation or subordination?
      >
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